2. Jackson Kowar, RHP
Okay, I have written about Jackson Kowar before. The Mariners acquired him when they shipped Jarred Kelenic off to the Atlanta Braves. I had no issue with the Mariners trading Kelenic, but getting Kowar? I had a lot of feelings about that. And I still do. Kowar is a former 1st round pick by the Kansas City Royals and was once a top pitching prospect. Things fell apart quickly for Kowar, and the results have not been there in a Major League uniform.
In 74 career innings, Jackson has given up 75(!!!) earned runs. That is a 9.12 career ERA. In those 74 innings, Kowar has walked 51 and struck out 75. He gives up hits too, and boasts a WHIP of 2.09. How is he still competing for a roster spot with those numbers? That is hard to imagine a team with World Series aspirations giving a guy like this a chance. He throws the ball hard, with his fastball sitting in the 91st percentile. His career WAR is -2.6. For context, Justin Topa's WAR in 2023 was 1.6, and he was one of the most reliable arms for the Mariners in 2023.
I know the Mariners' pitching lab has done great work, and Kowar has some prospect pedigree. But I think his services would be better utilized somewhere else, maybe on a team that is rebuilding. He has "Oakland Athletic" written all over him.