Should the Seattle Mariners try to sign free agent Marcus Stroman in free agency?
Marcus Stroman opted out of the 2020 Major League Baseball season due to concerns over COVID-19. In a weird way, this might only enhance his value as a starting pitcher this offseason. Stroman will have had a whole year’s rest and he will only be 29 years old when the 2021 season begins. The Seattle Mariners could use a pitcher like this.
Stroman isn’t going to likely be a Cy Young Award winner but he will be a very solid number three starter (possibly even a number two), eat up innings, and put the Mariners in a position to win games.
Stroman’s average season is 9 wins and 8 losses with an ERA of 3.76 (very solid). Since 2016 (and not counting 2020, obviously), Stroman has averaged 173 innings pitched a year. None of the Mariners quality starters in 2020 will be free agents before 2021. Signing Stroman would be a want instead of a need. But he might be the perfect pitcher for Seattle to want.
I say this because the Mariners are trying to build from within for the most part. Fitting Marcus Stroman into a rotation that will include Marco Gonzales and Justus Sheffield means Stroman will not have to walk to the mound every fifth or sixth day as the one guy Seattle needs to pitch well to keep the team from a long losing streak.
Marcus Stroman might be too costly
The biggest question for the Mariners obtaining Stroman is how much they are willing to pay. There are not a lot of good starting pitchers available on the free agent market before next year. In fact, Stroman might be considered the second best behind Trevor Bauer. If teams view it the same way then they will overpay for Stroman and the Mariners do not need to do that.
That sounds a little weird, right? Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001 and not making a move for a quality starting pitcher seems odd. But general manager Jerry Dipoto’s plan seems to be working. Get the farm system to produce good players and don’t overspend. If Stroman receives a big offer elsewhere, the Mariners should lay off from signing him.