The Mariners are going to be looking for starting pitching this offseason. I really do think that Dipoto and crew are going to make a strong run at one of them to try and lead the rotation. The guy out there who just might fit in best with the pulse and attitude of the team is Marcus Stroman.
He’s not the only frontline guy or ace available, but when it comes down to it, he could be the best fit. Here’s why. You watch the Mariners, and it seems like they have that love and fire for the game. You see that when Stroman pitches. Bulldog. Leader. Intense. Whatever word you want to use, that’s him.
There are a handful of top options out there, and we even asked the fans who they wanted the team to go after.
We’ve already talked about Max Scherzer, and he is definitely the pitcher with the best track record out there. You can’t really argue about that. He dominated all season, and even more so once he got to LA. Complain if you want about his postseason, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to play well if they had to throw relief in between two postseason starts.
Anyway, we are here to examine the possibility of Marcus Stroman signing with the Mariners.
If we could get Stroman for the 4yr-$100 million mentioned in the poll above, is that something that we would want, or that is realistic? I think the answer is yes, to all of it. At 30 years old, there are two different contracts that he could be looking for.
The first, and one that would scare me, would be a contract he could sign that would get him to the end of his career. One of those 7 years for $170 million type deals. Anything that long scares me, for any pitcher. I don’t care about your track record, but it’s a long time, and you never know how a pitcher will change in the mid-30s.
The second, and one I could see being more plausible, would be a 3/4 year deal that leaves open the possibility of him signing another deal to finish out his career. The deals that players sign each year get higher and higher from an AAV standpoint, and he could end up making more money that way.
Something in the neighborhood of $20-25 million for around 4 years would be a great get for the Mariners. You would be getting a guy that, outside a funky shortened season in 2018, has compiled a 3.42 ERA in his career, and only seems to be getting better. He had a 3.22 in 2019 and a 3.03 this year after not pitching in 2020.
What impresses me the most though was the combination of improved control (2.2 BB/9) and improved K rate (7.9 K/9). I could see him pushing that up into the mid 8’s, as evidenced by the 9.1 k/9 he had in 2019 after getting to the Mets.
The one question I always have to ask myself when talking about contracts this large becomes “Is this guy an Ace?” With Marcus Stroman, it can be a tough line to walk. If he can pitch in that low 3 ERA range with nearly a strikeout an inning, averaging 6 or so innings a start… then yes, I think he can be. I personally designate an Ace as one of the top 15 starting pitchers in the league. I think he can fall somewhere in that 12-20 range, but the ceiling is an Ace.
Another part of the reason I’m turning harder towards the Stroman bandwagon is his fit with the team. He seems like he would be a great Mariner. There are so many guys on the team who are constantly working their tails off, showing love of the game, showing good intensity, and it seems like they are having fun and just love playing baseball. Stroman is like that to me. He’s a guy, that when he takes the mound, makes you say “oh yeah, I’m glad we got this guy out there today.”
Is Stroman the number one option out there? I don’t know, but, probably not. You might get better numbers, and you can definitely get more strikeouts from someone else. When it comes to enjoying and loving baseball, plus being a frontline starter and borderline Ace, I think Marcus Stroman becomes a great fit for the Seattle Mariners.