Offseason In Review: Seattle Mariners

Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Mariners.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

The Mariners' offseason kicked off with a big positive on October 19th: they were freed of the $16MM left on Kenji Johjima's contract.  GM Jack Zduriencik went on to remake his team, spending over $51MM on free agent contracts and acquiring Lee, Bradley, League, and Kotchman via trade.

The Mariners spent big on their two extensions, guaranteeing almost $100MM to Felix and Gutierrez.  It's hard to argue with securing one of the best pitchers in baseball.  The Gutierrez extension made me shrug – the savings over going year-to-year probably weren't big.

Most of the free agent spending was used to lock down the left side of the infield with two plus defenders in Figgins and Wilson.  Figgins brings on-base skills as well, and should be worth the commitment.

On a team projected to have one of the worst offenses in the AL, the Griffey signing strikes me as unwise.  Bradley, at least, comes with the promise of his 2007-08 seasons.  By signing Griffey and acquiring Kotchman, the Ms didn't add much hitting at traditionally offensive spots.  Could that $5.8MM have gone toward a more productive free agent bat or two?  Zduriencik got three seasons of League plus a prospect for Morrow; were no interesting hitters being offered?  The Mariners must have decided that Morrow could not provide 25 respectable starts in 2010.

The front end of the Ms rotation, of course, looks fantastic.  Acquiring Lee, who was hardly known to be available, was a huge win for the Mariners.  The rotation lacks depth; Bedard can't be counted on for 100 innings.  The bright side is that projection systems think Ryan Rowland-Smith and Ian Snell can provide over 325 innings of 4.30 ball.  If they stumble, a midseason acquisition may be necessary.

The Mariners have some similarities to their division rival A's – questionable offenses, plus defenses.  It wouldn't be surprising to see a tight AL West race with all four clubs in the mix.


97 Responses to Offseason In Review: Seattle Mariners Leave a Reply

  1. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    A good offseason, esp. if Griffey takes Bradley under his wing and doesn’t let him destroy the team’s chemistry.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      The more comfortable Bradley gets, the less focused he is. If he can just focus on playing Baseball, he should be alright.

  2. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    A good offseason, esp. if Griffey takes Bradley under his wing and doesn’t let him destroy the team’s chemistry.

  3. The thing with griffey is, the fact that he is griffey. He provides a club house presence, and is a fan favorite. Thats why they resigned him.

    • damnitsderek 5 years ago

      Exactly. Any offensive production from him is simply a bonus.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        That clubhouse stuff only goes so far, especially on a team desperate for offense.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        That clubhouse stuff only goes so far, especially on a team desperate for offense.

  4. The thing with griffey is, the fact that he is griffey. He provides a club house presence, and is a fan favorite. Thats why they resigned him.

  5. TVReviewsion 5 years ago

    The Guti extension was great.

      • willardthegreat 5 years ago

        In my opinion, the Guti extension could range from meh, like you said Tim, to being great. It all hinges on his continued offensive development. If he can consistently pop 15-20 dingers and drive in 75-80 guys, we could be looking at Raul Ibanez Light with the bat, obviously with defense Raul’s only ever dreamed of. So if he keeps that little bit of pop he flashed, it’s a great deal. If he just plays defense and his average career-line bat, then I think you’re right…the savings aren’t great. They’re there, but not huge. So perhaps a pretty good signing would be a good tag for it?

      • steve06 5 years ago

        Seriously? You’re questioning why? Superstar defender with an average to above average bat for the position for a steal of a price. You have to question why? Really?

        • coachofall 5 years ago

          so let me get this straight….league avg power for the position, Above league avg defense is worth 5 Mill avg per year yet the Coco Crip signing is getting bashed?

        • Explain to me how it’s a steal of a price, by finding Gutierrez’s arbitration comparables (offensive comparables that is) and projecting how much he would’ve earned year-to-year and how much the Ms saved by guaranteeing four years. No one’s questioning his ability as an overall player.

          • evoxx 5 years ago

            The amount of field he covers in center field is number 1 in the majors, he’s still young, and he’s already improved more offensively than expected. If he continues to improve at that rate and teams follow the trend towards paying more for defense, it is a moderate risk with potential to be a steal. Plus, management can concentrate on other issues in the off season as one of their centerpiece defenders is already signed.

          • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

            First off, that ridiculous UZR/150 probably won’t last. It’s insane for a player to post that kind of number, generally with UZR/150 you need more than a season’s worth of innings.

            The signing isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t like the guy was a free agent. He probably wasn’t going to get much more in the arbitration hearings than he is from this deal, there is just added risk in guaranteeing him the money and years.

          • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

            First off, that ridiculous UZR/150 probably won’t last. It’s insane for a player to post that kind of number, generally with UZR/150 you need more than a season’s worth of innings.

            The signing isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t like the guy was a free agent. He probably wasn’t going to get much more in the arbitration hearings than he is from this deal, there is just added risk in guaranteeing him the money and years.

          • Until he starts winning Gold Gloves, I am not convinced at all that Gutierrez would’ve made big money going year to year in arbitration. That is the point here, this is NOT a debate about whether he’s a valuable baseball player. It’s about how much money he would’ve earned in arb as opposed to this guaranteed deal.

          • DaveS1 5 years ago

            I am so tired of Gold Gloves being the standard for outstanding defense. 1) It’s a popularity contest there are no specefic numbers that go into consideration, 2) only 1 guy wins it a year, are you telling me he is not a freak in centerfield because sports writers casually picked a name they knew better and that individual is the only outstanding center fiedler in the league?! I respect your opinon but I just have a hard time beliving your basing it purely on the fact that he did not win a highly controversial award last year despite his unbelivable numbers. Remember a run saved is as good as a run batted in.

          • alxn 5 years ago

            I don’t think you understand. Tim isn’t questioning how good of a defensive player or whether he deserves a Gold Glove or not. A stat like UZR is going to hold little to no weight in an arbitration hearing. Gold Gloves are basically the only thing indicative of a player’s defense that will lead to higher money earned through arbitration. Otherwise, it is basically only hitting statistics that will matter and Gutierrez is not that good of a hitter that he will start to get massive raises through arbitration.

      • Ichiroll 5 years ago

        $5MM a year for the best defensive CF in the game right now, along with his 15-20 HRs and 60-70+ RBI’s? A lot of it hinges on whether or not he can stay consistent with those numbers, but $5MM for his defense along is well worth it in my opinion.

        • coachofall 5 years ago

          I agree with Tim on this one. Not a steal of a deal they are paying 5 mil for a league average offensive bat who plays great Defense. They are doing the same for a SS who is a far below league avg bat but plays great defense. At some point they need to pay for a bat

          • Ichiroll 5 years ago

            Do you though? Preventing runs is just as important as producing them… Over the course of the season both of those players hold their own at their respective positions, arguably the best at them too.. Guti is only 27, and last season was his first REAL season in the bigs. He still has so much more to improve on.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            Preventing runs is just as important as producing them

            You can lose games from defense, but seldom do you win games with it. You can’t win 0-0 hence offense is, to a degree, more important than defense.

            If you have a potent offense from 1-9 [1-8 in NL], and a lights out pitching staff, you can possibly win the WS with league average defense; Definitely make the post season.

          • Ichiroll 5 years ago

            But every team cannot afford a “potent offense” like the Yankees or Red Sox. It matters a great deal where a team plays, taking Mariners for example. It’s very hard to acquire offensive talent, specific for Safeco field considering it is NOT an offensive minded ballpark.

            There’s a reason why the Mariners have not been successful prior to last season since 2002, and that’s because our GM was going out of his way to acquire power bats (Sexson, Beltre.) and there’s a reason why they did not produce a lot of HR’s. Safeco is a righty crippling park, we finally got a GM that knows to build a team around it and their primary focus was defense/pitching, last season it served them very well.

            So preventing runs in the Mariners case and essentially all defensive minded parks, is just as key as producing them. Every team is capable of scoring runs..

            Mariners last season only got shutout 9 times.. Scorings runs isn’t going to be a huge issue for them, you just wont see them run the board up. Lots of close games mostly due to their tremendous defense. Which more often than not, will win the games more-so than their offense. The fact that their offense will not score that many runs during a game, makes preventing runs just as important.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            But every team cannot afford a “potent offense” like the Yankees or Red Sox.

            You don’t have to spend like the Yankees or Red Socks. Granted Tampa Bay had to suck hardcore for about a decade, they are now a great team with a small payroll. All a team needs is a smart GM and a fanbase with patience. Z has been great this off-season for the Mariners.

