The team still has Rosario, Kepler, Polanco and Cave batting lefty and Rosario and Polanco probably will bat toward the top of the lineup, Kepler and Cave may do so as well, depending on how the roster is constructed.
I actually prefer a righty-heavy lineup when possible at Target Field, so instead of monkeying with various 1B free agents, I'd rather the team find a good RH corner outfield bat that can allow Kepler to be the LH platoon role; outfield and 1B. I'd be interested in one of the Mariners salary dump packages to get Mitch Hanigar, and Andrew McCutchen works too.
My drum is going to wear out from banging it so hard! Lol
Yes to McCutchen!
The guy hits, gets OB, provides power, and can still play a quality corner OF spot. He could be very dangerous in the #1 spot, leading off games, or driving in the bottom of the order, which I see as potentially pretty solid/interesting. He could also hit 3-5, just depending how the lineup gets constructed.
You and I differ somewhat on Kepler, and that's OK. You ask why everyone likes him so much over Cave. I don't think its a preference. We've seen Kepler longer, seen his defense, seen his potential. If Kepler and Cave both touched their ceiling, IMO, Kepler is the better player. And I like Cave! I think we got a steal there!
While retrospect might dictate Bour as being a perfect addition/compliment, Cron was available days earlier. Unless the FO had some insider information ahead of time, they couldn't know Bour would be available. So there is a hole at 1B. A 28yo 1B with OK numbers but never more than 409 AB has a breakout season in 2018 with a change in his swing/approach and over 500AB for the first time. Oh, your new manager is also familiar with him. And while Austin appears to be a potential late bloomer with real power, and a quality milb track record, he is still an unknown.
Kepler can play all 3 OF spots and has played 1B some in the minors. He is more than athletic enough to put a 1B glove back on, whether his offense final explodes in 2019, or 2020, or he remains what he is...a nice role player. But I'd give Cave a 1B mitt as well and take a look-see. Kepler is mostly mentioned because he's done it in the minors. For that matter, I still say Austin should be given a look-see in the OF again. (Neck, considering he played 2B for a while in the minors, is very athletic, and made a tremendous play at 3B last season, I'd look at Rosario as possible infield option, even for emergencies).
Guys slump and get hurt. Guys can be demoted or traded. If Rocco and the FO honestly can't find a way to play Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, McCutchen, Cave, Cron and Austin between 3 OF spots, 1B and DH, I think they lack imagination.