Why This 2022 Mariners Team Is Different Than Years Past
By Tyler Zornes
The 2022 Mariners we have seen so far are FUN. We have seen this Seattle team’s culture shifting over the last couple of years, and it has been great to watch. We had a quick glimpse of fun between 2014-18 when we had the core of Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Felix Hernandez leading the way. It felt great to see the Mariners going out and spending on game-changing players two seasons in a row, and there was hope in Seattle again.
After a heartbreakingly close end to the season in 2018, the M’s parted ways with Cano, Cruz, and the decline of Felix was fully accepted. The window was missed, and hope was gone again. In the years since, the Mariners have rebuilt themselves into a force to be reckoned with, and definitely a dark horse contender in the American League.
The 2022 Mariners just seem to be different… and it’s a great thing to see
Many of their key contributors in this early 2022 season have joined the club since the 2018 offseason, with a huge portion coming via trade. Not only has Jerry Dipoto completed these trades, but he has done so while maintaining the #1 farm system, according to baseballamerica.com.
The end of the 2021 season was heartbreaking as well, as the Mariners fell just short of making their first playoff spot in 20 years. The differences between this past offseason compared to after the 2018 season, are the upgrades. There has been a lot of talk on whether they were enough, but I believe strongly that they were. This team won 90 games in 2021.
They added the reigning Cy-Young award winner in Robbie Ray, an All-Star 2B Adam Frazier, a slugging 3B Eugenio Suarez, an elite hitter against RHP in Jesse Winker, as well as calling up their #1 prospect Julio Rodriguez. Sure they lost Kyle Seager and James Paxton for example, but I strongly believe this Mariners team has a much higher upside than 2021.
This team has energy. This team has smiles and joy on their faces. The players can all feel the end to this drought coming, and they look beyond excited to be a part of it. When you see Julio Rodriguez smiling on and off the field when you see Jesse Winker messing around and Mitch Haniger leading by example, you can feel good things coming. You can tell that they love the team they’re on, and they will do whatever it takes to bring the playoffs and Championships to Seattle.