Closer to top of Space Needle

Furthermore, the Mariners have the money -- even including Cano, their current payroll commitments are still in the $65 million range for 2014. Arbitration will bring that higher, as will other signings, but the payroll still is expected to be below $100 million, perhaps significantly below. And signing Cano also will make Seattle a more appealing destination for other free agents.

Will the Cano signing finally turn the Mariners around? We'll see. But Cano definitely should help more than bringing back Willie Bloomquist.

"The news has to excite the city," said longtime fan Ron Beck, who was eating lunch at Pyramid Alehouse across the street from Safeco Field. "It's been a sad story for a lot of years. We all remember the 1995 season with Griffey, and that was a fun time. And we remember 2001, when we won 116 games.

"But it's been tough lately. They keep talking about getting hitters on the team, and we need some hitters with power who can hit in the clutch and can get runners home."

This was a big week for sports news in Seattle. The Seahawks routed the New Orleans Saints on "Monday Night Football," and Steve Sarkisian left the Huskies to coach USC. Then, on Friday, the Mariners agreed to terms with Cano and Washington hired Boise State coach Chris Petersen to replace Sarkisian.

And, thanks to the Cano and Petersen signings, the Seahawks were virtually an afterthought on local sports talk radio Friday. For the first time in a long time, people were talking about baseball and the Mariners more than football and the Seahawks.

Perhaps the only news that would have excited local fans more is if the Mariners had signed Seahawks quarterback and former minor league infielder Russell Wilson to play second base instead.

Beck smiled at the suggestion before saying, "Let's keep Russell Wilson where he is." Fans are very happy to have Cano there instead.

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