Mariners Trying To Add Starting Pitcher

Reports yesterday indicated that the Mariners have placed their talks with outfielder Nelson Cruz on hold, and this morning, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that they're now trying to add another starting pitcher either via trade or free agency. Seattle has touched base with both Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez but is surveying the market in order to find the best fit (Twitter links). Rosenthal adds that it's unclear how the pursuit of a starter will impact their involvement with Cruz, but it's fair to wonder if the team could afford both Cruz and one of Santana/Jimenez at this stage of the offseason.

While the Mariners have been connected to starters for much of the offseason, it's no surprise to hear those rumors fire back up again in the wake of a finger injury that will cost Hisashi Iwakuma at least the next four to six weeks. The 32-year-old Iwakuma followed up a strong rookie campaign with an explosive sophomore season that saw him finish third in the AL Cy Young voting — five spots higher than his teammate and co-ace, Felix Hernandez. Iwakuma turned in a stellar 2.66 ERA with a 48.7 percent ground-ball rate, 7.6 K/9 and just 1.7 BB/9 in 219 2/3 innings for Seattle last season.

The Orioles and Blue Jays are also in the mix to add a starting pitcher at this juncture of the offseason, and each has been connected to both Santana and Jimenez. The Orioles did agree to terms with Korean right-hander Suk-Min Yoon on a three-year deal yesterday, but the small $5.575MM guarantee on that pact shouldn't preclude them from pursuing additional arms, if they feel the price is right.

Should Seattle look to the next tier of remaining starters, Chris Capuano could be available on a one-year deal after a pair of solid seasons that saw him post a 3.91 ERA in 304 innings with the Dodgers. Of course, the trade market offers numerous options as well, although at this point it seems too late for the Mariners to cash in on their previous interest in David Price.


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95 Comments on "Mariners Trying To Add Starting Pitcher"


Catztradamus
1 year 6 months ago

have to oder if this is more about Iwakuma missing 4-6 weeks or Walkers “shoulder soreness”

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Probably a bit of both. Although I have read reports that Walker’s shoulder soreness is nothing major. Though it’s a cause for concern and he’d be on an innings limit most likely anyway.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t know… any shoulder or forearm soreness is never good. Seems like it always starts this way “Team doctors don’t think there are any major issues” then Dr. Andrews is called and the player disappears for a year and a half.

cjr45
1 year 6 months ago

Dr. Andrews the most feared name in baseball.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

Yep, and the 2nd most feared name is Scott Boras

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

He’s got a knack for finding ways to the best prospects.. Just guessing, I’s say he represents 25% of the top 20 prospects according to BA for 2014 headed into the season?

The_Unnatural
1 year 6 months ago

According to Walker, he’s still playing catch and stuff. They just want him to take it easy.

Taylor Hope
1 year 6 months ago

While I would normally agree with this sentiment (I will openly admit though, that I’m a diehard M’s fan who hopes the Walker news is nothing), it doesn’t seem like there’s much there, rather it’s just a precaution for the most valuable piece outside of Felix on the roster.

1 year 6 months ago

Mariners need another starter anyway to make any attempt at the playoffs. It’s a pretty big stretch to begin with and Iwakuma being out could let the season get away from them pretty quickly if they have no pitching behind King Felix.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

I think they also need another OF bat and unfortunately the only good one available (hitting wise) is Cruz, unless they do a trade which is not likely. Bullpen still isn’t very strong either even with the addition of Rodney.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Why would a trade be unlikely? They have a logjam at DH/1B trade some of that for a OF bat… they don’t need said player to be a superstar to make a difference.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

I should have been more clear, I was talking more about a big trade, not a Lobaton like trade. Then again, Kinsler/Fielder came out of nowhere, so who knows.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

Gotta trade Franklin sooner or later ….

docmilo5
1 year 6 months ago

Or give him an outfielders glove.

docmilo5
1 year 6 months ago

Romero may be a better OF bat than Cruz at this point. It appears that no one remembers how difficult it was for Cruz to stay on the field before PEDs. That’s the biggest thing PEDs do is keep you on the field. He’s not the same bat outside of Arlington and his OF defense is questionable.

