More fine work from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times as he takes a look at the future of the Mariners. A few notes:
- Raul Ibanez names winning as his top priority, like most players. He’ll still entertain a possible return to Seattle, but it seems likely a more competitive team will make a solid offer.
- Adrian Beltre doesn’t like the idea of playing for a rebuilding club in ’09, but he’s under contract with the Ms at a reasonable $12MM. Does it make sense to trade him and let Ibanez walk, opting for a full-out rebuild? Or do the Mariners need to keep Beltre around to avoid further embarrassment?
- Ichiro Suzuki is not well-liked in the clubhouse. Is he a selfish player, or is he being treated unfairly because of the language barrier?
- The Mariners have questions about their middle-infield tandem of Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt. Lopez has defensive issues; Betancourt isn’t much with the bat. Actually Betancourt may have defensive problems as well, in particular going to his left.