We've spent a lot of time talking about Kendrys Morales. From the qualifying offer decision to his fair market value, he's been the primary focus of this offseason. The Mariners had a bunch of one-year contracts that they were faced with, but most of them disappeared throughout the season. Jason Bay and Kelly Shoppach were jettisoned, and so was Robert Andino. Brendan Ryan and Mike Morse were tossed aside for pennies in post-waiver deals, leaving only two other departing contracts -- Raul Ibanez and Oliver Perez.
Ibanez in 2014 has been discussed at length here, and if you missed the article the first time around, the stance hasn't really changed. It wouldn't be completely objectionable for the Mariners to turn back to Ibanez as a part-time designated hitter if Morales walks, but in general, the team shouldn't be paying for career years that are not going to be replicated at age 42. Whatever veteran presence Ibanez carries hasn't exactly resulted in tangible results, either. It's probably best for the Mariners to thank Ibanez for the awesome stunner of a season he put together and part ways.
But enough about Ibanez, who's been the subject of too many discussions. The only other remaining free agent is one Oliver Perez, who the Mariners mysteriously refused to deal at the deadline. Perez had an outstanding first half, compiling 50 strikeouts in 36 innings and allowing just a .264 wOBA against. It probably would have been a good time to sell, but the Mariners didn't. Perez's second half, by comparison, was a mess. Perez allowed a .422 wOBA against, thanks in part to some wild control after August and an inability to strand runners.
Perez finished with a 3.74 ERA, but his peripherals were far better than the end result. Perez's SIERA was a fantastic 2.82, and his xFIP was 3.36. By most accounts, Perez pitched better than the final results were, but he was smacked with some bad luck - buoyed by a whopping .361 BABIP. With the Mariners season ending up as it did, this can truly be spun as positive news. Perez's value, thanks to a bad second half and inflated ERA, is a whole lot lower than it was in June, when the rest of the league was finally starting to notice what the one-time flame out was doing.
Re-signing Perez is something the Mariners should probably do, if it comes at a non-inflated cost. It seems a little unlikely that another team is going to step up and give Perez a significant multi-year deal, and he's already returned to Seattle before after his first one year contract expired. Perez is worth a $2.5-3 million contract and projects to have better results than he did the year before. It wouldn't even be a stretch to offer Perez a 2 year, $5 million contract to keep him around.
The Mariners have an opportunity to buy low based on perceived value around the rest of the league due to some unlucky breaks. I believe they should take it, but what's your take? Sound off in the comments and poll below.