Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Mariners. Take a look at what I had to say about them on September 2nd. By the way for subtractions I’ll put anyone who had decent playing time for the team in ’08.
Additions: Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Branyan, Tyler Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Franklin Gutierrez, Endy Chavez, Garrett Olson, David Aardsma, Tyler Walker, Randy Messenger, Mike Sweeney, Jamie Burke, Reegie Corona, Jason Vargas, Chris Shelton, Jason Phillips, Luis Pena
Subtractions: Raul Ibanez, Jose Vidro, Jeremy Reed, Richie Sexson, Miguel Cairo, Willie Bloomquist, R.A. Dickey, Sean Green, J.J. Putz, Ryan Feierabend (out for season), Cha Seung Baek
I like the direction Jack Zduriencik has taken with the Mariners. He added a couple of cheap potential 20 HR bats in Griffey and Branyan. He declined to spend big money on the bullpen. He quietly added Olson to the starting mix. He brought in Cedeno to push Yuniesky Betancourt. And he improved the outfield defense with Gutierrez and Chavez.
2009 is a weird year for the Mariners – Adrian Beltre, Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, and Erik Bedard are in their contract years. So we’ll see a lot of turnover in the 2009-10 offseason as well. The ’09 club doesn’t look like a winning team on the surface. It’s light on offense and certain players will be tested as full-timers. But you have to wonder if a pitching and defense-oriented team could sneak into contention if Erik Bedard and Brandon Morrow have big years.
Bottom line: Jack Z. is well on his way toward remaking the Mariners, with a slew of savvy low-cost moves in his first winter as GM.