Mariners sign Munenori Kawasaki

Ok so it isn’t the signing that everyone wants (even me, at the right price), but the Mariners signed Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league deal. Kawasaki isn’t a bad signing. Sure, a soft-hitting Japanese shortstop isn’t going to propel the Mariners into contentioon. He’s not Albert Pujols. Not Yu Darvish. Not C.J. Wilson. Edwin Jackson. Bleh.

It gets old defending the Mariners front office for not sitting on their hands, and waiting to know what happens with Prince Fielder. Kawasaki comes at no risk because he signed a minor league deal, and fits a Mariners need, albeit not their biggest need. Kawasaki can likely back up, and form a partial platoon with Brendan Ryan, and his peak may be that of a guy who holds the slot at shortstop between now and Nick Franklin’s debut. He’s also got potential to be a leadoff hitter if his bat translates into the majors, and he doesn’t play a premium offensive position.