After a slow start that saw the Mariners shed more players than they received, things finally started to open at the end of December for Seattle as they signed Mitch Garver to a two-year, $24 million contract. They followed this up with two major trades in January: handing Robbie Ray to the Giants in exchange for Mitch Haniger and Anthony DeSclafani and trading Jose Caballero to the Rays to receive Luke Raley. How might all of these new faces slot into the existing team?
Mariners Starting Rotation
1. Luis Castillo
2. George Kirby
3. Logan Gilbert
4. Bryce Miller
5. Bryan Woo
Although there was quite a bit of discussion surrounding the futures of 2023 rookies Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo, it seems unlikely that they'll get traded now, especially with years of team control left. If they both stay onboard heading into next season, they'll likely maintain their spots in the starting rotation over Anthony DeSclafani.
DeSclafani had a career year in 2021. After signing with the Giants on a one-year, $6 million contract he pitched to a 3.17 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 167 ⅔ innings, making 31 starts and pitching two shutouts. 2021 was a weird year that saw the Giants unexpectedly winning 107 games and failing to come close to that level of success in the two years since, and DeSclafani has followed a similar path. After his 2021 campaign, he's pitched a total of just 118 ⅔ innings with a 5.16 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, inferior numbers to both Woo and Miller.
To make matters worse, he's still on the last year of a relatively expensive three-year, $36 million contract, making him the third most expensive player on the roster. The Mariners might do with him what the Braves did with Marco Gonzales, which is to trade him soon after picking him up. If they're forced to keep him, it'd be surprising to see him above the fourth spot in the rotation, if he's in it at all.
The Mariners are known for their excellent pitching development, especially in recent years, so there might be a way to rediscover what's left of 2021 DeSclafani but he's currently sitting below Emerson Hancock on the depth chart.