With an enviable group of high-end prospects fast approaching the Majors, we could see the Mariners begin to add some pieces in a shift back to a win-now mindset.
- Marco Gonzales, LHP: $29MM through 2023
- Evan White, 1B: $22.7MM through 2025 (includes buyout of 2026 option; contract also contains options for 2027, 2028)
- Kyle Seager, 3B: $18MM through 2021
- Yusei Kikuchi, LHP: $15MM through 2021 (club must decide on four-year, $56MM extension after 2021; Kikuchi can otherwise exercise $13MM player option)
- Kendall Graveman, RHP: $1.25MM through 2021
Note on arb-eligible players: this year’s arbitration projections are more volatile than ever, given the unprecedented revenue losses felt by clubs and the shortened 2020 schedule. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, who developed our arbitration projection model, used three different methods to calculate different projection numbers. You can see the full projections and an explanation of each if you click here, but for the purposes of our Outlook series, we’ll be using Matt’s 37-percent method — extrapolating what degree of raise a player’s 2020 rate of play would have earned him in a full 162-game slate and then awarding him 37 percent of that raise.
- J.P. Crawford – $1.3MM
- Mitch Haniger – $3.0MM
- Tom Murphy – $1.6MM
- Non-tender candidates: None
- Declined $3.5MM buyout on RHP Kendall Graveman (paid $500K buyout, re-signed Graveman to one-year, $1.25MM deal the next day)
- Yoshihisa Hirano, Matt Magill (outrighted, re-signed), Gerson Bautista (outrighted, re-signed), Mallex Smith (already signed minor league deal with Mets)
We’re only two years removed from Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto’s pledge to step back and “reimagine” his roster, and the organizational turnaround has been remarkable. The Mariners have gone from one of the game’s oldest teams to one if its youngest, and what was once a barren farm system has been rapidly built into one of the game’s more enviable collections of young talent. Interesting young players have bubbled up to the MLB level, and reinforcements are on the horizon in droves.
It’s a promising enough outlook that Dipoto said following a near-miss of the final Wild Card spot in 2020’s expanded playoff format that he doesn’t believe a postseason bid next year is unrealistic. It’ll take some additions, of course, but the Mariners are surely more focused on whether their young core will take continued steps forward, so we’ll start with a look around the roster.
Former first-rounder Evan White batted just .176/.252/.346 in his debut effort, but he skipped Triple-A entirely en route to the Majors and showed some pop (eight homers) while also securing the first of what is expected to be many Gold Gloves at first base. Shed Long Jr. struggled while playing through a stress fracture in his leg, but he’ll be healthy next year and the Mariners picked up another second base option at the trade deadline in Ty France. Utilityman Dylan Moore turned in a .255/.358/.496 slash and could push for a bigger role. J.P. Crawford remains a work in progress at the plate but joined White in being named an AL Gold Glover. Kyle Seager, the elder statesman at the hot corner, enjoyed a resurgent 2020 season.
The outfield is the area of greatest hope for the M’s, with Kyle Lewis a favorite to be named 2020 Rookie of the Year. The club expects Mitch Haniger back after a grueling series of fluke injuries wiped out most of 2019 and his entire 2020 season. There’s no shortage of options to keep the seat warm in left field until uber-prospect Jarred Kelenic arrives on the scene — which should happen no later than next June. Fellow top prospect Julio Rodriguez won’t be far behind, and the club added well-regarded outfield prospect Taylor Trammell in the same trade that netted France.
Also in that trade, which sent Austin Nola to San Diego, was young catcher Luis Torrens, who impressed in his Mariners debut. Veteran Tom Murphy should be healthy in ’21, giving the club an experience complement. Should either falter, 23-year-old prospect Cal Raleigh is on the cusp of MLB readiness himself.
