The Mariners continued their aggressive offseason Thursday by acquiring Marlins speedster Dee Gordon.
Gordon, predominantly known as a second baseman throughout his seven-year MLB career, appears to be in for a position change to center field. The Marlins already have Robinson Cano occupying second, and the eight-time All-Star isn't moving positions any time soon.
Speed and patience at the plate have helped Gordon become one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball over the last three years, but there have been some questions regarding his defense — even at second. Arm strength could be an issue for Gordon in center field.
From an offensive standpoint, the move instantly makes Seattle better. Its lineup is rich with power bats like Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and recently acquired Ryon Healy, but Gordon provides stability at the plate and savvy base-running to help balance the lineup.
Dee Gordon would have been the 4th fastest CF last season
behind Billy Hamilton, Byron Buxton and Bradley Zimmer pic.twitter.com/twmIXWjyuE
— Daren Willman (@darenw) December 7, 2017
After serving an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension in 2016, Gordon returned this season with a .308/.341/.375 slash line with 114 runs scored and 60 stolen bases. He also struck out just 93 times.
The Mariners are also in play for Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, an outfielder and pitcher, but they're running out of open positions.
With new owners taking over in Miami this offseason, payroll was always destined to take a slash. Gordon has $38 million guaranteed left on his contract, plus a $14 million club option in 2021. The Marlins are also shopping reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and his massive contract, possibly signaling a new era for the team.
The Mariners missed on the postseason this year, but they've already made positive moves to avoid the same fate next season.