Regular Season Preview: The Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners had a very disappointing 2008 after coming into the season with very high expectations. They spent a ton of money while depleting the farm system to acquire starting pitchers Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva. Bedard was hurt and ineffective while Silva was flat out awful. After other pitchers in the rotation such as Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista faltered, the team fell apart.
In this offseason, they didn’t do much to improve the team; however they did bring back future Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Junior. Raul Ibanez, Jose Vidro, and Richie Sexon have all departed. The Mariners executed a couple trades in the offseason. First, they traded closer JJ Putz to the Mets in a three way trade that brought them a host of young players. Then, they dealt Aaron Heilman, a player acquired in the Putz trade, to the Cubs for Garret Olson and Ronny Cedeno. This year’s version of the Mariners will not be much better than the last one, in fact, they’ll probably be worse. Losing Putz and Ibanez will hurt them, and Adrian Beltre could be traded during the season.
It will get worse before it gets better, so the M’s have got to continue to clean house and deal Beltre and Bedard. I don’t think that this team has the talent to retool by adding a couple of bats or arms next offseason. They’ll have to blow it up and start over the way the A’s and Rangers have done. With the aforementioned teams on the way up and with the Angels standing high, it is imperative for the Mariners to rebuild. Aim for competing in 2011 or 2012 and hope that new GM Jack Zduriencik can rebuild this team successfully.