Seattle Mariners: Pursue or pass on Mike Fiers

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SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mike Fiers #50 of the Oakland Athletics delivers in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 27, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mike Fiers #50 of the Oakland Athletics delivers in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 27, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Mike Fiers walking off the field against the Seattle Mariners
SEATTLE, WA – MAY 13: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #50 of the Oakland Athletics tosses a ball in the air as we walks off the field during a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on May 13, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The veteran starting pitcher Mike Fiers has hit the open market. Should the Mariners pursue him in free agency to add to their rotation?

Mike Fiers has had an extremely weird career. The 35-year-old veteran has pitched in the majors for 10 seasons now and he has a wide set of accomplishments and reasons to be in the news.

On the field, Fiers has thrown two no-hitters, his first in 2015 and second in 2019. With the Astros in 2016 and 2017 one season he led the league in wild pitches and the next he lead the league in hit batters. This was weird for Fiers who had done well avoiding getting up in those two statistics his whole career other than those two seasons.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing.” -Mike Fiers on the Astros stealing signs

In 2019 He also debuted one of the weirder beards you will ever see in September for one game. He then followed up a few months later by being the whistleblower on the largest sign-stealing scandal that major league baseball has seen, saying that his former team was using a camera in center field to steal signs. We all know the story.

Back to breaking down Fiers with his normal attributes, he has a 4.04 career ERA and a 4.48 FIP, along with a just barely over average 101 ERA+. In his most recent work, three seasons with the Athletics, he had a 4.00 ERA, a 105 ERA+, and a 4.96 FIP.

So should the Mariners pursue Mike Fiers in free agency this offseason?

My vote here would be no. Fiers has had a great career pitching many full seasons, but he declined in performance last year and his Baseball Savant page is discouraging.

Last season he was in the 5th percentile for K%, 34th percentile for xOBP, and 29th percentile for xSLG. He also had a 4.58 ERA and a 4.94 FIP in the shortened 2020 season.

While Fiers has had many good seasons and many OK seasons, he doesn’t have that high ceiling that a team like the Mariners would want, since the Mariners should go for low risk with the potential for high reward type of players.

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Fiers will get paid by someone for his talents, it won’t be a high number but it also won’t be extremely low. The Mariners should steer clear of Fiers as I would rather have some young players with high potential in the rotation rather than a guy like Fiers who would be a solid 4th or 5th starter in a good rotation.

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