Clearing the Bases: Seattle Mariners

2010 Seattle Mariners:


With a new front office led by general manager Jack Zduriencik the 2009 Seattle Mariners made one of the quickest turns into a winning, defensive oriented team we have seen in recent memory. With spectacular defense lead by Franklin Gutierrez, Jack Wilson, and perhaps the best pitcher in the game today Felix Hernandez, the Mariners seem well on their way to competing. The challenge of course for Seattle is to take the next step in a division that has the always competitive LAA Angels and the young and talented Texas Rangers. We will take a look at a few moves that would keep the Seattle Payroll fairly static going forward and push them into the driver’s seat in the AL West.

Moves:
* Sign the best arm on the free agent market. This may seem like a no brainer and well it is. John Lackey has spent his career on the west coast, the Seattle Mariners have money to spend and a need for a #2 behind Hernandez. Although his perforamce has been better then AJ Burnett over his career, starting his season in May the last 2 years gives some cause for concern. Sign John Lackey 5 year/$90 million.

* Rumors about the Athletics not tendering Jack Cust a contract gives the Mariners an opportunity to find a discount DH that adds power to an otherwise powerless offense. Sign Jack Cust 1 year/$4-5 million.

* Signing 1B off a career year may not seem like the best move, but unless the Mariners want to increase payroll more then needed and put their faith in the oft hurt guys like Delgado or Nick Johnson on the FA market, re-signing Russell Branyan seems like a safe bet. Re-sign Russell Branyan 2 year/$10 million.

* Boston has an aging 3B with one year left on a big contract. The Red Sox also seem very willing to trade Mike Lowell for nothing in return and eat a good deal of his salary. With Adrian Beltre likely on his way out, Lowell would fit in nicely as 1 year player. Trade for Mike Lowell and take on $4 million.


* Although the rumors of Curtis Grandersons movement have subsided for the time being a move to Seattle still seems logical here. An average to above average CF, Granderson would slide into an OF with Ichiro in RF and Gutierrez in CF. A defensive juggernaut would be born. Although no real rumors of propsed trades have been leaked all over, a deal involving Seattle OF prospect Michael Saunders who hit .310/.378/.544 at Triple A Tacoma in 2009 before struggling in very brief appearances in the major league level, SS Carlos Triunfel who had a rough year at the plate but has been a highly touted prospect very early in his career seems like a deal that could work. The Mariners may have to include another player, perhaps one of their many hard throwing bullpen arms, but a deal here seems like it could get done. Trade for Curtis Granderson $5.5 million in ’10.

Those 5 moves would leave the Mariners with the Following Lineup and rotation:

(Slash Lines and UZR are projections from baseballprojection.com and beyondtheboxscore.com, Links found below)

C – Adam Moore                    .248/.304/.379
1B – Russell Branyan           .247/.338/.503 +0
2B – Jose Lopez                     .280/.311/.466 -1
3B – Mike Lowell                  .268/.324/.433 +1
SS – Jack Wilson                   .257/.301/.362 +6
LF – Curtis Granderson     .267/.344/.469 +2 (as a CF)
CF – Franklin Gutierrez     .268/.325/.418 +16
RF – Ichiro Suzuki               .305/.338/.400 +7
DH – Jack Cust                       .231/.366/.430

SP – Felix Hernandez
SP – John Lackey
SP – Ian Snell
SP – Ryan Rowland-Smith
SP – Fister, Morrow*, Olson

CL – Aardsma

Bench – Bill Hall, Ken Griffey Jr., Jack Hannahan, Tuiasosopo, FA backup catcher

Bullpen – Lowe, Batista, White, Kelly, Morrow*.

Notes:

*This would leave Seattle with a payroll at just below the 2009 figure of $98,904,166.

*Brandon Morrow should be given another shot in the rotation, however if he fails being placed back in the bullpen where has had success seems logical.

*Granderson/Gutierrez have horrible splits, Granderson unable to hit LHP and Gutierrez unable to hit RHP. Having them in the same OF, provides spectacular defense, but also for Seattle to fluctuate their lineup based on the opposing SP.

*Milwaukee is paying $7+ million of Bill Halls remaining contract in 2010, in case you were attempting to compute the payroll

*Jack Cust not being tendered a contract by Oakland is not currently a fact but an idea that has been expressed in many places.

*Ichiro has only once come within .17 points of putting up the projected OBP, it is unlikely his OBP drops .48 points from ’09-’10

*Projections for pitchers are not currently available, when they are this article will be updated.

*This lineup projects to a .263/.328/.429 line in 2010 with increases Seattle’s production across the board the 2009 line of .258/.314/.402.

UZR Projections

Baseball Porjection

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