I wish people would stop connecting him to the Mariners. I hope he has a good season somewhere else. I surely would never wish the Mariners to sign him to more than one season. I don’t want another Balco player in camp, either.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

“I don’t want another Balco player in camp, either.”

I doubt it will be a distraction to the team.

docmilo5
1 year 6 months ago

It already is. This is a young team and Montero came to camp out of shape and over weight.I don’t see him making it out of spring training on the 40 man roster. The Mariners need to add one SP and one RP more likely than not to the 40/25 man rosters. Montero is on the outside looking in.

Cruz has always had issues staying on the field. The first time he tweaks something, as a group of young players, they know someone lost a job so the user could get paid. That wouldn’t make me thrilled.

MB923
1 year 6 months ago

How is it already a distraction if he’s not even on the team or on Any team? If Peralta has not been a distraction to the Cards, why do you think Cruz would be to the Mariners or wherever he ends up?

Taylor Hope
1 year 6 months ago

“If Peralta has not been a distraction to the Cards…”

He sort of has been. There was a ton of fan backlash in St. Louis when they signed him. A lot of their fans didn’t want a known PED guy in that clubhouse. Granted, that’s not an in-house issue and it won’t likely affect his play, but you just never know the reaction.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

Cause Major League teams always cut loose players who were among the best prospects in the game two years ago without giving them a chance to rebuild their value in the minors. Montero has options and will start the year at Tacoma. He’s in no danger of being DFAd even if the Mariners sign another player or two to Major League deals. Bobby LaFramboise and the already out-of-options Hector Noesi are the next two guys on Seattle’s 40-man roster to get cut.

docmilo5
1 year 6 months ago

No matter how much I don’t like Noesi as a pitcher on my favorite team, he’s go some stuff. He had a very nice DWL. LaFramboise is a lefty with a K/9 over one in the minors. He may very well be the 2nd left in the BP behind Furbush. It’s going to be a tough choice. We will see in the next few weeks, that’s for sure.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

M’s also have Carlos Triunfel, who has been in the organization forever. No room on the 25-man roster for him after the team foolishly signed Willie Bloomquist to a 2-year, $6M deal. And he’s not taking starting spot away from Brad Miller, Kyle Seager or Robinson Cano.

docmilo5
1 year 6 months ago

Or Chris Taylor. Chris Taylor very well could pull off a Brad Miller circa 2013. Miller impressed so much in the big camp that he was there until pretty much the last day of camp.

Taylor is supposed to be the best defensive SS in the org and he can hit a little, too.

1 year 6 months ago

I agree. I think one of their needs can be addressed by a FA but not both.

Jesse Oglesby
1 year 6 months ago

They should go for Cliff Lee again

1 year 6 months ago

He has a no trade clause and Philly won’t be sellers until midseason at the earliest.

John Kreese
1 year 6 months ago

If I’m the M’s I focus on one of the free agent pitchers (Santana, Jimenez, Capuano). That way you’re not having to move prospects. If the budget & roster makeup permits, then explore Cruz/Morales. Worse case, stand pat bat wise then hope ownership steps up to make a deal during the season.

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 6 months ago

I think they should take a flier on Ubaldo for 2 years/$20MM w/ a $2MM buyout on a $13MM option or something like that. Santana would cost a lot more in guarantees (like 3 years/$40MM), but Ubaldo is so all over the map that I could see him being convinced to take less years and money for the opportunity to play alongside King Felix and Cano.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

No way Ubaldo signs for so little. The Yankees, Os, and Jays would all beat that offer in a second.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

Turned down 1 for 14.1, there is now way his agent can save face by having him take 2 for 20. Not to mention he probably has better offers already.

DCTribeFan
1 year 6 months ago

I’d guess he’s down to 2/$25 with an option. He should take that in a heartbeat. Where is Seattle’s pick this year?

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

No way. Ten teams would be in on him at that price.

DCTribeFan
1 year 6 months ago

Really? Which 10 teams are giving up a draft pick at this point?

