The future of Seattle Mariners baseball is bright…very bright…like put the shades on bright. Coming off an unexpected 90-win campaign in 2021, and the top farm system in baseball, the Mariners made two impressive moves in the offseason before the lockout put everything on hold.
First, the Mariners traded for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres. Second, they went out and signed the reigning American League Cy Young award winner SP Robbie Ray to a 5-year contract worth $115 million.
These are great starts, and I don’t believe they will be anything close to all the moves they will make before the eventual opening day. We’ve heard rumblings of Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, and possible trades for Matt Chapman, and Mike Moustakas.
These are all fine additions and would make the Mariners better, but these are half measures. Moves to keep the arrow pointing up and allow Seattle to take one of the new wild card spots that will likely be added to the league after the lockout. Who knows, maybe they get lucky and even steal the division from Houston. But half measures are half measures…they only get you halfway home.
The Mariners need to go all-in for 2022. The Full Measure.
The goal of the Seattle Mariners shouldn’t be to break the 20 plus year drought of no postseason play. The goal should be to break a 45 year World Series drought. The Mariners can be great, but they need to go all in, and there’s one mega-deal with Cleveland that I believe would get them to the promised land…trading for 3B Jose Ramirez AND SP Shane Bieber.
Back in October, we looked at what it would take to acquire the star third baseman and where that would leave our prospect depth and future talent. The idea of trading for a player at the level of a Shane Bieber, on his own, would also leave the M’s a bit lighter in prospect depth. Trading for both? That would destroy our farm! Sure it’s possible, but this isn’t any ordinary farm system.
According to Baseball America, the Seattle Mariners have the top-ranked farm system in all of baseball, with superstar position players, and elite pitching. A trade for an MVP caliber player and a recent Cy Young winning ace will make the farm system’s prestigious ranking short-lived, but I believe that the use of the farm system is to get the Mariner closer to a World Series, not to just have talented, cheap prospects.
The Mariners already have young, talented pieces. They need stars, and the ability for Seattle to get cheap proven stars, while giving up potential, shouldn’t be a question.
The Cleveland Guardians roster is fading, teams in their division like the White Sox and Tigers are ascending, and they don’t operate like a big market team. There is almost zero chance they will be able to financially retain either Ramirez after 2023, or Bieber after 2024, let alone both.
The Guardians are getting a fresh start with their new name, and I expect them to be looking at an all-around rebuild as well. Here’s where the Mariners can give them the ultimate haul, while Seattle looks to make the jump.
The Guardians could use both hitting and pitching talent, some immediate to near immediate help, as well as some lower minors prospects. They will want the usual Julio, Kelenic, Kirby packages that the M’s will not be interested in. Seattle views those three as the core to their title run. Instead, look for Seattle to overwhelm the Guardians with great talent and depth, rather than a single diamond.
That may not be what Cleveland and their fans want to hear, but I believe there is an offer that will work for both sides.