With all that in mind, the Mariners don’t need to make much of a push to add a bat this winter, although there could certainly be some value plays that present themselves. And if Dipoto is indeed serious about his hope to push for a playoff bid in 2021, it’s fun to think about the Mariners as a dark-horse candidate for a reunion with DH Nelson Cruz. If not him, the M’s certainly look like a viable landing spot for Marcell Ozuna, although lucrative multi-year deals for free agents are something Dipoto has tended to avoid in recent years.
If there’s one place the Mariners will look to add, the bullpen is the best bet. The Mariners already struck a deal to keep Graveman, who struggled as a starter and then hit the IL when a benign bone tumor was discovered in his neck. He returned as a reliever and impressed with a 95 mph sinker that netted him his new deal. Dipoto is on record as saying he wants to add as many as four relievers this winter, although he cautioned that he might not chase marquee names.
Liam Hendriks is the top arm on this winter’s market but could be too lavish an expenditure. Ditto for resurgent closer Trevor Rosenthal and Seattle native Trevor May, although it’s possible that what is expected to be a depressed market for relievers could cause some higher-profile names to fall more into the price range Dipoto had in mind at the time of those comments. He and every other GM passed on Brad Hand at a year and $10MM on waivers, but any of Hand, May, Rosenthal or Blake Treinen makes sense as the primary bullpen splash here. It stands to reason that Dipoto will check in on virtually the entire free-agent bullpen market, and don’t rule out a trade or trades that net some relief help.
In the rotation, the Mariners have already made clear that they plan to continue utilizing a six-man group. Marco Gonzales and Justus Sheffield more than earned their spots in 2020. Some will raise an eyebrow to see a vote of confidence in left-hander Yusei Kikuchi here, but it should be noted that in addition to a contract that ensures him a spot, he actually pitched better than his ERA would otherwise suggest.
Kikuchi still issued a few too many free passes, but a 47-to-20 K/BB ratio, 0.57 HR/9 and a 52 percent ground-ball rate in 47 innings are all solid. Indeed, he logged a 3.30 FIP and 3.78 xFIP but was done in by a bizarrely low 59.9 percent strand rate. Kikuchi’s heater also ticked upwards markedly in 2020, as did his swinging-strike rate. He looks like a potential breakout candidate in 2021, and his contract alone will ensure he gets a chance to prove it.
Beyond that trio, there’s room for additions here as well. Justin Dunn, acquired alongside Kelenic, is a former top 100 prospect who’s shown flashes of promise but could be better suited for bullpen work. Ljay Newsome and waiver claim Nick Margevicius give Seattle some additional options to start games, and the club has drafted three consecutive big-name college starters with its past three top picks: Logan Gilbert in 2018, George Kirby in 2019 and Emerson Hancock in 2020. All are highly regarded, and Gilbert could debut as soon as 2021.
Still, there’s enough uncertainty in this mix that the Mariners could explore outside additions. Dipoto made clear after trading Taijuan Walker to the Blue Jays that he hoped to discuss another reunion with the 28-year-old righty this winter. Our Top 50 free agent rankings contain a bevy of options we expect to sign one- and two-year deals in free agency this year, and it makes sense for the Mariners to go shopping in that general price range.
It’s certainly arguable that they could be poised to make a bigger splash, although we’ve not seen Dipoto make such a move since coming to Seattle. Still, with just $74MM on next year’s books and a middling $7.15MM on the 2022 payroll, the Mariners are as sensible a dark horse as you could pick to make a significant move. They even have the long-term payroll freedom to sign Trevor Bauer if they see fit, although that would obviously still register as a major surprise. More realistically, Marcus Stroman’s grounder-heavy arsenal would pair well with Seattle’s premium infield defense if the M’s wanted to make a big rotation move.
These are bigger names than Mariners fans should expect, given Dipoto’s track record in Seattle, but the point remains that they could fit just about any contract they want onto the long-term books. That’ll be worth bearing in mind on the trade market, too, and we know that Dipoto is never afraid to jump into that arena.
