Mariners: Buy or Don’t Buy these Free Agent Starting Pitchers

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 15: Justin Dunn #35 of the Seattle Mariners pitches. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 15: Justin Dunn #35 of the Seattle Mariners pitches. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Mariners: Strong Buy for Marcus Stroman
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JUNE 01: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Marcus Stroman, NY Mets (30 years old) – Strong Buy for Mariners

Marcus Stroman is another pitcher having a good start to the 2021 season (12 starts, 5-4, 2.41 ERA, 1.3 WAR).  It’s difficult to take his winning percentage into account, as Mariners fans can sympathize with when reminiscing about the days of King Felix.  Unlike Gausman, this ERA is not as significant of an abnormality and is a number that he’s reached in the past.  He also spent most of his career in Toronto, so he too has experience in the AL.

It’s worth noting that, although he turned 30 only a few weeks ago, he opted out of the 2020 season and has the arm of a 29-year-old.  This could be a factor in his price, but the Mariners would be smart to target a starting pitcher deemed an All-Star in his last season (2019).  Mariners front office: please go after this guy – he’s a great fit.

Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox (34 years old) – Strong Buy for Mariners

Lance Lynn is likely going to be a popular name among Mariners fans as someone the franchise should target.  He checks every box: playoff success in St. Louis, experience in the AL West with the Rangers, a solid career ERA (3.48), and is likely going to be receptive to a 2-year deal when considering the number of games started (246).

He would also help to balance out our rotation, as three of our active starting pitchers are left-handed.  The primary issue with Lynn’s pitching style is his recent dependence on fly balls, as approximately 10% of what used to be line drives have converted to fly balls in his 2021 campaign.

T-Mobile Park is a cavern in the outfield, so this trend is worth tracking.  The Mariners would likely look to use him for the same role that the White Sox brought him in for in 2021: be a veteran presence, teach the younger arms how to win in August/September, and provide the franchise with its first playoff appearance in decades.  He’s shown he can do it, so I say we go out and get him.  He’ll also likely be cheap enough so we can potentially spend a lot on other free agents. Strong buy.

Once the Mariners get to the 2021 offseason, it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, they go after.