            The only blemish I can see is they probably could have gotten more for Morrow, whether it be let him get his starts consistantly or gotten more value out of him in a trade.

            IMHO if the Mariners could have gotten one HR guy [35-40] they would have put themselves ahead of the Angels and Texas, but aside from Lopez they don’t really have that threat right now. Saunders could blossom into that type of player, but needs more MLB experience.

          • Ichiroll 5 years ago

            To some degree, you absolutely have to spend… Either that or pray for a high draft pick which for a team like the Mariners didn’t come too often when they were a middle of the pack team. On top of that they had a incompetent GM who couldn’t pick a good player out of the draft if he tried. Hence the fact why our current GM traded them all away except one.

            Obviously any Mariner fan would have loved to have got a big bat this offseason, but their options were severely limited. I think their plan is to acquire something come July 31st, or next offseason. We also have Ackley coming up next year.

            Bradley potentially could hit a fair share on his own, but it’s a matter of whether or not he can focus — which based on his comments, I think he can. His surroundings are far more generous than when he was with the Cubs.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Bradley will be a disaster, just as he has been every stop along the way.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Bradley will be a disaster, just as he has been every stop along the way.

          • MarinerMagic 5 years ago

            yeah, tampa bay got way better by aggressively retooling their defense. so you kind of just proved the guy’s point. If you know anything about the way the M’s payroll was set up before JZ became GM, you should applaud his focus on defense, obp, and other undervalued skills. If he were to focus on a bat, and do something stupid and splurge on Jason Bay (just like Beltre and Sexson) I think we get less wins for our money. Its going to take awhile for people to look at stats more holistically and realize that some power hitters (Beltre 48 homers in LA) are not power hitters at Safeco. There is no way the Mariners would be were they are today if Jack lived by the Mantra “we need a power bat, or else we can’t compete.”

            Go ahead. Name me one left-handed power bat the M’s could have got this offseason at a reasonable rate. Remember, if he’s a leftfielder, he has to cover one of the most spacious left fields in baseball. So defense is important.

            Bradley was a heist, you will see. I wouldn’t say a steal, because he wasn’t ever going to wear a cubs uniform again.

            If you think Franklin Gutierrez isn’t worth much more than 5 million, you either haven’t seen him play, don’t know what UZR is, or think a players offense doesn’t improve after their first full big league season. I think at the end of the day Guti is worth over 10 million a year.

            Judging from most the comments, I should assume you guys don’t understand and/or disregard sabermetrics as a valuable tool for player evaluation. Still, check out his fangraphs profile: link to fangraphs.com

            Go to the bottom of the page. He was valued at $26 million last year, projected 13-21 this year. His defensive rar is a ridiculous 29.1, worth 3 wins. Overall, he was worth 6 wins, or 26 million.

            Even if you think these numbers are inflated, he had one of the best defensive seasons ever, and is clearly worth far more than 5 million. Remember that a win above replacement= 10 runs. He was 59 runs above replacement. Thats about 6 wins. A win costs roughly 4 million in MLB. So he’d have to be a 2 war or less player to not be a great deal.

            He’s only getting better, and I think he will be a 3.5-7 war player for the duration of this contract. So don’t undervalue him because he doesn’t have star power yet. He will, and you will realize how awesome this deal is.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            Congrats on typing out a complete article. I stopped reading after the 2nd paragraph.

            Go ahead. Name me one left-handed power bat the M’s could have got this offseason at a reasonable rate. Remember, if he’s a leftfielder, he has to cover one of the most spacious left fields in baseball. So defense is important.

            I dunno, but rather than signing a FA, Z could have traded for your LFer rather than wasting Morrow on a slightly above average bullpen arm and an overager A- ball player.

            Also, thanks for answering questions I never asked. Bravo!

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Calling Tampa a great team is a bit of a stretch, no?

          • alxn 5 years ago

            Don’t know how you could look at that roster and think they aren’t a great team.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Pretty easily as a matter of fact.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Calling Tampa a great team is a bit of a stretch, no?

          • alxn 5 years ago

            You can only improve defensively so much. At a certain point the effects of adding great defense will start become less and less. Adding a power bat would greatly improve the Mariner’s offense. Adding another elite defender would probably only have little impact since they are already so good on defense.