It’s also interesting to look at the context of the American League West. As the Mariners prepare to emerge from their accelerated rebuild, we see the Rangers looking to pare payroll and striving to get younger (aka — a rebuild). The Astros could lose George Springer, Michael Brantley and others to free agency this winter and will be without Justin Verlander for most or all of the 2021 season. The Angels will reload and take another shot, but they’ve struggled to field a competent pitching staff in support of Mike Trout for years. The A’s look like they’ll be a threat, but in a broad sense, this division isn’t the insurmountable powerhouse it was a few years back when the ’Stros were running roughshod over a series of clearly inferior clubs.
At the end of the day, none of this means that the Mariners are in line for a major spending spree. However, their overwhelming payroll flexibility gives them the opportunity to take advantage of a market that most free agents will find rather harsh.
At minimum, the Mariners should be able to be more aggressive than their peers on the bullpen arms they deem to be the best of the bunch. And if Dipoto & Co. wish to get more aggressive, a club that only has Gonzales’ $5.75MM salary and White’s $1.4MM salary on the 2022 books should be able to outspend rival teams on bigger-ticket items. It’s never a dull offseason for Jerry Dipoto, but this winter has the potential to be a fun one for Mariners fans.
The Mariners window of opportunity starts this year in terms of the age of their AL West rivals, as well as the players that their division rivals lose. However, their best opportunity to push through that window starts in 2022, imo. Sign some veteran bullpen guys and maybe a veteran rotation arm – preferably a one or two year deal; preferably a younger(ish) guy like Walker or Paxton. Be cautious of blocking the young wave though. Gilbert should be up at some point in 2021 and you could see Kirby and Hancock sometime towards the end of 2022. Offensively, having Haniger will hopefully be a boost. It seems like the Mariners are committed to their current long term pieces – White, Moore, Crawford, France, Lewis, Kelenic, Rodriguez, Haniger, and Marte. We probably won’t see much done on the offensive side.
I’m not anticipating big-bat acquisitions either, but I could see them going after a stopgap who can handle 1B, such as Jake Lamb, and maybe a rebound candidate on a minor-league deal (think Steve Souza).
I could see Steven Souza. They view Evan White as the long term 1b so I doubt they sign anyone else to be there. I believe that Jose Marmolejos has some 1b experience as well.
White should be the first baseman of the future, he simply might need a few months in AAA before he gets back out there.
Marmolejos is still on the roster, but he can’t hit breaking balls. He’s a DFA candidate.
Someone like Lamb wouldn’t get in the way, which is why I dropped his name. We could see and extra outfielder carried to DH with France taking 1B temporarily as well.
Seattle is going to need veterans regardless. Having one even if only in a bench role seems likely.
There not going after no 1B.
White had good # on exit volocity and barrel up contact(or what ever that one is called.) He’s been too good of a hitter of controling the strike zone.
First, there are no guarantees in baseball.
Second, exit velocity alone proves nothing, a 41.6 K% isn’t exactly proof of controlling the zone, and a quick look at his 0-swing will deceive you. He chased in counts he should have exercised patience with; swung through strikes he should have made contact with and/or froze with pitches in the zone for strike 3.
He appears to have fallen back into his pre-AA habits and those aren’t going to fix themselves. He would have been demoted if there had been a minor-league season.
So, he’ll get this offseason and spring to show that he’s back on track, but nobody should be surprised if Seattle brings in insurance. It wouldn’t necessarily be an infielder as they could bring in an outfielder and rotate the DH; use France at 1B if necessary, but White is far from a lock to be the opening day first baseman. Seattle needs a veteran fielder, regardless. Seager is the only true veteran left.
I’m a huge fan of White’s, so don’t get me wrong. I have every confidence in him putting it all together. But he was over-matched this year and there’s no shame nor harm in giving him more development time.
