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Mariners’ Position Analysis: SS Saturday, November 22, 2008

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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Now, before I begin this series, I should preface it all with the fact that Z (Zduriencik), Lincoln and Armstrong have all made it abundantly clear that any big names are off the radar for 2009.  This means, all those other blogs out there that you’re reading that include names like Texieira and the like are impossible!  And yes, that includes whatever you hear from guys like Kurkijan or especially Jayson Stark.  Never trust a guy who can’t spell his own name.  Stick to local writers (USSM, PI, Times, etc.) if you want a true source for what is likely to happen.  And whatever you do, don’t read the News Tribune.  I live down here in the south sound and I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, Larry LaRue is an idiot.

Also, did anyone see that article on the front page of ESPN.com/mlb yesterday?  I occasionally enjoy a Larry Stone article from time to time, but God help us when someone gives him a national bullhorn.  One of the worst articles I’ve ever read, and he’s tossed out some doozys in his day.

Okay, now down to the position analysis:

SS

I’m certain there are some Yuniesky Betancourt fans out there, and I have to admit that I was one from the beginning (especially when we realized he could hit, which none of were expecting).  But after seeing him continue to astonish with some absolutely head-turning plays (that very few shortstops in baseball could even attempt), and yet continue to miff even some of the easiest plays, I’m finished with the guy.  I don’t think I’m the only one out there who wouldn’t shed a tear to lose the guy, even if it meant a couple of promising AA-AAA level players in return.

So, then the question is: if he gets sold (and the rumors are flying, especially in Toronto and Detroit), who do we replace him with?  Personally, I’m hoping for one J.J. Hardy.  He’s got a pop the M’s are desperate for, he’s got a tie to our current GM, and he’s one of the most promising young shortstops (at least in my opinion) since A-Rod.  The only question is, what would the Brewers want in return?

And in the free agent market, which I see as a far more likely option for filling a missing Betancourt, we’ve got a couple interesting options (And not Cabrera or Furcal.  Remember what I said about big name free agents?).  Instead of those big guys, why not take a look at Jerry Hairston, Jr.?  He’s got all the skills we’re looking for (except for power, but there’s not much out there at this position).  Plus, he can throw from some incredibly awkward positions:

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