Offseason In Review: Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are next in our Offseason In Review series.

Major League/International Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

The Mariners "won" the 2009-10 offseason and ended up winning 61 games.  Now they're in a difficult position: they're not committed to a full rebuild, but they probably don't have the talent to contend in 2011.  Let's see how GM Jack Zduriencik handled this conflict within the confines of limited payroll flexibility this offseason.

Baseball America's 2011 Handbook ranked Seattle's farm system 18th in the game, and the Mariners added quality prospects by signing Peguero and Guerrero.  Getting Roe for Lopez was a win in that the latter appeared headed for a non-tender.  However, Zduriencik did subtract one live arm in sending Cleto to St. Louis for Ryan.  The goal should be to add to the farm system while retaining players who can help the Mariners compete in 2012.

Olivo

Given the importance of intangibles when evaluating catchers, free agent contracts are often difficult to assess.  I don't love the Olivo signing, but the price is OK compared to John Buck and there is something to be said for having a veteran behind the plate for top prospect Michael Pineda and other inexperienced pitchers.  Going entirely with youth behind the plate last year did not go well.

Cust, Bedard, and minor league signings like Delcarmen and Ray are smart moves with little downside.  Perhaps with more stability Cust can post a .400 OBP over a full season.  Bedard took less to remain in Seattle and says he's as healthy as he's been in years.  Delcarmen and Ray will take on prominent bullpen roles, which is a risk a contending team couldn't take.  Ryan did cost Cleto, but the infielder fits with the Mariners' tendency to scoop up underrated defenders.  The Mariners reportedly checked in on many starters with health concerns beyond Bedard, such as Justin Duchscherer, Chris Capuano, Rich Harden, and Jeff Francis.  In the end, the risk/reward equation didn't work for Seattle with these free agents.

2011 may be more of a regrouping year than a rebuilding one for the Mariners under new manager Eric Wedge.  They'll be free of significant payroll commitments after '11, though Felix Hernandez's salary takes a big jump for '12.  I think the Mariners intend to make more of a push toward contention for '12, after seeing what they have in Pineda, Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Justin Smoak, Dan Cortes, and Josh Lueke.


Leave a Reply

23 Comments on "Offseason In Review: Seattle Mariners"


Member
fpz
4 years 4 months ago

Trade Ichiro. I want to see him get a ring.

Member
Yankee_Baal
4 years 4 months ago

What about Pujols to the Mariners? I know it is highly unlikely, but they can accommodate him in the payroll (they stand around 70 millions right now and have gone over 110 before) and having the best two batters of this generation together would automatically make their offense a force to be reckoned. Add King Felix, the top-line defense and the young developing pieces in the organization (Ackley and Pineda for starters) and suddenly you have a team that is WS material.

Member
deliciouspie
4 years 4 months ago

Well that’s not any more ridiculous than saying they should trade Ichiro…

Member
Yankee_Baal
4 years 4 months ago

Come on… how many teams can actually accommodate a 30 million contract in their payrolls? I know it’s highly unlikely, but if things go well for them I’d not be surprised if the Mariners seriously pursued Pujols next winter.

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

They’d be more likely to make a move for Prince Fielder, and I don’t think that is all that likely either.

Member
notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

i really like these posts, but i’d love to have a section added that compared the previous year’s lineup/rotation/bullpen with the ones projected for this year. i think that would kind of bring together the list of transactions & commentary in a way that’s easier to talk about & have fun with

Member
notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

also i promise not to spend 10 comments defending jack cust’s honor this time around

Member
Snoochies8
4 years 4 months ago

But but but…but but….he Strikes out a lot!! who cares about that 400 obp he puts up or the (potential) 30 home runs he can hit!?

Member
xcfan
4 years 4 months ago

Dominican OF Phillips Castillo should be listed under international signings. I think he cost more than Peguero.

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

He was signed in July, so technically he was not an off-season signing.

Member
Backup_Slider
4 years 4 months ago

It’s probably worth noting that the 2010 Mariners put together one of the worst offensive performances of the modern era. It would be statistically impossible for their club to post those types of numbers again in 2011 (even if they had kept the team completely intact – almost every single batter underperformed versus his prior historical standard).

Member
Magorphenger
4 years 4 months ago

This, it may be a rebuilding year, but if their pitching holds up like last year and they find the middle of the pack offensively. This is a .500 team without really saying it’s much of a stretch.

Member
j6takish
4 years 4 months ago

The 2010 Mariners will forever be associated with failure/unreasonable expectations, MLBTR should do a “Mariners offseason award” and award to whichever team completely and utterly bombs after “winning” the offseason. I think the Brewers have a chance this year

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Brewers were the polar opposite of the Mariners last year. Great Offense, crap Pitching.

That said a Marcum, Gallardo, Greinke rotation isn’t really that bad. No idea what their bullpen is like, Milwaukee is in the middle of no where.