It is no secret that the Mariners have tons of cash on hand and are willing to spend great sums of it in order to turn their perennial also-ran into a frontrunner this offseason. They have been rumored to be in hot pursuit of Robinson Cano, the biggest and most expensive name on the free agent board this winter. Cano is said to be demanding a contract north of $200 million, to which the Mariners are reportedly amenable. But some say the Mariners prefer to spend their money on Shin-Soo Choo and Kendrys Morales instead of Cano, according to the New York Post.
The Mariners are looking to make some upgrades this offseason and have set themselves up quite well financially to do just that. Cano would clearly be a big get for them (and for any team in baseball, for that matter), but signing Choo and Morales instead would give them upgrades at multiple positions rather than just one. Choo began his career with the Mariners before they traded him to the Indians, so he could be receptive to a homecoming of sorts. Morales spent last season with the Mariners after being traded from the Angels. Adding both would go a long way to shoring up an uneven lineup.
Also worth noting, the Mariners already have top prospect Nick Franklin in house at second base. The 22-year-old Franklin played 102 games for the Mariners in 2013 and held his own, hitting .225/.303/.382 with 33 extra-base hits. Adding Cano would likely shift Franklin over to shortstop, but they have another good young prospect there in Brad Miller. It seems a reasonable argument could be made that while adding Cano would be an obvious and tremendous upgrade, the M's could spend that $200 million on a number of different upgrades and turn out a better team overall.