The latest word on the street is that the Mariners are trying to work out a deal with the Tampa Rays for one of their starting pitchers. The big question is: which one?
Since the off-season began, the Rays have received interest from around the league about Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, Alex Cobb, and Chris Archer. The Mariners have been one of those teams in contention for one of the Central Florida team’s starters since the off-season began, and now it seems those interests have been reignited.
Back in early November, trade rumors were swirling that the Mariners were interested in Odorizzi, along with a handful of other clubs, but a trade never came to fruition.
The Rays are looking for a lot in return for Odorizzi, so a straight up swap of Odorizzi for Karns seems unlikely.
Karns has been linked too many other teams, so it appears that he would be the trading piece if a deal were to go through for any starting pitcher.
A dream would be to negotiate a deal that brings Chris Archer to the Mariners. Despite coming off a rough 2016, Archer had a superb three years before this speed bump. He had an ERA of 3.26, three complete game shutouts, one of which was a one-hitter.
Despite coming off a rough 2016, Archer had a superb three years before this speed bump. He had an ERA of 3.26, three complete game shutouts, one of which was a one-hitter.
But he also has a hefty price tag, so working a deal out might be too costly for Dipoto.
That leaves us with Alex Cobb or Drew Smyly. While neither truly constitutes as an experienced veteran pitcher- which is one of the most important qualifications that Dipoto is looking for- they both have something to offer the Mariners.
Cobb is the riskier, and therefore, probably more affordable option. After remarkable 2013 and 2014 campaigns where he ran over all the competition, he secured a collective ERA of 2.82 in forty-nine games in that span.
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Cobb was then unfortunately plagued with Tommy John issues and was sidelined all of 2015 and most of 2016.
When he did return, he struggled mightily, posting an 8.79 ERA in five games. But, if he can get back to his old form he could be a strong asset in the middle of the rotation.
As for Smyly, he has always been a middle of the line starter, but the sole fact that he is left-handed could prove valuable against the right-handed dominant bats in the league.
Because he has never been an elite ace despite his low-leaning career ERA of 3.76, the Mariners may be able to snag the underrated Smyly for a price that better suits Dipoto’s liking.
Whatever the Mariners decide to do, which might be nothing at all, M’s fans should wait patiently with tempered expectations.
Dipoto has worked has worked his magic already this off-season acquiring Jean Segura, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll pull a Rays player out of a hat in the coming days.
If he does, we know his options. Let’s see what he does.