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

Not all teams would be giving up a first rounder. Seattle would be giving up their 3rd round pick since the 2nd went for Cano. If Seattle also signs Cruz it would be 3rd and 4th since their first round pick is protected.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

$25m for Ubaldo Jimenez? Plenty of teams. Probably half the teams with protected picks, for sure. Then the ones desperate for a starter like the M’s, O’s, and Blue Jays. Pirates would be on that. Probably a lot more. Point is, he’s not going that cheap.

PlayoffRays
1 year 6 months ago

If they don’t want to splash the cash around, they could do a lot worse than Jeff Niemann. Solid production at a low cost, minor league deal + major league option of not that much.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

I like Niemann on a minor league deal, a lot. Surprised no one’s on that bandwagon, but it could be he’s more of a longshot to come back from his injury than we think.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

The reports are NOT that he’s going to miss 4-6 weeks of the regular season as it states here. He’s going to miss 4-6 weeks from now and then resume throwing. Might only miss 2 or 3 turns in the rotation once the season begins.

Gumby65
1 year 6 months ago

Funny to see Cappy as “second tier”—he’s probably a bargain. Oh sure, being buried in the back of LA’s rotation is definitely 2nd fiddle, especially when you were a spot starter most of the year. But at Safeco, he’s well worth a shot.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

Be leery of the older, oft-injured pitcher all the metrics-guys are touting as a “bargain,” especially when he mysteriously hangs around this late in the off-season. Capuano MIGHT be a bargain, league average guy, but far more likely he’s not as good — and certainly not as healthy — as the guy most teams would replace him with.

daveineg
1 year 6 months ago

If Seattle were to offer Smoak along with a very good prospect for Marco Estrada, the Brewers might listen. Smaok isn’t enough by himself though.

Joe Orsatti
1 year 6 months ago

Ok, 4-6 weeks brings us to March 14th- March 28th which means opening day shouldn’t be a problem. However, they could use a 5th starter AND an insurance 6th starter that they can use if the kids aren’t ready. I like capuano for 1-yr/$2mm and I like Clayton Richards on a minor league deal for insurance. With those additions Seattle is looking at:
Felix Iwakuma Erasmo Walker Cap Richards and then Paxton and Mauer. Assuming Paxton is ready next year, he takes the place of capuano.

Now you still have money to sign Nelson Cruz after spending nothing on starters.

leo
1 year 6 months ago

Trade suggestion: White Sox send John Danks and Alejandro DeAza to the Mariners for Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero.

Mark
1 year 6 months ago

Why would the Mariners do that? Ackley will be a starting OF this year and they don’t need to subtract from the OF rather they need to add. I was thinking more of a Smoak plus for Tabata from the Pirates. Just my two cents. They need more right handers in their lineup.

John Kreese
1 year 6 months ago

Not bad. DeAza would give SEA a true CF & CHW has some depth in the outfield since acquiring Eaton.

Edgar4evar
1 year 6 months ago

Actually the more I look at it the more I like De Aza. He’s going to be 30, but is a true center fielder, steals bases and surprisingly has no real splits. For his career he’s hit lefties slightly better than righties. And he’s under contract through 2015. I would do Ackley or Franklin plus Montero for him at this point.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

What use do the White Sox have for Ackley or Franklin?

Nick Costanza
1 year 6 months ago

With Gordon Beckham as their second baseman, Ackley and Franklin capable of manning second…are you beginning to see the fit?

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

No, not really. Beckham averages about 1.1 WAR over five years. Franklin was worth 0.4 fWAR last year (more bWAR) and Steamer sees him as about replacement level this year. It’s possible to think more highly of Franklin than that, but even on the outside you’re talking about a 1 win improvement. De Aza can fetch more than that elsewhere. And why would the Sox want Franklin AND Ackley? Ackley’s useless in CF since Eaton’s much better.

If the M’s want to trade Franklin for a RH CF, the kind of guy they’ll get is someone like Brandon Barnes of the Rockies (ex-Astros). Although I’m not sure Franklin’s better than the Rockies current second basemen.

