The Mariners stunned many in the baseball industry one year ago with the signing of superstar free agent Robinson Cano. Now, after narrowly missing the playoffs in 2014, they want to complete the remake of their lineup.
The Mariners are involved in trade talks for multiple right-handed-hitting outfielders, including Matt Kemp, Yoenis Cespedes, and Justin Upton, according to major-league sources. They’ve also met with free agent outfielder/designated hitter Nelson Cruz.
Any one of those four hitters — Kemp, Cespedes, Upton, or Cruz — would slot fourth in the Seattle lineup, in between the left-swinging Cano and Kyle Seager.
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The Red Sox are an intriguing trade partner for the Mariners, now that the signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez have made Cespedes expendable. The Red Sox would prefer to trade Cespedes for a starting pitcher and previously have had interest in Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma.
Both Cespedes and Iwakuma are eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, so a trade of those two would amount to a one-year swap from an area of strength for one team to the area of need for the other.