Seattle Mariners: 5 Free Agents That Fit the Rebuild
RHP GARRETT RICHARDS
I was a fan of the Mariners acquiring Garrett Richards back when I assumed they were aiming to contend in 2019, and I’m even more of a fan of the idea now that they’re all-in on a rebuild. After undergoing a second Tommy John surgery this past July and becoming yet another Angels starter run into the ground, Richards finds himself in a free agency period in which he was initially set to receive a significant payday. One UCL tear later and Richards will likely have to sell high on himself to find a new home this offseason.
In all likelihood, Richards will not pitch at the Major League level in 2019. For the Mariners, that’s absolutely fine. Paying Richards a couple million to guarantee he’s with you in 2020 is absolutely worth seeing what you have in him at a discounted rate. Richards has the makeup to be the next Nathan Eovaldi, fighting back from one devastating injury after the other to finally reach the ceiling so many fans and scouts alike put on him.
Seattle has absolutely nothing to lose here, and they make a lot of sense for Richards. Jerry Dipoto is very familiar with Richards’ potential from his days as the Angels general manager, and he fits the theme of low-cost, high-reward the Mariners can afford to acquire in this time of transition. The stars seemed to be aligned on this one, and I almost feel inclined to say this is a matter of “when,” not “if” at this point.