Sodo Mojo’s 2019 Seattle Mariners Off-Season Plan
Offer MILB Contracts to a trio of vets
Signing veterans or journeyman minor leaguers to minor league deals with invites to spring training is just as much of an off-season tradition as trades and free-agent signings. And every once in awhile, you can find a real gem. In trying to keep with a realistic off-season, we have a few options of guys we like.
First up, we have 2019 rotation member Tommy Milone. He was a great find for the Mariners last winter and helped save the rotation, covering 111.2 innings while posting a 4.76 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, a 7.6 K/9, and a 1.9 BB/9.
Milone was exactly what the Mariners needed last season, a reliable innings eater and could fill that role again. But there just isn’t much upside in Milone’s game anymore and his market won’t likely be vast. Milone is solid filler, but shouldn’t be viewed as much more.
Next up, another former Mariner, Drew Smyly. We already wrote about a potential Smyly reunion here, but the idea is simple. Be it as a bullpen member or winning a job in the rotation, Smyly is now 2 years removed from his Tommy John surgery and flashed his old stuff in 2019, minus the command.
If he can find his command and return to his pre-injury self, he could be a #3 starter or an above-average, multi-inning reliever. Either way, that is worth a flier.
Finally, we have Clay Buchholz, the 35-year-old righty formerly of the Red Sox, Phillies, and Blue Jays. Once rumored as a potential Mariners target, Buchholz is looking to extend his career after his 2019 was nothing short of a disaster.
However, his 2018 was quite good, post a 2.01 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 7.4 K/9, a 2.0 BB/9, and a 209 ERA+ in 16 starts that covered 98.1 innings. Buchholz’s entire career has been defined by injuries, but if he still wants to pitch, the Mariners may be the right team to give him that chance.