Nick Costanza
1 year 6 months ago

Steamer also doesn’t project him for a full season’s worth of plate appearances and Oliver, which does, projects 3.1 WAR. Let’s average those two and get about 1.5 WAR for Franklin this year. Beckham is projected for 1.1 WAR by Steamer and 1.2 WAR by Oliver.

Also, one of those players actually has significant upside (hint: it isn’t Beckham). He can also be had for longer, at bargain prices, mostly.

I agree that Franklin and Ackley is probably overkill, but if Ackley replaced Viciedo, I’d have no problem with that. I just don’t think Viciedo is worth playing at all.

In the end, Ackley or Franklin (in my opinion, but mostly backed by stats) are better than Beckham now, are cheaper, and will be better in the future. And it’s worth trading a 30 year old that won’t be around when the White Sox are good again.

Edgar4evar
1 year 6 months ago

This is the problem with trading Nick Franklin at this point. His value is just not very high. If he goes back to AAA and crushes for a few months the M’s should be able to get more than a pitch-to-contact lefty starter for him. And Ackley might be better than De Aza with the bat so I’m not making that deal.
The Sox can have Montero for basically nothing at this point. He’s barely able to actually play baseball. I have no idea how the M’s scouts signed off on that trade.

John Kreese
1 year 6 months ago

Agree about Franklin. Since he has options he could head back to Tacoma. Maybe even start trying to play some outfield.

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

Every scout in baseball loved Montero.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

Same ones that have loved BJ Upton the last 5 years?

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

No, actually, Upton was much more mixed, although it’s apples and oranges since Upton was ML player already.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

I gotcha. They just have problems with Montero. he isn’t really a catcher, 1b they have a logjam at already with LoMo, Hart and Smoak. Figure LoMo is going to get pushed to LF, where he isn’t pretty at all at. Where does that leave Montero?

They need for Montero to either hustle it up at AAA and learn to catch like a real catcher, or get hot, hit so they can move him. Montero and Lavarnway came thru AAA at same time, Lavarnway got fairly respectable behind the plate. What’s the big deal with Montero? He’s not as massive as Lava is? Does he just not care about defense?

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 6 months ago

Apparently you’re a White Sox fan. Danks has one of the worst contracts in the game and the Sox are stuck with him through 2016. I could see Smoak for DeAza but you’re not going to corner the market on Seattle’s failed prospects by throwing in Danks and his crazy contract.

Edgar4evar
1 year 6 months ago

They should sign Ubaldo AND Capuano. Capuano can be moved to the bullpen if need be. I hope they aren’t counting on Scott Baker. He didn’t look good at all in his return last season. He’s a lottery ticket at this point.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 6 months ago

Im not sure if Capuano would be willing to move to the pen for a new team but I like the idea.

schaddy24
1 year 6 months ago

Dangles Samardzija seductively…

Seamaholic
1 year 6 months ago

Problem is, who do the Mariners have that the Cubs want? Unless I’m missing something, it would have to feature pitching, which defeats the purpose.

schaddy24
1 year 6 months ago

The Cubs would want pitching (obviously wouldn’t get Walker, Hultzen or Paxton). I know that it seems to defeat the purpose, but the key is young, controllable arms. Samardzija still has 2 years before FA, but extension negotiations are at the point where he’s not in the long term plans. He wants to be paid as a 2 starter, and the Cubs are holding out to see if he puts it all together (and aren’t going to pay him as such until he proves it). I’m not too sure what arms SEA has after Walker Hultzen, and Paxton, but it would make sense for the teams to at least talk.

Edgar4evar
1 year 6 months ago

What is the Cubs situation at second base? Actually you might pry Paxton loose for Samardzija.

