Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Santana, Garza or Jimenez? Who Do Mariners Want?

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The opening says it all. We all know by now that the Mariners are interested in any free agent with a pulse this offseason. But a recent post by ESPN’s Buster Olney states even more obviously what we all are suspecting:

One of the three most prominent free-agent starting pitchers–Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Matt Garza–seems bound to wind up w/Seattle.

Now, that statement alone seems to be as speculative as anything else out there. But the fact the Olney is saying it seems to add a bit of truth to it, in the eyes of most.

Obviously, Garza would be the most attractive fit, if only because he – unlike Santana and Jimenez – was not extended a qualifying offer, thus the Mariners would not lose a draft pick if they signed him.

Garza dominated with the Chicago Cubs (6-1, 3.17) before being traded to the Texas Rangers (4-5, 4.38) in 2013. That would worry me if I was the Mariners GM.

Santana has asked for a 5-year deal worth $80 million. Despite an ERA of 3.24 in 2013, he won only nine games. His last winning season was 2010 (17-10). I don’t think he is worth $16 million per season, but the Mariners might.

Jimenez led the American League in losses in 2012 (17). Last year was his first year since 2010 with a winning record. I would pass on him.

Truth be told, I’m not sold on any of them. I would rather try for Masahiro Tanaka, but with the posting process in limbo, he may not be available this year.

Phil Hughes has always pitched well in Safeco and I know we’ve made the case against him before. But either of those may be better suited for a No. 3 starter in Seattle than any of the “Big 3″ available.

But, the Mariners are in a holding pattern. Or they are working behind the scenes in silence, working on something big?

The wait continues.

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Tags: Ervin Santana Matt Garza Seattle Mariners

  • Harrison_Crow

    Please don’t go by wins as your means to determine whether or not he’s worth the contract he’s seeking. We’ve come too far in analytics to use this a point of reference.

    • Dan Hughes

      Yes and no. I understand the need to not use wins as THE measure of a pitcher. But the fact of the matter is, it is A measure. I didn’t want to go into an analytical breakdown with this post, just keeping it simple. However, if you look at things like WAR, the numbers STILL don’t warrant a big money contract.

      I would rather see the M’s use the money to beef up the offense and go after another SP in a year or two. Kris Medlen, Rick Porcello, Doug Fister, David Price and Mat Latos will all be free agents after the 2015 season, assuming none get long-term deals before then. I’d rather see the M’s get one of them.

  • drwheelock

    I can’t bear to see Ervin Santana in a Mariner uniform! Seems that we end up getting all of the Angels rejected SPs, just to watch them suck in Seattle.

  • drwheelock

    I don’t mind Garza, but not for $15M and 5+ years. I would rather invest in Tanaka, sign Colon, or trade for Gallardo.

  • Mr Right Brain

    I’d take Ubaldo.