4. George Kirby (RHP)
Just imagine a pitching rotation with George Kirby as your 4th starter. George will turn 26 before Spring Training, and is just now entering his prime. He finished 2023 with a 13-10 record, with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.0 WHIP. He only surrendered 19 walks in 190.2 innings. He led all of baseball in walks per 9 innings (0.9) and strikeouts per walk (9.05). He got his first All-Star nod in 023 as well.
George is about as consistent of a pitcher as there is in all of Major League Baseball. In a game where the 3 true outcomes rules, George eliminates one of those outcomes (walks). His strikeouts per 9 inning dipped from 9.2 in 202 to 8.1 in 2023. While he may never be labeled a strikeout pitcher, He could go down as one of the greats because of how he limits walks. George is a great top-of-the rotation pitcher, and having him in the 4 spot is a luxury I would love the Mariners to have.
3. Blake Snell (LHP)
Blake Snell is a mirror opposite pitcher than George Kirby. George Kirby does not walk anybody, and Blake Snell led Major League Baseball in walks in 2023. He also is the favorite to win the 2023 Cy Young Award for the National League. How can that be? Well, Snell was virtually unhittable in 2023. He led all of baseball with an ERA of 2.25 and hits per 9 innings with just 5.75. That is the lowest H/9 since Trevor Bauer in 2020 with 5.05 hits per 9 innings.
Adding Snell brings a ton of risk. If he does win the Cy Young Award this year, it will be the second time he has won that award. He won it back in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA. Besides 2018 and presumably this year, Snell has exactly 0 Cy Young votes. He can be very Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to consistency. He has struck out 11.1 batters per 9 innings in his career, but he also has walked 4.1 batters per 9 innings. He even led Major League Baseball in walks in 2023 with 99.
Blake is also a local kid, who apparently wants to come home to pitch for his favorite team, the Seattle Mariners. He graduated from Shorewood High School, in Shoreline. It is not very often that a top Free Agent has reports leak that he WANTS to play for the Mariners. Jerry, do the right thing. Bring Blake Snell home (and maybe fix his walks, too).