Sounds like a well run organization. Good for the overall sport. I’m not a fan of large FA contracts that crater in the final years. Be nice to see some of those dollars shifted to younger MLB and MiLB players
🙁 thowin wasn’t visible when I posted. Fluky tech from mlbtr..
I’m fine with free agent contracts that crater in the final years if they help you win upfront.
I’m sure the Mariners would thank you for the complement but any professional sports team that hasn’t been in the playoffs for 20 seasons and never has been to the World Series should not be called well run…
The Marco “Gonzalez” link is to the wrong player just fyi
Correct, it should be a Marco “Gonzales” link,
Sign Bauer. Trade for lindor. And let it work. The talent is there for sure.
I’ve been on the Lindor train for a while now. Need to hear if he’s willing to extend upon trade though. If he’s dead set for the open market do not trade for him.
you could litteraly say the same thing for every team and be arguably correct
The pirates say hello 🙂
Yeah but the ms have the trade firepower to make it happen without messing up their other plans with many top prospects at sp and of. Cleveland needs outfielders.
Why would a team coming out of a rebuild trade their coveted prospects for a 1-year rental? Then there’s the fact that Crawford took a huge leap forward last season. They’re far more likely to give him another year then assess their options.
Pretty amazing that Kyle Seager is the last man standing in terms of large payroll and being from the previous GM reign. The AL West is in dismay outside of the A’s – though who knows who long the A’s can keep it up only for them to rebuild again. Hope the Mariners start to build for competing in the next few years. Preferably 2022 when the pandemic concerns should certainly be out of the way.
7.15 million on the 2022 payroll… that is WILDLY low haha. I just don’t understand Dipoto haters. I get that he has missed some trades but the overall work he has done to build this organization into what it is right now is remarkable.
Here’s to hoping Kelenic, Rodriguez, etc. dont turn into Ackely, Franklin, montero, etc. Go M’s
7.15 million is too low according to fangraphs/rosterrescource, as it doesn’t include the payments made to cano. It’s around 11 million, and that’s not counting Kikuchi’s $13 MM player option if his club option is not picked up.
I think Dipoto is doing a really good job. I hope the Mariners go after some B tier free agents on short or front-loaded contracts. They are one of the teams that are best positioned to benefit off of this tight market with not many teams willing to spend big. They should have feelers out on free agents like Cruz, Semien, Brantley, Pederson etc. Bringing back Paxton would be nice too
Ackely, Montero, Smoak, Zunino were drafted or acquired already being some of the best prospects in baseball.
Kelenic, J-Rod, Gilbert, Marte have all been developed into top prospects while in the organization.
This is why I feel good believing in this group of players.
Dipoto is a genius…. just don’t pay attention to the actual record of the team or the fact that he’s never taken any mlb team to the playoffs. He certainly knows how to strip a minor league system, to not win, then sacrifice years of mlb winning to rebuild the minor league system back to what it was. Sure he’s missed on some trades… but he’s missed on even more free agent signings… that’s hard to do. Nelson Cruz? Don’t need him, we have Daniel Vogelbach and a future to think about. Dipoto’s GMing reminds me of a line in Moneyball…”if’s he’s a good hitter, why doesn’t he hit good?”
Quite honestly, I’m surprised more people don’t have a very skeptical view of his GM acumen.
Please don’t comment if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
1. Dipoto has been a GM of a playoff team before
2. Cruz was not resigned because the team was entering a rebuilding stage and wanted to give younger players a chance.
3. I don’t think you understood the movie.
It’s extremely immature and a touch unrealistic to tell people on the internet not to comment on something. If it upsets you, just skip the comment.
Yeah, I had forgotten about those memorable Angel teams of yesteryear amid clubhouse fights and horrible baseball here in Seattle.
Cruz wasn’t resigned because the team was rebuilding… hence my “we have a future to think about” comment. Win forever? No, no… win in a few years maybe… that’s the Dipoto way.
