Let Him Develop Some More
I think it should be the surprise third option. Let him develop, but bring in some backup.
As much as we all love home-grown talent, it simply doesn’t make sense for the Mariners not to pursue any available closers. Danny Farquhar has a shot at being a very good MLB closer, but now that the Mariners are bringing in big-name guys (Cano….and I’m sure there will be more) the plan must be to make a serious run within the next few years.
There are still some closers available this winter. But one intriguing name is John Axford, the former Brewers closing machine, now in St. Louis. Over the last few seasons he has been relegated to middle relief in St. Louis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his career as a closer is done.
Axford offers a unique opportunity for the Mariners because he has spent a season+ as a reliever rather than a closer. Should the Mariners bring him in (and it may not be exceptionally costly), they would still be able to give Farquhar a chance as the closer, but would have Axford available in case Farquhar succumbs to the sophomore jinx.
John Axford makes ideal Danny Farquhar insurance.
Should Farquhar secure his closing spot again, Axford would add a little bit of veteran depth to a Mariner’s bullpen that has been widely criticized over the last few months.
I’m not saying that Farquhar will blow it in 2014, I have very high hopes and expectations for him. Which is why it doesn’t make sense for the Mariners to bring in an established closer like Grant Balfour, or Brian Wilson.
Even though John Axford has been mildly unpredictable of late, still represents a safe way to encourage Danny Farquhar, while at the same time provides a safety net in case the Mariners lose a third straight closer.