Who Will Be In the Mariners 2014 Starting Rotation?

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As Dan noted on December 28th, the Mariners have been largely inactive over the last few weeks. Not so coincidentally so have I. There is nothing less satisfying than being stuck taking finals while the Mariners lay relatively dormant since the Robinson CanoCorey HartLogan Morrison barrage. Since then the M’s have re-signed Franklin Gutierrez to an incentive-laden contract and given minor-league deals to Cole Gillespie and Matt Palmer.

So safe to say it’s been a boring Christmas… and it is also safe to say that if the Mariners do not make anymore moves, this offseason will be a failure and the contract given to Cano will end up being an even bigger albatross than it already is.

If I had to choose one move that is absolutely imperative for the Mariners at this juncture is to get another proven starting pitcher. Someone who will throw 180+ innings and someone who will NOT be Joe Saunders or Kevin Millwood or Aaron Harang. Getting a pitcher at this juncture is more important than getting another bat: it would be unwise for the M’s to only have Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma as proven starters in the rotation.

So who is that pitcher going to be? David Price? It seems like the M’s, for the moment are out on Price. I said seems though– he has a huge price tag (no pun intended) for only two years of service, and right now the M’s aren’t in a position to make those two years worth the deal.

Ubaldo Jimenez? In my opinion (and yes it is an opinion) last year was too much of an outlier Jimenez. He was good earlier in his career, then had a resurgence last season… but I do not think that year-long resurgence warrants the kind of contract he wants.

For me, then, and for the Mariners, I think it feasibly comes down to three guys: Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, and recently posted Masahiro Tanaka.

And even though we’ve seen the numbers time and time again, let’s look at these three one last time (fingers crossed) in hopes that the Mariners will soon make a move– though of course a move is dependent on whether or not the Mariners are out of money (thanks Ken Rosenthal).