Good luck policing the internet for Jerry. He appreciates it.
He forgot to add that Dan Vogelbach isn’t a Mariner.
Arte Moreno knows how to strip a minor league system and past their prime FA signings. Fixed that for you Chester.
I just saw someone use the word remarkable in describing Dipotos work. Amazing, probably be in line for another extension, after all failure brings more money.
George Springer would be a perfect fit.
-Leadoff hitter who drives in runs. (96 rbi two years ago.
JP Crawford has been the primary leadoff hitter but thats not his biggest strength, where he would be the biggest asset is hitting 2nd.
-Springer could produce anywhere in the lineup but his production would point to the top 4 in the lineup, for the entirety of a 5 year deal.
-Springers presence in the outfield would allow Lewis a breather from CF and may help extend his career that started with some serious knee issues.
-Springer can DH, infact the Mariners could have 4 outfielders in the lineup rotating DH if they felt inclined.
-Springer would provide some desperately needed leadership (Seager is too reserved, and Gonzales is a pitcher.)
-Springer has been through some serious losing and also lots of winning and can share that with the kids.
Yes, Springer will cost, but a budget hit will be muted when taking the savings from the Cano trade into consideration. ($64m– 5yr, $13m per, first 2 years already paid), Kyle comes off of the books next year and depending on which route the Mariners take at 3rd they could sign Springer and, after next season, not only have Springer be “free” they could see some money back.
The Mariners do have some nice young talent.
Evan White could be a major player on this team. His defense is fun to watch, the level of competentcy makes me giddy at times.
His offense is a work in progress but what makes me so high on him is the fact that he didn’t allow his plate struggles to bleed over to his defense, that tells me he is mature,
I love forward to sizeable uptick for White.
IF the Mariners are serious about contending from 2022 onwards, Springer would not be bad, but I think you want to leave as much room in the outfield as possible.
I was thinking the Mariners should go after 1 of the shortstops in next years free agent class. I’m not a big fan of Crawford. Any chance Kyle can lure his brother to Seattle 🙂 ? I think Seager will get payed by the dodgers, but Story or Lindor would fit well.
Daniel Vogelbach is a Brewer last time I checked.
Plus Dipoto tells you what he is going to do and does it or explains why not…I like him and he said he is going to buy, So…
May or Rosenthal would be a good pickups, but it depends on how much the M’s want to spend. Secondary FA starters to consider: Richards, Walker, Paxton, Smiley, Quintana.
Let’s say they have a 4-5 year window. Then they can ladder their FA pickups with sone 3-4 year contracts, complimented by 1,2 & 3 year deals. Look at extensions for anyone just entering their arb years. They’ll stretch the window, provide cost certainty and also trade pieces down the road. They can create additional trade value by having players on good value contracts.
DiPoto: Wait, I have an “enviable collection of young talent?” So much to trade.
I hope Mitch is able to rebound. He had such promise.
Seattle has some solid young talent, but a lot of it might not be up until 2022 and making an impact until even later. i think projecting them to contend this year would be jumping the gun a little.
They’re a starter, 3 relievers, and I would argue one veteran fielder short of making some real noise. That’s not much of a shopping list.
The best has yet to come, and I agree that most of their top prospects won’t likely impact the team until 2022 at the earliest (and more likely 2023), but they have no glaring holes right now outside of the bullpen. .
in respect to White, is there any historical precedent to players winning the GG in the same year they debut? id have to imagine that’s good company if there is precedent.
Nolan Arenado 2013.
White is the first Rookie first baseman in the history of the GG award to receive it if i remember correctly.
If Haniger rebounds he will be traded probably around the AS break. Give him to a contending team early and get more for him. That is when Kelenic comes up. Trammel will be traded at some point for a decent return. They will have Lewis in left so he can get used to the spot but also center. Center will be played by multiple guys this year and could bring up Kelenic earlier if too many struggle. Right will be Haniger then Kelenic. Rodriguez could be brought up at the end of the year to get some ABs. In 2022 Lewis in left Rodriguez in center and Kelenic in left.
