The Mariners’ 2018 campaign ended last Sunday, and with that, the offseason is close to kicking into full gear.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the Mariners’ offseason plan. From Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto’s press conference on Monday, we did learn that they have no plans to tear the team down and trade from its young core headlined by Mitch Haniger, Edwin Díaz, and Marco Gonzales. That still leaves quite a few options on the table, including a possible soft reboot.
There is, however, a clear idea of which path they are taking: to compete in 2019. After winning 89 games and still, somehow, missing the postseason by eight games, the Mariners believe they are right on the edge of contention. Both Dipoto and Servais mentioned building a team that doesn’t just reach a Wild Card game, but can win its division.
Accomplishing that will take some work this offseason, with the Astros and Athletics going strong, and the Angels and Rangers not too far off from contention themselves. Will they be able to be that team? Time will tell. What happens in the interim will greatly shift the needle one way or another, determining if the Mariners will remain a middle-of-the-road ballclub or finally be able to transcend their stasis of mediocrity.
Here are my five predictions for the upcoming offseason.