State of the Mariners Address: An Interview with the Seattle Times’ Larry Stone

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Sep 18, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder

Dustin Ackley

(13) congratulated by teammates after he hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Who starts in centerfield for the Mariners next season?

LS: “I think it will be someone not already on the Mariners roster. Ellsbury is probably as good a guess as any.”

Who starts at second base next season?

LS: “I wasn’t completely sold on Dustin Ackley as an outfielder.”

Hinting at the idea he could return to second base, which would require some subsequent decision regarding Nick Franklin:

LS: “Franklin is a guy who could be trade fodder, trade bait. It wouldn’t shock me if Franklin was traded. If they [the Mariners] can’t get a free agent to come here they’ll have to trade and Franklin is good bait.”

Expanding further, and really stopping to look at the depth chart and the Mariners 25-man roster, there are few certainties:

LS: “Kyle Seager will be at third [base], Mike Zunino will be behind the plate, and Felix will be starting opening day but aside from that nothing is set in stone.”

This is all the more indication that the Mariners have a roster full of potential holes. And only so many can be filled with free agents. Some of those young guys, like Ackley, like Justin Smoak, like Brad Miller, need to step up and produce if this team wants to win and compete consistently.