So, I guess there was this interview with Jerry Dipoto on 710am recently where he said the Mariners are more or less set with the starting pitchers they have. Don’t expect any major moves – either via free agency, or trades – between now and Spring Training. This, in spite of the fact that at the moment, there are a TON of starting pitchers on the free agent market. The supply is high, the demand appears to be low for now, and so you know what that means: good pitchers could be brought in for a song.
And the Mariners aren’t going to take advantage of this? Are they fucking NUTS?
This feels like a Once in a Decade type of thing. Usually, Major League Baseball’s free agency period is a feeding frenzy of 30 ravenous coyotes all going after one small, dying group of deer. The biggest, toughest ones snatch the best players for themselves, leaving the rest of the league trying to squeeze blood from a stone (lots of weird metaphors here, I apologize). Every once in a while, the Mariners go big game hunting, but more often than not, we’re among the lower-level teams picking off the scraps.
But, this year, there’s actual talent on the market! That the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, and Angels have all passed over!
On the flipside, you’ve got the Mariners, whose plan apparently involves going into 2018 with the same set of rotation pitchers they had at the end of 2017. I know I ranted my way down this rabbithole on Twitter earlier in the week, but let’s run down everyone:
- James Paxton – has never stayed healthy in his entire career
- Felix Hernandez – clearly on the downside of his career, also coming off of multiple seasons of injuries
- Mike Leake – who was very good with the M’s late last year, but those were his first 5 games as a member of the American League, so he had the element of being an unknown on his side (he also out-pitched his career numbers to an amazing degree, so it’s safe to say 2018 Leake is in for some heavy regression)
- Ariel Miranda – who is just a so-so fifth starter type as it is, who faltered GREATLY at the end of the season last year
- Andrew Moore – who just got POUNDED almost each and every appearance
- Marco Gonzales – who also got POUNDED almost each and every appearance
- Erasmo Ramirez – who probably had his best-ever sustained run of greatness last season after being traded back to the M’s, but you’re a fucking FOOL if you believe that’s going to continue on into 2018 and beyond
- Hisashi Iwakuma – who is coming off of a lifetime of injuries, who is currently on a minor league deal, and who knows if he’s even recovered from last year’s debilitating arm issues?
And that’s not even getting into all the other AAA nobodies we have in this organization who are all surely just as bad as all the AAA nobodies we had to suffer through in 2017 thanks to all the injuries and nonsense. At least we don’t have Yovani Gallardo wasting our fucking time with his bullshit.
I mean, this is a joke, right? That the Mariners are “set” with their starting rotation? You do realize we’re in the FUCKING American League West, with the best team in all of baseball (the Astros) who have done nothing but get BETTER this offseason (especially if they figure out a way to bring in Gerrit Cole). Then, there’s the Angels who finished 2 games ahead of the Mariners in 2017, who still have the best player alive (Mike Trout), and who brought in the consensus best free agent pitcher/hitter in the world (Shohei Ohtani). Then, there’s the Texas Rangers, who had the same record as the Mariners last year, and had injury issues of their own to contend with. Oh, and you can’t dismiss Oakland out of hand, because they always deal in up-and-coming prospects and you never know when it’s all going to come together for them out of nowhere.
What have the Mariners done? They traded for a second baseman that they’re converting to a centerfielder, they signed a reliever, and they traded for a first baseman who might not be any good (and who might not even be any better than the first basemen we had last year). That’s it.
This is a team, mind you, with a majority stake in their own fucking regional sports network! They’re practically printing money! And this is all we can muster?
Don’t forget, this is also the team that refuses to tear it all down and start a rebuild. Which, fine (they probably couldn’t anyway, because no one in their right minds would give legitimate prospects for the likes of aging veterans like Cano, Cruz, or Felix, no matter how much the fans are clamoring for it). We’ve got these veterans, we’ve got a solid offense, let’s play to win now.
Well, then LET’S GO! Let’s sign one of these stud starting pitchers still out there on the free agent market! What, we had all this money to pursue Ohtani, but we don’t have a few sheckles for Yu Darvish or Lance Lynn or any of the numerous starting pitchers out there who are BETTER and MORE RELIABLE than the ones we have under contract?
You know what really gets me? Every time the Mariners decide to bite the bullet and hit the free agent market in earnest, they have to over-pay to bring in the guys they sign. Sometimes it works out (Cano and Cruz have been great signings, for instance), but a lot of times they’re busts (Carlos Silva anyone? Jarrod Washburn? ET FUCKING AL). Now, we have a chance to get some really GOOD players on the cheap (what are they going to do, retire in protest? GTFO), and what do we do? Clutch our purse strings and claim poverty.
Bullshit. Fucking BULLSHIT!
God damn these fucking Mariners! WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING HERE YOU GUYS??? You do realize the M’s are WAY WORSE than both the Astros and Angels! You do realize we have to play everyone in our division 19 times apiece! That’s 76 games – almost HALF YOUR FUCKING SCHEDULE – and you’re not even fucking trying.
Well, if you’re not going to try, then blow the fucking thing up. But, these half measures are fucking killing me. Normally, when I write a season off before it starts, it’s because the Mariners are fucking miserable failures. But, this year, if you planted the Mariners in any other mediocre division, they’d probably net at least 10 more victories than they will in the A.L. West. Fucking unbelievable.
Except, no. VERY believable. Welcome to YOUR Seattle Mariners, everyone! Just shoot me in the fucking head right now and get it over with.