            For instance, if Gutierrez can cover that much ground in CF then it really is not necessary to put players on the corners who can also cover a ton of ground. Their range is going to be canceled out by Gutierrez’s and thus their impact will be less. That is only an example since the Mariner’s didn’t add much defense on the corner and already have pretty good offensive players there. You could apply it to the Casey Kotchman signing though. He is basically an all-glove no-bat player at a position that usually provides a lot of offense.

      • Where the Guti extension has value is the FA years that were bought up. It’s not an absolute steal but it’s a win-win deal, probably slightly favoring the Mariners.

  6. TVReviewsion 5 years ago

    The Guti extension was great.

  7. coachofall 5 years ago

    The Mariner Offense will be putrid and other than the top two in their rotation you have nothing but question marks. Bullpen is shaky….Every team in this division can win it and I agree wtih that. Angels are still the most talented team in the divsion but have some major rotation/bullpen question marks. A’s have less than no Offense (but very similar to the Mariners) but a solid rotation (with injury question marks) and the best bullpen in the division. Rangers have the best offense but not a single starting pitcher that would be in the top 2 of any of the other teams in the division and their bullpen is probably the worst in the division (please don’t cite Chris Ray as an improvement). Should be a fun battle to the end

    • Ichiroll 5 years ago

      Why do people constantly say their bullpen is “shaky”? They finished 3rd in the league last season… They have one of the best bullpens in the league.

      Mariners offense will be fine, small ball can win games and that’s precisely what they’re going to do. Kotchman/Garko platoon is better than Branyan.

      • thegrayrace 5 years ago

        Kotchman and Garko? They’re two rejects that are probably lucky to have major league jobs. They’re not going to reproduce Branyan’s ’09 production (even if Branyan himself is unlikely to reproduce it). And I’m not sure Figgins is necessarily an upgrade on Beltre, either…

        The Mariners look like a .500 team to me, at least when you figure that they had a negative run differential last season (i.e. they were lucky to be above .500). Still, I’ll be rooting for them.

        • damnitsderek 5 years ago

          Figgins doesn’t have the power Beltre had, but he’s still got impeccable defense at the hot corner and gets on base far more than Beltre ever did. Plus, he’s faster. There’s not much to dislike about Figgins replacing Beltre. And don’t forget to factor in that Beltre’s power was essentially useless in Safeco.

          When it comes to Garko and Kotchman, try looking at their splits and you’ll see exactly why Zduriencik acquired both of them instead of just one. Garko has been more than adequate against lefties, and Kotchman has been far more competent against right-handers than Garko has. Given those splits, for the time being, they’re both far better suited in a platoon role and will probably be more effective that way. So no, they’re not two “rejects lucky to have jobs”. Maybe you ought to try doing some research before you go around making inane statements.

      • alxn 5 years ago

        There were a lot of 1st basemen and 2nd basemen that are much better hitters than Kotchman on the market. There is really no offensive upside to Kotchman compared to other potential signings. He was only acquired for defense.

        And I don’t think there is any chance that Kotchman/Garko will outproduce Branyan from last year. They may have a better season than him this year though.

        • gmantacoma 5 years ago

          How do you define out produce? They will not hit more home runs then Branyan, but in every other offensive catagory Kotchman/Garko will certainly out produce Branyan. Better average, OPA, RBI’s, doubles…they will make better outs, advance more runners and strikeout way way fewer times. Branyan struck out more than 1 of every 3 Ab’s and the majority of his massive home runs were solo shots. Kotchman has 20 more strikeouts in his entire career than Branyan had last year. Kotchman, I believe will put the ball in play, have a high OPA and do quite well offensively while making the entire M’s infield much better.

  8. coachofall 5 years ago

    The Mariner Offense will be putrid and other than the top two in their rotation you have nothing but question marks. Bullpen is shaky….Every team in this division can win it and I agree wtih that. Angels are still the most talented team in the divsion but have some major rotation/bullpen question marks. A’s have less than no Offense (but very similar to the Mariners) but a solid rotation (with injury question marks) and the best bullpen in the division. Rangers have the best offense but not a single starting pitcher that would be in the top 2 of any of the other teams in the division and their bullpen is probably the worst in the division (please don’t cite Chris Ray as an improvement). Should be a fun battle to the end

  9. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Since this off-season was been devoted to worshiping Jack Z let me point out a few things to keep in mind:

    — The M’s outplayed their expected win/loss by more than any other team in baseball. Instead of being an 85 game winner they were expected to be a 75 win team. While certain teams outperform their expected w/l that’s a huge gap. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that they were more like an 80 win team in 09.

