Here we go folks, the Houston Astros have signed Josh Hader. The Astros needed to sign a bullpen arm after the news of former Mariner Kendall Graveman being out for the season. Five years and $95mil for the former Houston farm hand. The Astros are not a team to underestimate in the AL West, based off their recent track record, minus a cheating scandal, but player development and spending don't erase the fact the Astros are a top tier team. We can likely chalk it up to a three horse race between the Rangers, Astros, and Mariners in the west.
The Mariners have made a lot of moves this off season, highlighted by the Jarred Kelenic trade to the Atlanta Braves. Kelenic recently made waves in Mariners fandom, followed by the Christmas present of Mitch Garver. Garver provides a steady force in the DH spot for the Mariners, which will likely be his primary role, catching limited games. Jerry and company, once again hooked horns with the Tampa Bay Rays, nabbing Luke Raley for surplus middle infielder Jose Caballero. The Mariners have been active in trying to make the team better. But is it enough?
With star outfielder Julio Rodriguez anchored into Seattle for the long term, the Mariners need to capitalize on a generational talent. This team is built to win. Winning teams make an effort to win, just take a look at the Texas Rangers, World Champs, recent off-season's. This is where the Mariners go big or go home. Sign Seattle native Blake Snell. The 2023 NL CY Young winner wants to come home. The Mariners are built on pitching and defense. Snell, would not only benefit from the Mariners pitching program but the pitcher friendly home of T-Mobile Park. But also provides a dominate force, taking pressure off both the rotation and bullpen.
The Mariners have money, no matter what anyone says. Its all a matter of what owners want to spend. If ownership is serious about winning, the team would sign Blake Snell, and either trade one of their young starters for a bat, stash them in the minors or in the bullpen. The Mariners are the fat cat in the league when it comes to young, controllable starting pitching. Bringing in former Mariner Mitch Haniger and his bash bro Mitch Garver are nice pieces, but its time for the team to go big, make a splash, and start acting like the big boys on the block in the AL West.
Signing Snell opens avenues for the Mariners to trade young starting pitching for a impact bat, brings a homegrown talent home, and puts another feather in the Mariners cap for a strong pitching staff, but also signifiys that ownership is ready to compete with the big dogs on a stage known as postseason success.