How To Fix The M’s For 2016: Seattle Mariners State Of The Union
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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The Seattle Mariners made a lot of prognosticators look bad this year (including yours truly). Of course the Washington Nationals also did as well. Yep..Guilty again.
It was a good thing I put some money on the Blue Jays to win the World Series in preseason, and then hedged against them in the ALCS with KC. I was also fortunate enough to go 9 – 4 with my prop bets as well, and did decent in picking the Mets over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS, then win over the Cubs, otherwise I would have taken a beating for the year.
Anyways, enough about me, how about the 76 – 86 Mariners? This team dropped 11 wins from the 2014 campaign, and it looked ugly on them.
The latest year the problem was not the offensive so much as the Pitching. Even Felix Hernandez saw his ERA climb to 3.53 in the 2nd half of the year after a stalwart beginning.
Hisashi Iwakuma is a Free Agent and the club will should certainly throw down a Qualifying Offer his way this winter. If he doesn’t take the deal at least you can draft a decent pick in return.
The goal would still to sign a few Free Agent pitchers.
Financially, and despite having Hernandez and Cano both making over $24 MIL in 2016, the team was actually left in good enough shape to sign some players.
With a great 3-4-5 attack squad in Cano, Cruz and Seager, the team looks to find a couple of leadoff style hitters, and definitely need to address the Catching situation.
1st base is also problematic with oft injured Logan Morrison. The team should also seek out a CF to add to the nest.
Fowler and Span have both been proven to be able to handle leadoff duties, get on base and provide a spark to the rest of the lineups they have been in with the Cubs and Nationals respectively.
Both guys will cost you in the $11 – $13 MIL a year range, however that is not bad for the production they can yield in return.
Okay, so bringing in Crush Davis may be a ‘pipe’ dream for the M’s, but if they were willing to dole out $20 MIL a season for 5 or 6 years, it would line up nicely with the Cano, Seager and Cruz contracts.
Could you imagine a lineup up that went Span/Fowler, Cano, Cruz, Davis, Seager and Trumbo as the top 6 next year. The back end of the lineup 7 – 9 with Seth Smith, Brad Miller and whatever Catcher the team fields out there would be formidable?
Another way to go about the winter is for GM Jerry DiPoto to concentrate more on the Pitching aspect. Maybe to sign another ace pitcher with Felix, and shore up the Bullpen, before solidifying the Catcher position.
Matt Wieters would be a great addition to the franchise regardless of the direction the team goes in. He can also DH and play some 1B – depending on what the status of Logan Morrison and Mark Trumbo are doing.
If Wieters is not attainable, a cheaper option would be to ink Dioner Navarro.
Morrison and Trumbo both enter the last year of contract status with the team, and it may be time to part ways with one of them prior to the season even happening.
Perennial one year flier Franklin Gutierrez was one of Jack Z’s favorite guys in the world, and even with the limited AB the guy sees every year, he has put decent numbers.
The ‘Fly Swatter’ cracked 15 HRs and added 35 RBI in just 171 AB in 2015 – with a great .971 OPS. If he can be brought in on an incentive deal, then there is your 4th OF/Part time DH. Just know he will not be healthy for a full year. Sometimes guys thrive in a limited role.
If the team can’t land Iwakuma in any fashion, they still budget $15 MIL or so Dollars to chase down a quality #2 or #3 Starter. Scott Kazmir, Ian Kennedy and former Mariner Doug Fister would potentially all be slightly cheaper than that, and could pitch like a #2 or #3 Starter.
Seattle has lost its Fernando Rodney problem as well. The team has enough arms in the system to come up with a Relief Core with the addition of a few guys. Spending money here is not the answer.
You must hope for internal improvements from Paxton, Walker, Seager (not saying he is not good, but there is another level there to reach) Ketel Marte and Brad Miller.
Marte may end up being one of those young players that emerges. He is listed as a SS, and he may very well might win out the position over Miller, but he may also be a candidate to take over in CF if the team can’t attract a Centerfielder in the open market.
The AL West is a tough nugget to crack in the foreseeable future. The Astros have a bevy of young superstars, while the Rangers have a great mix of veterans and youngsters. Then the Angels are always going to have a punchers chance with the likes of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Look for the A’s to improve over the next 2 – 3 years when all of the players come up to the Majors from the deals they coordinated last winter.
DiPoto has his work cutout for him. At least he has been left with a blank financial canvas – other than the best 4 – 5 players on the squad, that represent the nucleus of the team.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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Posted on November 5, 2015, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged 2015 NLCS, albert pujols, brad miller, chris davis, denard span, dioner navarro, doug fister, felix hernandez, fernando rodney, franklin gutierrez, hisashi iwakuma, houston astros, ian kennedy, Jack Zduriencik, james paxton, jerry dipoto, Jesus Sucre, Ketel Marte, kyle seager, Logan Morrisson, los angeles angels, los angeles dodgers, mark trumbo, matt wieters, Mike Trout, mike zunino, nelson cruz, new york mets, robinson cano, safeco field, scott kazmir, seattle mariners, seth smith, taijuan walker, toronto blue jays. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.