White is the obvious guy at first. Long will need to prove he should stay at second. He had some good plays but too many not so good. JP will of course be at SS and Seager France at third. Seager could get more time at DH to see if maybe he will be a long term fit there. If he wants to play there. Torrens and Murphy behind the plate until Call is ready in a couple years. Also Marte should move into short in maybe three years so JP will move to second or third depending on which he plays better and where he will be the biggest improvement.
Pitching is going to be more of the turnstile except for a few to see who fits. Also depends on who is traded or signed. A bold prediction Marco is packaged with maybe Long and Trammell and a few smaller pieces to get an upper tier pitcher. Might or probably won’t get a top tier guy unless a team rebuilding is looking to get money off the books. I also would like Walker back. I would be careful with Paxton with all the injuries he has had. The BP could go a myriad of ways.
Those are my thoughts for the next couple of years. I also think you will see many of these young guys sign a White type deal. They have practically no money on the books and the new owners want to field a World Series winning team. It makes sense to get these possible elite guys under long term contracts. The best thing is since so many played together in AA they have become great friends and hold each other accountable. Would be nice to have a team to watch again that you can say they should win this game and series not maybe they will win one game this series. Tell me I am crazy except you Halohankie you go back to the corner and suck your thumb. Your dumb comments have been proven false.
you lost me when you said ‘move the Gold Glover off of SS for Marte.’ Outside of SS, JP Crawford is not a MLB starter on a contending club w/o a significant uptick in the bat.
Marte is in the future mix for 2b/ss/3b depending on how France/Kim/Crawford/Long/Moore develop, but I see zero chance they move JP off short.. It sounds like Marte looked pretty overmatched this year, so it’s a bit early to project him for anything really. Here’s to hopin’.
I am putting the best SS at SS. I don’t care if his bat does or does not hit for that spot. If Marte is a better SS which he is predicted to be that is where he plays. If he is better he will get GGs too. JP can move to another spot or be traded of he doesn’t fill a position of need.
not sure where you’re getting that 60-70 grade glove on Marte, most scouting reports I’ve seen on Marte have him below average and questionable to remain at short at all.
“While it is still unclear exactly where Marte’s defensive home will be, he’s answered many questions with his commitment to his throwing program, syncing up his lower half and his arm action. He made a lot of errors early in his debut, then cleaned things up and was very sharp at the end. He could end up at third when all is said and done, but that’s an improvement for a player who some doubted would be able to stay on the dirt at all.” -mlb.com
and I think Fangraphs has a 40 grade on his fielding
Haniger made some strides a couple years ago by changing his stroke. Dipoto likes him and I get the idea that he can help the younger players adjust to mlb hitting. I hope they keep him, but if they get a Nola type package for him then Jerry needs to let him go.
I’m a little sketchy but I think I heard Dipoto mention that Marte could move to third in the future.
CompassRose- I love that we (Ms fans) get to look forward to articles/alerts on actual decent FA signings instead of reading about players we’ve signed off the scrap heap! I won’t call you crazy but here’s my thoughts on your points- IMO….
1) If Haniger rebounds, that will significantly help our lineup so if anything we will be buyers at the deadline not sellers.
2) Kelenic will be in a Mariners uniform as soon as the service clock expires around the 3rd week in April.
3) Taylor Trammel- multiple times Dipoto has tried to draft and trade for a top of the lineup player who brings a major SB threat, good D and high OBP skills. TT is the elite prospect who will get a chance to be that player. First he needs time to develop his swing. This is his 3rd team and from what I’ve read both CIN and SD tried to change his swing. He should get every chance to be that speedster that Dipoto has been looking for.