    — Felix Hernandez was healthy and outstanding in 09. Beat his previous ERA by a full run. He also pitched approx 40 more innings than any other season in his career. It’s reasonable to expect some regression (either in performance or health), despite how talented he is. James/Chone/Marcel all agree.

    — Cliff Lee is great and the M’s made a very solid move to acquire him. To expect an ERA in the low to mid 3’s is reasonable. The problem is that he has to replace Jarrod Washburn. I know, funny, funny. What isn’t funny is that Washburn was a stud for the M’s last year. 133 innings with an ERA of 2.64. While Lee will should eclipse Wash’s innings, that ERA will be tough to match. So, bringing in Lee is a net positive, but it doesn’t improve a whole lot over what the M’s got from Washburn.

    — I like the Bedard signing. I don’t like that he is so unpredictable. It’s impossible to forecast anything for him. When healthy, he is a very solid pitcher though. 100 innings seems optimistic. Last time he did that was 2007.

    — Gutierrez was insane defensively last year. To expect the same level of performance in 10 would be looking at the situation optimistically. I anticipate some defensive regression. Keep in mind that according to UZR/150 he was twice as good AS THE NEXT BEST CF’er. Not going to happen.

    — Figgins is great. But he can’t be counted on to provide better production than Beltre. Over the past 4 years Figgins has posted WAR totals of 0.0, 3.0, 2.4, 6.1 (09’s 6.1 doubled his previous high in WAR). Meanwhile, Beltre has posted WAR totals of 4.6, 3.0, 4.0, and 2.4. His 09 campaign marred by injury was the lowest of his career. I like the move for the M’s to bring Figgins in. Just don’t think he should be looked at as an upgrade. Again, the projection systems agree. While he posted a wRAA of almost 18, the projection systems list him between 2.9 and 7.8.

    — Finally, the pitching behind Lee and Hernandez is filled with question marks. Bedard was touched on already. RS looks great so far. Problem is he hasn’t pitched more than 118 innings in any one professional season (minors included). And while Snell has managed to log innings, he has been largely ineffective throughout his career. Aside from 07, he hasn’t had a FIP lower than 4.5. Don’t see that changing by moving into the more competitive AL West. That leaves you with studs at 1 and 2, injury issues with 3, lack of a track record at 4, and not a very good pitcher at 5.

    My prediction – this is an 85 win team. Good for 3rd in the AL West behind the Angels and Rangers and just above the A’s.

    • bustercherrie 5 years ago

      Bjsguess,

      Nobody is worshiping GMZ, I have yet to see a religion or cult formed in his honor. But, after the Mariners fans spending the last few seasons dealing with the horrors of Bill Bavasi an excitement in positive moves for their team is to be expected. I see nothing wrong with the fans of this team voicing their opinions considering dealing with moves like Horacio Ramirez for Rafael Soriano or the Erik Bedard trade.

    • zwhiz 5 years ago

      Kind of what I expected from an Angels fan. If the Angels had made the moves that JackZ did, they would be the toast of the town.

      Realistically, I expect it to be a dogfight for the division. I believe the M’s will prevail, but the Angels or Rangers could take it as well. A lot depends on team health.

    • evoxx 5 years ago

      You don’t account for addition by subtraction of Johjima, he frustrated the staff and contributed greatly to the strife of 08. Also, Griffey came to camp in-shape and will put up better numbers this season. Byrnes could play a big role. Bradley could have a huge year. Kotchman could thrive as a starter and put up better numbers. A couple of the young starters could take a step up this year. Jack Z has cast a wide enough net of moderate risks that while all of these things won’t happen, a few of them will. Sure it could be 85 but it could be more. And if Jack pulls off a Adrian G. trade, all predictions go out the window, and he knows that.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        I can safely say you used the word could more times in a single post than I’ve seen before.

        • TVReviewsion 5 years ago

          It’s impossible to say they will. No one can see into the future, unless you believe in psychics. Here’s an example: The Angels could win the AL West. They could have great years out of Santanna and Weaver. They could have a good year out of Matsui. Rodney could not suck (doubtful).

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            I trust Dionne Warwick – psychic readings must be true.

