Seattle Mariners could be .500 team with these 5 moves

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 04: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians taunts Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Seattle Mariners after Encarnacion was called out at first on review to end the top of the sixth inning at Progressive Field on May 04, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 04: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians taunts Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Seattle Mariners after Encarnacion was called out at first on review to end the top of the sixth inning at Progressive Field on May 04, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Sign Hyun-Jin Ryu to 3-year, $60 million contract

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 06: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS at Nationals Park on October 6, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 06: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the NLDS at Nationals Park on October 6, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Mariners will need a much better rotation to reach our 81 win goal and while Dipoto prefers to trade, they need to add talent without losing some at this point. Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming off a career and he will cost quite a bit to sign, especially with all the other big-name arms off the market.

But like I said, Seattle needs a significant, proven upgrade in their rotation, and Ryu’s last 50 starts have been #1 quality. He can miss bats, gets groundballs, doesn’t walk anybody, and despite turning 33 in March, he doesn’t have a ton of mileage left on his arm.

Ryu doesn’t replace anybody in the rotation, as the Mariners have just Marco Gonzalez, Yusei Kikuchi, and Justus Sheffield as “locks”. The team has added Kendall Graveman in real life, but his contract is so small and placement in the bullpen is likely to happen sooner than later.

Seattle would love to get another 4.9 fWAR season out of him, but even if he gets the Steamer projected 2.9 fWAR, he is still a good bargain at $20 million per season. Obviously, the age and durability concerns are slowing down his market, but when he does pitch, he has a floor of a #3 starter.

Tacking on his $20 million salaries to the $15.5 million we took in the Lindor trade, and we have spent half of our allotted $70 million to add 6.6 wins to our 68 game starting point. So to reach our goal, we have to add 7-8 wins to our current 73-74 win unit.

We are running out of cash fast, and finding cheap impact will be tough, but let’s see what we can do.

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