4) Noelvi Marte – while there’s no doubt his bat should profile anywhere there is some doubt he will stay at SS. Most of what I’ve read suggests a move to 3B
5) If JP moves anywhere I think it would be to 2B. This will only happen if the FO decides to dip into the 2022 FA class of Uber-SS’s! What a FA class of SS’s!
6) Marco (or Trammel) will not be traded- for many reasons! You don’t trade away a SP who is out- performing the value of his contract. Dipoto is not going to trade valuable pieces when he is still in the building stage. Eventually he wants to get to where SD was this year- trading valuable prospects to help get his team to the WS. We are a couple seasons behind SD and that type of scenario.
7) I think who plays in CF between Kelenic and Lewis is anyone’s guess. I believe the team will decide that next year. JRod doesn’t have the speed or the ability to play CF as well as Kelenic or Lewis. He projects as a RF. I don’t think JRod will debut until Sept of 2022 unless he blows us away in 2021 then it might be Sept of 2021 or out of ST in 2022.
8) Dylan Moore will be our starting 2B next season. Shed has a long way to go to get that job back. I could see him (Shed) as a Utility player.
9) Ty France will be our DH for 2021. After that? We will let that play out
10) A trade or FA contract for an upper tier SP- Dipoto is hoping his last 3 number one picks will become frontline SP’s. There’s no need to mortgage your future if you already have the makings of one or two upper tier SP’s in your system. Logan Gilbert will be in Seattle by the 3rd week in April if he hasn’t won a starting job out of ST. Gilbert projects as a frontline starter. Emerson Hancock and George Kirby are also projected to be frontline SP’s.
11) I think Taijuan Walker is the perfect SP FA addition for us but I’m afraid he pitched so well in 2020 he’s now going to be out of our price range. Who knows who we’ll get? I’m excited to find out.
12) The BP is only going one way….up! It can’t possibly get worse and Dipoto has admitted we need to improve it.
13) Rookies signing contract extensions? That’s a fans and a FO dream but surely the players agents will have a big say on that. I’d love for us to sign Lewis!
14) Who knows how the rebuild will turn out? I’m excited to see the next step. Two Gold Gloves and an AL ROY is certainly not a bad way to start. Tip of the hat to Jerry on those 3 post season awards.
Crawford is an interesting case. The lack of pop–any kind of pop–has to be at least a little concerning. If they seek an upgrade, I could see him used in a utility role rather than just sliding him over to second.
Regarding pitching, I’ve long believed that Seattle will be in on Syndergaard. His work ethic is second to none, and given Jerry’s interest in post-TJ arms and the fact that he might come at a *slight* discount due to the uncertainty from the surgery, it’s easy to see Seattle targeting him the following offseason. That could make someone like Kirby a trade chip.
Mariners poised to go to their first World Series ever…..maybe not in 2021, but hopefully some day.
It’s going to take at least two more seasons for the Mariners to figure out if they have the right mix of youngsters in their organization or not. Not only do they need to promote their best prospects but they need to give them enough time in the majors to make sure they can be consistent enough to earn everyday roles on the team. A successful 2021 for Seattle would be for them to go 81-81 and to promote at least 3 prospects to the majors. Depending upon the outcome, playoff aspirations could be a reality starting in 2023.
With the right moves, I think the Mariners could expedite the return of competitive play to Seattle. “Right moves” is obviously an oversimplification, but the group they currently have seemed to take a small step forward in 2020, and if that continues, it’s a club that’s will be in a nice position in the coming years.
A number of guys (not all) the M’s could target: Jake Odorizzi, Jose Quintana, James Paxton, Trevor May, Trevor Rosenthal, Brad Hand — none of these arms would strap Seattle financially in the long term, but would help address current holes.
Paxton and Walker on a 2 year deal each would mean a rotation of:
Gonzales, Walker, Paxton, Sheffield, Dunn, Kikuchi for 2021 and for 2022, Gilbert replaces one of those six if he is ready. By 2023, Hancock and Kirby (among others) should be ready.