        • evoxx 5 years ago

          That was the point–Jack Z. has added more “coulds” than other clubs. The more you have, the greater chance you have of more of the “coulds” becoming steals.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            Clearly ignoring the fact that more often than not “coulds” turn into busts & never weres.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        I can safely say you used the word could more times in a single post than I’ve seen before.

    • raffish 5 years ago

      We’ve discussed your Angels’ over-achievements and shortcomings before. If the Mariners only win 85 games, your Angels won’t be very far ahead.

      • xTheHalosx 5 years ago

        So if the mariners win 85 and the Angels aren’t far ahead… that means they’ll win the West!! Glad to see you agree. :p JK but to be honest it’s gonna be a tougher division than years past, good luck to all and go Angels! Also bj posted stats/facts for his opinion, all the Ms fans have put in their opinions (which every1 is entitled to) but no stats/facts to support their claims 😉

  10. danks50 5 years ago

    Jack Z seems to have done a pretty nice job rebuilding the Mariners into contenders. However even though I’ll probably get slammed for this, but guaranteeing Jack Wilson 10 million over two years is a horrible deal. In terms of production he may approach that figure but when teams like the Tigers are paying a parallel player in Adam Everett 1.5 million to flash some leather and post a .300 OBP you have to wonder why he was guaranteed so much money.

    • Heliosphan 5 years ago

      That is head scratching as well. Maybe they are hoping that he will return to 2007-2008 form where he got on base a lot more than he did last year. But I don’t see why you give 5M to the equivalent of Julio Lugo…

      • TVReviewsion 5 years ago

        He’s not the equivalent of Julio Lugo. He’s the best defensive shortstop playing right now. His bat may be, but his glove is amazing.

        • coachofall 5 years ago

          Best defensive shortstop playing right now? I would put him in a large group of above avg defensive SS wtih no stick. Not worth what they are paying him.

  11. crunchy1 5 years ago

    Overall, this was a good offseason. The Lee trade and the Figgins signing were excellent moves. Locking Felix up was also a good idea and showed the Ms were serious beyond this season. I’m not a big fan of Milton Bradley and I don’t think Griffey’s presence is going to affect him one way or the other. Still, the guy can hit and if he can hold it together for a year, it may pay off. If not Jack Z reduced the financial risk enough to cut him loose if they need to. The rest of the moves…Garko, Kotchman…eh. It’s a step forward but I don’t think they’ll have enough offense or enough pitching beyond Lee and Felix, especially if Bedard continues to break down physically. But… if they should happen to make the playoffs, they’ll be a threat with their top two starters (3 if Bedard is healthy) and a defense that won’t allow the Ms to beat themselves. Nobody will want to play them in a short series.

    • raffish 5 years ago

      Many outside Seattle and the AL West aren’t familiar with Ryan Rowland-Smith. 2010 should be the year everyone learns his name.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        I’m familiar with RRS and I know he made some great strides with his command last year. To me, he has to show he can start over a whole season and maintain his command over a greater sample size before we can safely call him anything more than a back of the rotation starter. He was the benefactor of a low BABIP (.256) last season, something that isn’t likely to be repeated. There should be some regression there as well. He isn’t going to strike a lot of guys out so he’s heavily dependent on his defense and the size of that ballpark. In that sense, Seattle is the perfect environment for him to succeed in. He did show some flashes last year, but I’m not sold yet. I want to see him repeat his performance over a full season this year before I’m a believer.

        • gmantacoma 5 years ago

          I believe RRS will have an awesome year in 2010! He pitches deep into games and I believe this year he will control his emotions, keep his head in the game and avoid the big inning that hurt him last year. His career numbers are quite good even without any improvements, the only thing he has not done is pitched a full season and I see no reason to think he can’t. I also believe that Ian Snell will pitch up to his potential, he showed signs of greatness last year and had a very good season in 2006. Safeco, Wak, Adair and the M’s great defense will make him better.

  12. sallen22 5 years ago

    Mariners haven’t a prayer. This is the most over-rated team in baseball. Just look at the signs people.

    -One of the worst offenses in baseball gets worse by losing their only power hitter and adding an aging leadoff hitter and defensive specialist as corner infielders.

    -Have NOTHING outside of Felix and Lee. Winning 2 out of 5 games doesn’t get you to the playoffs.

    -Were outscored by over 50 runs in 2009, their record was luck. With a weaker offense and a better rotation, this number may go down to being outscored by 20 or 30.

