The Drought, Part II: The 10 Most Underrated Mariners Since 2001 – First Five

SEATTLE - MARCH 31: Fans walk up to the stadium before the Seattle Mariners game against the Texas Rangers on March 31, 2008 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE - MARCH 31: Fans walk up to the stadium before the Seattle Mariners game against the Texas Rangers on March 31, 2008 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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#10: RHP Brandon League

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 24: Brandon League #43 and Miguel Olivo #30 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate a win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 24, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 7-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 24: Brandon League #43 and Miguel Olivo #30 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate a win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 24, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 7-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Brandon League was acquired in 2009 from the Blue Jays for Brandon Morrow, who landed #6 on my 10 Worst list. As it turned out, League would be one of Jack Zduriencik’s best acquisitions in his tenure.

Appearing in 70 games in 2010, League finished 9-7 with a 3.52 xFIP. That’s a pretty solid return for a bust in Morrow.

In 2011, League would take over the closing duties after David Aardsma required Tommy John surgery. With the bullpen in flux, League was their crutch and collected 37 saves. League would earn All-Star honors that year,

While League was never an extremely consistent pitcher for the Mariners, he was necessary in a desperate time. When Aardsma went down, the Mariners needed someone to rely on and League stepped up.

The following year, League fell apart and was replaced by Tom Wilhelmsen. It was unfortunate, but it was the nature of things for Mariners closers at this time. League would be traded to the Dodgers for Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom.

Still, League provided a spark for the Mariners in 2010 and 2011 that cannot be forgotten. He was one of the good ones, no matter how it ended in Seattle.

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