Kirby will debut in 2021 if he stays healthy.
true, though ‘debut’ and ‘be any good’ are often separated by a year or two.
If Kirby debuts in 2021, I am expecting that it will be at the end of 2021.
I wouldn’t bet on that. Kirby hasn’t played above short-season and had trouble in the player pool…
Re: George Kirby debuting in 2021. I assume you mean he will debut for the Mariners. If he was promoted to Seattle in 2021 that would be an astonishing feat, it’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely he would make the ML team for one reason- he’s pitched at total of 23 innings in the Mariners Org.
Let’s compare 2019 #1 draft pick G Kirby to the 2018 #1 draft pick Logan Gilbert. We know Gilbert is close to debuting for Seattle- if he doesn’t win a rotation spot out of ST in 2021 he should almost certainly be pitching in Seattle before the ASG.
Gilbert was dominant in 135 inn across 3 levels in the M’s farm system. He has pitched a total of 417 inn when you combine his NCAA and professional career. George Kirby has a similar amount (3yrs) of NCAA experience but he has yet to even pitch a single inning in Single A ball. I think it’s unfair to the kid to just assume he will jump up 3 levels in one season like LG. I want to see him succeed and be up in Seattle ASAP but let’s see if he can handle West Virginia and Modesto first.
2021 vs 2022? 1 year closer to losing Marco and Mitch.
They have payroll room to spend, before they have to start paying the young ones in a few years.
Astros are hurtin, SP and losing vets to free agency.
Angels don’t have good SP.
Tex: a wreck
A’s: will be competitive as the A’s do.
With Murphy and “if” Hanger are back; that’s 2 good bats in the lineup.
Add 1 moderately priced SP; Marco, ?, Sheff to lead the rotation.
At least 2 good(not overly pricey) relievers: rosenthal, greene, O’Day… Then work in the prospect to see who’s got it. A good BP will make the game shorter, like a few years ago.(infact, IF they had some decent BP arms in 2020, they could have made the playoffs.
Marco is signed through 2024 and has an option for 2025. I’m not concerned about their contracts, it’s just that 2022 they’ll be another year older and in Haniger’s case, moving out of his prime.
Hats off to Dipoto for acquiring the young talent, now comes the organization’s task of getting the kids to the majors and seeing what they can do, and hopefully without rushing them. As a longtime fan, this is about as excited as I’ve ever been for next season. Tinker with the bullpen this winter, it was bad in 2020. Hang onto the kids, let them play, see how that goes… it could end up being very good sooner than later.
Ichiro could still outplay most of their outfielders Today!
How about tomorrow?
Perhaps next week?
Tell you what, let’s table it for early in the new year! I will have Sarah send over the necessary documents.
Given Jerry Dipoto’s track record, Mariner fans should expect to see no playoffs while he is GM. Sad Fact!
Sad fact that Angels fans can’t let go of their hatred for Dipoto. It’s been 5.5 years! You’ll never know if Jerry could take LAA to the playoffs because he was never completely allowed to do his job. Sciosca would not even allow Dipoto to provide LAA players opposition pitching data, hitter tendencies (heat maps etc) and defensive position data. When you think about today’s game with statcast data, trackman, pitch tunneling, advanced analytics etc. it’s crazy that (Arte Moreno enabled) Sciosca to deny his team access to this data. Angels fans are directing their anger towards the wrong person(s) here.
Okay, I see your point at LAA. Here he really isn’t handcuffed. His refusal to use veterans is what is hurting their chances. He let Cruz walk at look at him still going, yes like other oldies he will falter at some point. Dipoto keeps saying the money is there but he is not obviously using it. He wants to use young players with low contracts, you need a balance.
Dreams of contention!
Building towards 2022:
Ss Upgrade (Lindor is the obvious dream)
3b Seager until Marte is ready
Can these guys make it, and reach championship level? Maybe? Let’s find out!