    The Seattle Mariners are going to be an expensive .500 ball club. After this season, they’ll only get older and slower as Figgins and Ichiro age, and they’ll lose Cliff Lee and be destined to the AL West basement.

    The Rangers are slightly improved and should win 85-90 games.
    The A’s are the same as the Mariners but with a lower payroll and brighter future. Should win 82-87 games.
    The Angels have the most talent and depth to go with an inflated payroll and good coaching. I expect they’ll win 88-98 games.
    The Mariners have deep issues that will haunt them this season. 80-85 wins.

  13. joethewest 5 years ago

    “The Mariners have some similarities to their division rival A’s – questionable offenses, plus defenses. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a tight AL West race with all four clubs in the mix.”

    The Mariners have absolutely NO SIMILARITY in regards to defense. The A’s, and the rest of the MLB for that matter, are not even ON THE SAME PLANET defensively. The Mariners’ defense saved 109 runs last year according to The Fielding Bible. Everyone knows Gutierrez, Ichiro & Jack Wilson were the best defensively in their respective position. And we’ve now added Casey Kotchman and Chone Figgins.

    Please don’t compare the Mariners defense. To anyone.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      Save all the runs you want. If you can’t score any runs, it doesn’t do a lot of good. A team that can mash will win out over the long haul against a team that can solely play defense. Stellar defense comes into play when the team can already hit & now needs to preserve leads.

      • TVReviewsion 5 years ago

        If you’re saving runs from being made, there’s less runs you have to score. So your offense is less important. Plus the M’s have a pretty good pitching staff, yeah some questions arise around the 3-4-5 starters, but 1 and 2 are amazing, and the bullpen is very very good as well. Offense isn’t everything.

        • halored101 5 years ago

          2 out of 5 is not good, rotation has gloss on top but is less than exciting in the end..

          • raffish 5 years ago

            Many rotations are top heavy, with lackluster options at the back end. All the M’s need to do is find a #3 starter, whether from within or via trade, (Bedard and Washburn are also options, although not the best ones), and everyone will be saying how strong their rotation is. I personally like Harang from the Reds.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            And those rotations have better offenses behind them to compensate for the drop off.

          • evoxx 5 years ago

            Safeco is not kind to those offenses, the team that the M’s are building (it is clearly still a work in progress) will ultimately thrive in Safeco.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            That’s yet to be seen, but let’s pretend that it does come to fruition – not all games are played in Safeco.

        • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

          You’re not going to win every game 2-1 or 1-0 or 3-2. At some point, runs will need to be scored. Better yet, if those are the only kinds of games that the team can win, they will be getting blown out quite a bit.

      • joethewest 5 years ago

        Tell that to the members of the big red machine

        • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

          Entirely different era, probably 2 or 3 eras ago actually. Furthermore, I’d take that offense over this Mariners offense.

    • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

      Save all the runs you want. If you can’t score any runs, it doesn’t do a lot of good. A team that can mash will win out over the long haul against a team that can solely play defense. Stellar defense comes into play when the team can already hit & now needs to preserve leads.

  14. Ricky Bones 5 years ago

    Milton Bradley will be the undoing of this team. A very perplexing move by a team looking to put a nice little season together. He brings nothing but negative anywhere he goes.

    • TVReviewsion 5 years ago

      Bradley thrives in small markets. Look at Texas. Plus the Mariners have Griffey and Mike Sweeney, those two guys revived a dead clubhouse. In 2008 people were terrible, few got a long, and if I remember right, someone even threatened to seriously hurt Ichiro. One year later the M’s have one of the best clubhouses in the game.

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        If Griffey can tame Bradley while simultaneously being too old to play the game & Sweeney can turn Bradley on to the fairy tales of the bible also while being too old to play the game & this indeed turns out to be the first & only year Milton Bradley behaves then fine, you’re right. My guess is that all of those items will not come to pass.

        • evoxx 5 years ago

          Griffey showed up for camp in great shape and the fun atmosphere he brings to the clubhouse makes it more likely guys like Cliff Lee will enjoy being in Seattle and sign a deal.

          • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

            What does Cliff Lee possibly signing an extension have to do w/ Milton Bradley being completely unable to behave himself at any stop along the way during his career?

    • bustercherrie 5 years ago

      I think every post someone has made you have something negative to say… Didn’t your momma teach you that if you have nothing nice to say, or for that matter even intelligent, than don’t say anything at all?