Qixotl
1 year 6 months ago

The Cubs could use a short term boost at 2B, but have minor league depth for the future. Darwin Barney is there for this year. Great glove, bad bat. The team just yesterday admitted that they will start to play Javier Baez at 2B occasionally in the spring to see if he will be a fit there in 2015. Still, if Starlin Castro does not step up his game this season, Baez will likely be earmarked for SS next year. Arismendy Alcantara has the inside track to take the 2B role sometime in 2015 as well. He has been a pleasant surprise and is progressing quickly.

schaddy24
1 year 6 months ago

I have really high hopes for Alcantara, but I’m trying to not get too far into the hype. His progression has been so quick that I’m worried that he could have had a “career year”. Last thing I want is for him to be the next Trey McNutt. That said, I agree that he has the inside track on 2B.

Qixotl
1 year 6 months ago

Definitely pitching is required in return, but it does not need to be Major League ready arms. I would think that the Cubs would ask for something like both Victor Sanchez and Tyler Pike along with someone like Nick Franklin. The Cubs might be able to throw in Nate Schierholtz to seal the deal if Kalish and Sweeney both have solid springs. I’m not sure if the Mariners would pay that kind of price with decent FA pitching options still available.

Bob Bunker
1 year 6 months ago

Mariners should sign two starters (one with the pick attached and Capauno. Then they need to swing a trade for a solid OF that can play CF and avoid Cruz and Morales at all costs.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 6 months ago

My thoughts exactly

Nick Costanza
1 year 6 months ago

That last point is the most pivotal, I think.

Dave Erhardt
1 year 6 months ago

I think that the M’s need to acquire either Santana or Jimenez over trying to acquire Cruz. Pitching is much more important then hitting when you’re trying to win. And having Felix and rookies or has beens behind you until Iwakuma gets back, will put them behind the eight ball early in the season. I would prefer Santana who has done well wherever he pitches. When Iwakuma comes back, those three would make quite a 1, 2, 3, punch in the starting rotation. With Walker and possibly Scott Baker filling out 4 and 5, they could have a pretty good starting rotation. Without Iwakuma and Santana this is definitely a much weaker rotation. The M’s need to reach .500 this year to get the fans back. Cano will help, but he can’t pitch.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 6 months ago

I would say Paxton over Baker most likely but lets see how they do in ST.

Dave Erhardt
1 year 6 months ago

I would agree with you on that, it’s more likely Paxton. The M’s hopefully can get another pitcher to fill Iwakuma’s role for awhile, I don’t feel comfortable with the pitchers we have to fill in as the #2 starter.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 6 months ago

I feel the same. To be honest Im surprised that Ervin or Ubaldo is not a Mariner yet. Esp. Santana since the M’s appear to have more interest in him.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

With Iwakuma out to start the season and AJ Mass now reporting that the health of Walker’s shoulder is in question the M’s need to add a SP

Phillyfan425
1 year 6 months ago

You guys want Kyle Kendrick and John Mayberry Jr? It would give you a competent SP who can be borderline 3 (more likely 4) and an OF who can play CF (kinda).

GonzoBlogger
1 year 6 months ago

Kyle Kendrick would be a cool #3. Western Washington lad, too!!!

chris carlson
1 year 6 months ago

what about a trade with the pirates… smoak, franklin, erasmo, saunders and either pike, diaz, or sanchez for tabata, locke and josh bell. franklin can start in the minors with hanson and gives the pirates a pretty awesome middle infield duo. they can move neil walker to a team like the yankees, smoak is a better option than sanchez or lambo and will probably blossom away from seattle. erasmo can be a stop gap guy till taillon is ready then can move to the bullpen. for the ms they get an outfielder that they so desperately need, a starter that could be a middle of the rotation guy, and a future right fielder who will eventually be blocked by the pirates already awesome outfield. other prospects can be involved if needed but with this deal the ms can go out and resign morales, and one of santana or jimenez.

Nigel
1 year 6 months ago

that is an absolutely miserable suggestion. seattle would lose their projected cf, their 5 starter, a top 8ish prospect for them, a starting caliber second baseman, and smoak, who worst case is going to hit 20 homeruns while hitting 240. all for what? a fifth starter, another similar outfielder, and josh bell? thats a hard pass.

aok
1 year 6 months ago

I have never supported the idea of David Price. He doesn’t wan to play in Seattle.

