The focus of Mariners offseason speculation often revolves around the offense, seeing as it is usually the bane of the organization’s existence. We all want the M’s to bring in that impact power bat, or that dynamic leadoff hitter to set the table for said power bat.
However, as poorly as the offense performed last year, the pitching staff wasn’t much better. Other than Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, there was little consistency in that area, with Joe Saunders, Aaron Harang, Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer all struggling for much of the season.
To combat this, the Mariners should probably look into bringing in another solid starter to fill in the gap between the top two, and the young kids whose performance is still up in the air for next year.
For me, the top candidate for this is Washington native Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum is a two-time Cy Young winner who has not been quite the same for the last couple years, but would still fit well in the middle of the rotation.
Lincecum finished with a 4.37 ERA, 3.74 FIP and 3.56 xFIP, which, while not Cy Young material anymore, is not bad for a #3 starter. Especially when we consider what he has done in the past. That past success shows through in his career numbers, at a 3.46 ERA, 3.20 FIP and 3.33 xFIP, with 27.8 WAR.
His cost is a little unknown at this point, and that is the biggest drawback. If he gets payed for what he has done in the past, he could get a little pricy. But if the struggles of the last couple seasons stick in the back of people’s mind, the price could drop a little.
I think I would be willing to go somewhere in the 3 year, $30 million range, but too much more than that may make me hesitate a little. I like Tim and think he would be a big help to the team, but I worry about which direction he is going in.
Risks need to be taken at times, and Lincecum may be one of those risks. If he can be brought in, in tandem with a bat, then 2014 may be a decent year for the Mariners.