      • Ricky Bones 5 years ago

        My mother taught me the usages of proper grammar, a lesson you’re sorely lacking.

        • Yeah man, I mean everyday I get on here and rag on everyone for their own opinions as well. It’s quite fun actually. I also like to pretend I know more than everyone else too, I go and google facts and spit them back at people. You’ve led a good life, good job!

  15. Ricky Bones 5 years ago

    Milton Bradley will be the undoing of this team. A very perplexing move by a team looking to put a nice little season together. He brings nothing but negative anywhere he goes.

  16. RedbirdRuffian 5 years ago

    This is solid club that will contend if they can avoid injuries to key people. A full season of Wilson and Figgins will make people forget all about Beltre and his 260 batting average. This is a team that will remind you of the Twins, play solid defense and have more than enough offense to compete. They will stay with the Angels if the pitchings plays to their potential. Angels and M’s are head and shoulders above Rangers and A’s who have young pitchers wih potential but unproven at this level.

  17. Comparing this Mariners team to last year’s team is almost impossible. The majority of the players on this year’s team weren’t even here last year or else only played a few months. Almost any team would have been the talk of the offseason if they had as many holes to fill and as much money to spend as the M’s did. Activity doesn’t necessarily equal a productive offseason. Fortunately the majority of the moves were pretty good in my mind although there were a few I was disappointed in (Kotchman, Wilson, Morrow trade). I understand and like the Griffey move but I can’t believe we had to pay him that much money. 1 million sounds more reasonable to me.

    That being said, almost anything can happen this year. There are quite a few guys coming off of bad seasons and trying resurrect their careers. Some will succeed, others will fail. The key to this season may be how bad the failures fail and if the M’s have a capable backup to take over. The one thing the Mariners have is hope. Because this team has the potential for a 90 win (or better) season, it’s a far cry from past years. That’s all the fans could have asked after the horrors of 2008.

    Personally I think they will be at about 87-88 wins and with the Angels coming back down to earth, that’ll probably be enough to keep them in the race until the end. Should be exciting stuff. Other predictions (out of all MLB teams): Defense – 1st, Pitching – 8th, Offense – 19th

  18. livingpaint 5 years ago

    I know it was just 1 spring training game, but you gotta love the patience at the plate from these guys now. 9 walks altogether, 2 a piece from Chone and Bradley and 3 from Langerhans. Bradley showed some heads-up base running too faking a steal to to pull the 2nd baseman away which allowed Lopez to get a clean RBI. Kotchman is hitting as advertised (2 hits and a RBI yesterday before being subbed out). Hes a gap hitter and with the speed from Chone and Ichiro, there will usually be a run or two scored right there.

  19. bustercherrie 5 years ago

    There are a lot of “Ifs” placed on this team. I understand that, and I know GMZ has been praised a lot for a fine offseason and some of the moves weren’t what was expected. I also think they are gonna be more solid than a lot of people think or will give them credit for. Whoever hits in 3/4 holes are going to have the opportunity for a lot of RBI’s. Jose Lopez isn’t the classical power hitter most teams think of but mark my words he is going to drive in A LOT of runs this year. Lopez has had over 40 doubles a season the last two years and his power has increased some. He is not going to be a 30+ home run threat but if he hits mid-20’s again plus 40 doubles with Chone and Ichiro in front of him. Even Milton has the potential if he keeps his head somewhat down. I think this team is going to surprise a lot of people. They’re not gonna be hitting 200 home runs as a team but they will drive in a lot of runs. They have a lot of gap hitters and a good defense. I think they will drive opposing teams nuts. I think they are also going to win the the west. And going to be somewhat towards the front of the pack in runs scored this year.

  20. hey guys, guess what!? He won a gold glove!

  21. R_y_a_n 5 years ago

    That’s a terrible comeback, he makes a pretty good point.

  22. R_y_a_n 5 years ago

    That’s a terrible comeback, he makes a pretty good point.

  23. raffish 5 years ago

    So Geoff Baker writes an article about Robles, and suddenly everyone is fighting over who gets to honk the horn on the bandwagon. In fact, the way you introduced him as being better than Luke French suggests you knew next to nothing about him before you read the article. Robles is an interesting, moderately exciting prospect, but in the last week he’s being treated like a soup of the day, and it’s lame.

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