5 Under the Radar Pitchers Seattle Mariners Should Target
Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy
The Kansas City Royals are believed to be rebuilding. If this is the case, they have a pair of veteran starters who could be useful to a team like the Mariners. While Danny Duffy could be the real prize, it is unlikely the Mariners have the weapons to go out and get the Royals ace.
Ian Kennedy, the soon to be 33-year-old, is perhaps the most likely pitcher to be dealt. Coming off a poor season with a 5.25 xFIP in 154 innings, Kennedy decide to exercise his player option. Kennedy is now slated to make $49 million over the next 3 years.
A bit of a hefty price, but that should make him relatively cheap on the trade market. Kennedy has been nothing but durable in his career, making 30 or more starts in 8 consecutive seasons. A flyball pitcher, Kennedy has also shown an ability to miss bats, as evidence by his career 8.25 K/9 ratio.
The other name that might make more sense is Jason Hammel. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto admitted last season that the Mariners were after Hammel until the acquisition of Drew Smyly from Tampa Bay.
Hammel, the 35-year-old, has just 1 year left on his contract, with an option year in 2019. This shorter term commitment might make more sense for the Mariners. Hamell has made 29 or more starts each of the past 4 years, with fWAR’s ranging from 1.5 to 2.4 in that stretch.
Hammel’s consistency and good control, coupled with a relatively low-cost to acquire, make him a solid choice to round out an injury riddled rotation.