I want to do a bit of a thought exercise here with the Mariners. I know that we all want them to get some bats to improve the offense. I think that is the leading though, and the correct one. However, what would happen if they went all in on the pitching staff and signed someone like Carlos Rodon?
He’s one of the most intriguing names on the SP market this offseason, and will likely be signing the highest total value deal for any pitcher. Yes, Verlander and DeGrom are going to get a higher AAV, but Rodon could easily get five years and push his total up.
What would a Carlos Rodon signing mean for the Mariners offseason plan?
Rodon is likely going to get something in the 26-28 AAV range. He has had some incredible numbers over the last few years, but a bit of an injury history that keeps his AAV down a bit as teams account for the fact they will probably lose a half-season of games from him.
He’s also a lefty, so that gives him a bit more leverage. The Mariners could use another lefty to balance their rotation, and there is no denying that looking at a team and seeing Castillo-Rodon-Kirby-Gilbert-Ray would instantly put fear into anyone. Even the Astros.
We have to go back to that 26-28 nugget, though. That’s a lot to spend. Sure, we all want the Mariners to dump a bunch of money and get both Nimmo and Correa (or something like that), but it’s unlikely to happen. If they were to get Rodon, then it would really limit the amount of money available to do anything to supplant the lineup.
Could you make a trade for someone like Brendan Rodgers or Kolton Wong? Sure, that’s a real possibility. Maybe you could get Michael Brantley, or someone in that AAV range of $13 a year. That would put them up to about $40M, which I think is a realistic max for them to spend. Brantley is a great player, but between his age and lingering injury concerns, I don’t think that would be enough.
Okay. Maybe I’m starting to talk myself into this. Flexen and a piece for Rodgers or Kolten Wong. Sign Brantley or Benintendi. Marco as a long reliever or spot starter when injuries occur.
Would that lineup be enough? Sure, teams might not be able to score against us, but we would still need to be able to put up runs. Let’s see…
- Benintendi – LF
- France – 1B
- Julio – CF
- Hernandez – RF
- Suarez – 3B
- Big Dumper – C
- Kolton Wong – 2B
- Jarred Kelenic/Jesse Winker – DH
- JP Crawford – SS
Oh crap. I kind of like that. Move guys around all you want, but you get the idea. If Kelenic continues to improve or we see a semblance of 2021 Jesse Winker, that lineup actually looks pretty good. Sure, Nimmo in LF, Crawford at 2B, and Swanson/Turner/Bogaerts/Correa at SS would be a lot nicer, but that lineup and a starting rotation with Rodon? I might just sign off on that.
An offer of 5YR/140M to Carlos Rodon would give the Mariners the best rotation in baseball
It comes down to two sides of a coin, here. Do you want an incredibly nasty rotation? One that can shut down the likes of HOU, TOR, PHI, LAD, and SD? Or do you want a lineup that can start to challenge those teams?
You know what? Nope. Sorry, Carlos Rodon. I want the offense. Give me Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, Emerson Hancock, Prelander Berroa, or Taylor Dollard as the next rookie SP, and sign those bats. I want to watch an offense that can save the day if a pitcher struggles, not a staff that has to save the day if the offense struggles. For 2023, I want to see the Mariners get some bats.