Gop5
1 year 6 months ago

I liked the idea of Price, but he would just cost too much. And, he just said he didn’t want to sign an extension with Seattle. But whether he wanted to play there or not wouldn’t affect his play. He’s still going into his contract years, so he will be trying his hardest to play well to get that next big payday.

aok
1 year 6 months ago

Agreed, but as we saw with Tanaka, throwing money at them doesn’t always work. Price is an excellent pitcher, I just have reservations about anyone who says upfront they don’t want to be here.

RJDavis11
1 year 6 months ago

Not sure the timing is right for a trade, most would want to see if Smoak is actually going to repeat his success at the end of last season, and Franklin’s stock is still low. I’d hate to see them trade both for a mid-level SP at best and have it resemble the Bedard-Adam Jones trade from a few years back.

1 year 6 months ago

There’s no mid level SP that can be had for Smoak and/or Franklin.

RJDavis11
1 year 6 months ago

Probably a more appropriate term would be a middle/back of rotation starter for most teams, as opposed to a mid-level SP. I could see both going to PIT for Morton or BAL for Norris, not saying those are trades I would support, but I think that is about the best the M’s could get back in a package for both. Neither SP would be worth much to SEA for very long, where as Franklin at least could establish himself as a decent long term 2B somewhere.

1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think they’ll trade both Smoak and Franklin in the same deal. They’re both of questionable value at this point and that makes it hard to find a team that would want both. The Orioles and Pirates fit on paper, but neither is in much of a position to trade away pitching.

Phillyfan425
1 year 6 months ago

I know we can make a deal happen on the site, so how about the Phillies?

Mariners get: Kyle Kendrick + John Mayberry Jr
Phillies get: Nick Franklin + Carson Smith/Kyle Hunter

Kendrick is a borderline 3, solid 4 starter and is only under control this year, but the M’s seem to need more of a stop gap than a long term rotation solution (with Paxton, Walker, and Hultzen – although injured – on the horizon). And while Mayberry isn’t a great player, he is capable of playing CF (not amazingly) and could be a nice platoon piece (he’s got better power vs lefties).

I might be reaching (can’t tell how other teams/fans view Kendrick).

David Ross Jr.
1 year 6 months ago

We need to sign FA SP Ervin or Ubaldo(we’ll lose supp. 2nd round draft pick we won via lottery…NOT 3rd rounder, and we already forfeited 2nd rounder for Cano as 1st rounder/#6 overall pick is protected) We also gain a draft pick IF someone signs Kendrys!(fingers crossed!!)
PLUS TRADE for Matt Kemp IF %100(or G.Stanton/some BIG stud ROF bat…Adam Jones??…LOL)..We need a ROF bat to balance lineup and Cruz is NOT answer!!! Kemp/Stanton-type to protect Cano would be all offense we’d need!
A solid #3 SP is a MUST especially if looking at a playoff run(I Luv Paxton/Walker as 4/5, but likely will be on IP limits and one of em could be trade bait for Big OF bat..Paxton more likely!)
I say try Franklin in OF or Romero and trade em if not answer…Peterson could be wildcard….dude can flat rake and we need to get bat on big club but still needs time to develop in possible move to RF! GO M’s!!!

Gop5
1 year 6 months ago

I would love to have either Kemp or Stanton, but I don’t think either is likely for different reasons. Miami is still trying to lock up Stanton, so the earliest he would be available is at the deadline (if he says he won’t extend), but he would cost a lot. Kemp is hurt, and LA won’t trade him away until he regains value, again costing a lot.

I know you say Cruz isn’t the answer, but I think he is (at least for now). Fact is, we need someone to protect Cano, and he is the only one that could. But, I think adding him and someone like Ubaldo would be all they need. Trade Smoak and Franklin for another piece.

Lineup: SS Miller, 3B Seager, 2b Cano, DH Cruz, 1B Hart, LF LoMo, C Zunino, RF Saunders, CF Ackley

Rotation: Hernandez, Iwakuma, Ubaldo, Paxton, Walker