Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Well M’s fans, once again we do not have any October baseball in Seattle and all that is left to look forward to this month is Halloween. As a writer it is fun to kick back and stir up ideas about what could happen next season; as a fan it is getting depressing going into another offseason as a loser.
This is going to be a tough offseason and making it even harder is the fact that the 2014 free agency period will not provide any blockbuster additions to any ball clubs this year. There are a few moves GM Jack Zduriencik should pull the trigger on. Solidifying our outfield, searching for a new DH and finding our 4th man in the rotation are among the challenges he faces. So here is my attempt to help him out:
– Jacoby Ellsbury could be a great fit in Seattle. He would qualify as home cooking (Madras, OR), fill in our leadoff hitter issue and be a huge upgrade in center field. But it will likely take more money than Zduriencik is looking to spend. Cheaper options at the position being Curtis Granderson, David DeJesus or even Rick Ankiel.
– I believe we are all a little bit confused about the Kendrys Morales situation, but turning the page might be a good idea for the Mariners. An option at DH might be to re-sign Raul Ibanez and bring in Nelson Cruz to rotate in the outfield. Cruz is looking to rebound after his suspension. For a guy with a lot of power and the ability to play in the outfield, he would come with a relatively cheap price tag.
– Bringing in another pitcher might be the most fun Jack has this offseason. If the Mariners’ young guys like Taijuan Walker and James Paxton continue to develop, it is scary to think what out pitching rotation could be. Imagine King (Felix), Iwakuma, Walker, Tim Lincecum, and Paxton as our pitching rotation! Where is the downside to bringing the Bellevue native back home? He is 29-years old and still has a lot left in the tank. Plus how could you doubt the man? He has been a winner since he played Mitch Kramer in Dazed and Confused!
Even with the lack-luster free agency, you have to be excited for this ball club. We are only a couple of moves away from being able to compete in the AL West. None of the free agent signees will matter if we do not have the right manager to organize the chaos. It is my hope that the Mariners choose a guy with proven experience in leading a major league club such as Dusty Baker.
Be patient fans. I know you hear that a lot but a winning season and the playoffs are not as far out of reach as you think. Happy Halloween and as always, Go Mariners!