There is a different feel around this Mariners team. They are generating more buzz than usual, and everybody has questions, whether they are buying it or not. Here are a few answers to your burning questions.
The Mariners are off to a fantastic start. But with that success comes questions. So, let’s answer those questions for you.
Andy has asked this question multiple times, but everytime he asks, it is still a valid question. I’ll say again, I don’t know where you draw the line for a “quality starting pitching”, but if it’s Chris Archer, I’ll advise you to stop wasting your time on that pipe dream.
If you are asking about another Mike Leake, I would say the odds are better now than they were 10 days ago? Why? Well, you can thank Robinson Cano for that. After being suspended for 80 games, the Mariners are no longer obligated to pay his salary over that time period.
So what does this mean? It means the team now has, in theory, an extra $12 million to spend this season. Now, the Mariners are not under any obligation to spend the $12 million, but it would be a slap in the face to not use it to improve their ball club.
The Mariners lack the prospects to compete with many other teams for a pitcher in the trade market. So being willing to add salary is like adding another B-level prospect to your offer.
If you are looking for a name, Kansas City Royal Ian Kennedy and Pittsburgh Pirates Ivan Nova come to mind.
Neither is sexy, but both have their qualities. Kennedy is averaging just under a strikeout per inning while walking less than 3 per 9 innings. While his 5.30 ERA doesn’t inspire much confidence, but his 4.23 xFIP shows he has been a tad unlucky.
Nova is simply a durable, solid #4 starter, who has posted a 4.25 FIP while issuing fewer than 2 walks per nine in his last 67 starts. Both could help the rotation. Whether you count them as “quality” will just be up to you.