All offseason, Mariners fans have been sitting around wondering and making guesses about who the final starting pitcher will be. The start of the season is only a couple of weeks away, and it doesn’t seem like we have an answer yet.
There is always the chance that JeDi goes out and makes a trade. He’s probably got earworms out to a bunch of different GMs getting a feel for starting pitchers, and what it would take from the Mariners to get them. Shoot, I bet he is trying to work a reliever in there as well after the team lost Casey Sadler for the 2022 season.
The Mariners need to figure out who is going to have the #5 spot in the starting rotation
We’ve gone over a bunch of trade ideas here on site to fill the SP role. From Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks to Reds pitchers like Castillo or Frankie Montas of the Athletics and Pablo Lopez from the Marlins. There have been plenty of others as well (for those wondering if we’ve done one on a specific person, type in “Sodo Mojo + players name” into your favorite search engine).
There is another option for the final starter. The Mariners could look in-house. I think there is a small section of people out there who are still in Justus Sheffields corner. It sounds like the team is trying to work on him as a starter, working on keeping him lengthened out.
Or they could look to someone like Matt Brash or George Kirby. One of the prospects who have been making waves lately. Sure, Kirby got roughed up a bit in his first start, but the stuff looked great. He was sitting on the corners and getting up to 99 on the radar gun. Brash looked good in his first outing, mowing down hitters as if they’d offended him.
With the announcement coming out that rosters will be at 28 through May 1st with no max on pitchers allowed on the roster, it’s likely we see in-house guys with the Mariners. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the team dedicate a couple of guys solely to that 5th day. Some combination of Sheffield, Brash, and Margevicius (he says it’s pronounced like more cabbages, and I can’t get it out of my head) to fill the first seven innings.
Jerry isn’t going to overpay for anyone. If he thinks he can get a better deal, or that new players might become available that would better fit the team come the deadline, he’s going to wait until then. It’s also worth remembering that it’s a double-edged sword. If the bar gets set high, like it did last year in the Twins and Blue Jays deal, he’s likely going to stand pat or just make small deals.
This team has signs of being a real contender, but we all remember what happened last year when they had to have bullpen starts and random call-ups. The Mariners need to figure out their 5th starter, and quickly.