A New Year, A New Mariners? What To Expect In 2017
By Riley Baker
It’s 2017 now and the Mariners have been quiet on the transaction front. Here’s an update of where they sit with their current roster.
It’s 40 days until Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Peoria for spring training. So, where exactly does this team stand with the acquisitions made thus far?
November was a busy month for Jerry Dipoto, acquiring veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Dodgers, Danny Valencia from the Athletics and then Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger from Diamondbacks. December had a few moves too, bringing in Marc
December had a few moves too, bringing in free agent, Marc Rzepczynski, and trading for the Giants, Chris Heston.
Now, into the new year, we await Dipoto to make a few more moves before we feel comfortable giving the M’s the nod as a serious playoff contender.
Right now, the potential defensive depth chart looks pretty solid after the offseason additions with a good mix of athleticism and veteran presence.
Here’s how the breakdown at each position looks:
C: Mike Zunino, Carlos Ruiz
INF: Daniel Vogelbach (1B), Danny Valencia (1B), Robinson Cano (2B), Jean Segura (SS), Kyle Seager (3B), Shawn O’Malley (Util)
OF: Leonys Martin (CF), Seth Smith (RF), Mitch Haniger (RF), Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia
With the offense about ready to go, any substantial moves made in the next few weeks before spring training begins will very likely be adding pitching depth to the roster.
Starting Rotation: Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Ariel Miranda/Nate Karns/Chris Heston
Bullpen: Edwin Diaz, Steve Cishek, Marc Rzepczynski, Evan Scribner, Tony Zych, Dan Altavilla, Nate Karns
Before the holidays, there had been rumors of the Mariners possibly adding Jason Hammel or even former Mariner Doug Fister. The addition of one of those arms would give us a slightly above average rotation –both would put the Mariners over the top.
More from SoDo Mojo
- Taylor Trammell Could Provide Impact to 2023 Mariners
- How the Mariners could swing a trade for Fernando Tatis Jr
- What Jerry Dipoto’s trades, comments mean for remainder of Mariners offseason
- Mariners Select Chris Clarke in Rule 5 Draft
- Thank you for a Memorable Year, Abraham Toro and Jesse Winker!
Hammel and Fister, along with the top three starters, Felix, Iwakuma, and James Paxton, who got some high praise in a recent article by Mike Petriello of MLB.com as a potential breakout player of 2017, could make up one of the best rotations in baseball.
The bullpen is pretty well-rounded. Another long-relief arm with more experience than Karns would be welcomed but isn’t a must-have.
Collectively, this team is gearing up for a playoff run with a core group of players whose window is starting to close, and my close in the next couple of years.
As the team stands right now, they are not quite a playoff team just yet. A pair of quality arms added to the team will put them over the hump to compete for a spot in the postseason in 2017.
Next: Mariners Top Prospects- #3 Nick Neidert
A new year brings new hopes, and right now, all 30 teams are optimistic going into the 2017 season. If Dipoto adds a few more key pieces to the pitching staff before spring training, look for this team to be right in the playoff mix come September.