The Seattle Mariners roster is nearly set for the beginning of Spring Training 2020. But hey still need to add a few arms and have some other positions they should at least explore.
While most of the big names are gone, the Mariners were never really interested in going that route anyway. In fact, when you look at their 3 MLB free-agent contracts they gave out this winter, they only spent about $3.5 million in total.
But GM Jerry Dipoto warned us all that it was going to be a quiet off-season and thus far, he has been right. But late last week, Dipoto also told fans that he anticipated signing another starter and bullpen arm in the early this week. He also added that the team may add a veteran outfielder as well, but didn’t view it as a necessity as the team believes Mitch Haniger will not miss much time in April.
But while we know the Mariners aren’t going to add any huge names in the next few weeks, there are still quality free agents that make a lot of sense for them, either with MLB or MILB deals. So today, let’s look at 5 free agents the Mariners could be targeting. And just for fun, let’s eliminate the two names most directly linked to Seattle; Taijuan Walker and Yoshihisa Hirano. Both would be good additions, but let’s talk about some new names.
5. Andrew Cashner, RHP
Nobody is ever going to celebrate the addition of Andrew Cashner. The 33-year-old, 10-year veteran has been around the block a few times and has been decidedly average for most of his career. But Cashner has one thing going for him: he’s a pretty reliable arm.
Currently, the Mariners starting rotation has one arm that has thrown more than 150 innings in more than one season. Marco Gonzales needs help. The bullpen needs somebody else on the pitching staff to eat innings. Yusei Kikuchi made it through his rookie season just fine but both Justus Sheffield and Kendall Graveman are major question marks.
Cashner has thrown 150+ innings in 3 consecutive years, 4 of the past 5 seasons, and 5 of his last 7. He is durable, posts league average ERA and FIP, and has experience both in the rotation and in the bullpen.
He actually doesn’t have terrible stuff but relies heavily on his 94 MPH fastball, which may be his worst pitch. There isn’t a lot Cashner can offer you in terms of return value in a trade this summer, as it is unlikely Seattle will turn him into anything more than he has already been. But he is durable, cheap, and good enough to keep the team in games. That makes him a decent possibility.