Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.
Today's AL team is the Seattle Mariners and our guest is Griffin from the Mariners Blog, Sodo Mojo.
1. What do the Mariners need to do this offseason to truly make them a contender for the AL West crown in 2010?
They have to sign or acquire a legitimate #2 starter, figure out the third base situation, and sign a real DH. The Mariners had the worst DH production in baseball in 2009, and there's no way they contend without significantly improving on that. As for their pitching, right now it's pretty much Felix, then a bunch of back of the rotation guys. To make that rotation respectable they'll have to get some middle of the rotation help.
2. I've locked you, your owner and your GM in a room and am forcing you to trade King Felix. What would you need to get in return to walk out of the room a happy man?
It'd have to be a butt load of near major league ready, type A prospects, along with some major league talent. The fact is, it's gotta be huge, because trading Felix would eliminate any chance the Mariners have of contending next season.
3. First off, why was Russell Branyan good last year? Secondly, will the Ms bring him back or will another team give him a decent sized contract just to watch him regress back to the player he used to be?
Branyan showed his true colors last year. He's got a ton of power, and he's going to whiff, a lot. The fact is, regression already hit him. He was hitting over .300 for the first couple months of the season, but when that obscenely high BABIP finally came back to earth, the numbers dropped off quickly. However, he's still a valuable offensive player, and by far the best option the Mariners have at first base right now. No team is going to give him a multi year contract because of his back issues, and I expect him to be back on a one year deal, probably with a 2011 club/mutual option.
4. Beltre's contract is finally done, that must make you happy. Any chance they bring him back? If not whom will they A) Utilize the money on and B) Use to replace him at 3b?
Actually, Beltre's contract being over does not make me happy at all. I think it's a common misconception that Adrian Beltre was a disappointment to all Mariners fans - that just isn't true. Sure, some of the casual fans who don't understand the value of defense might look at him that way, but he was actually worth every penny of his contract, and I'm extremely sad to see him go. I'd love to have him back, but everyone can see he's not a good offensive fit for Safeco, and I don't see any way he returns.
As for the third base situation, it's probably going to be settled from within. It'll end up being either Matt Tuiasosopo, maybe a Hannahan/Hall platoon - they might even move Lopez to third and put Tui at second base. Really, there are a number of options. It's hard to say right now, but I don't see them signing or trading for another third baseman.
5. The Mariners already resigned Ken Griffey Jr. Are you ok with having him on the roster basically as a figurehead to the glory days of 1995?
Now don't get me wrong, I love Ken Griffey Jr. He was one of my heroes when I was a little kid, but I wasn't ecstatic with the decision to bring him back for 2010. I honestly thought 2009 was a perfect way for him to go out. In reality, all it does is take a roster spot away from a better player, probably Ryan Langerhans - and to quote Dave Cameron, it just makes us a little bit less likely to contend in 2010.
6. How many times a day do you regret the Mariners making the Erik Bedard trade?
Honestly, I don't really think about it anymore. Sure, it was awful for awhile, but the fact that Franklin Gutierrez was nearly 3 times as valuable as Adam Jones by WAR this year has helped stitch the wound.
7. You've gassed your owner and have convinced him to spend like the Yankees, which three free agents do you sign?
Well, if we're really going all out, I'd probably go after Matt Holliday, Chone Figgins, and Rich Harden. That would fill two of our biggest holes in third base and the starting rotation, and bringing in Matt Holliday would be a huge boost to our offense without hurting our defense too much. In that scenario, I'd probably lock up Holliday to a 3-4 year deal and trade Michael Saunders.
8. Which Mariners prospect are you most looking forward to in 2009 and beyond?
For 2010: Michael Saunders and Adam Moore. For beyond 2010: Dustin Ackley, Carlos Triunfel. If the Mariners want to contend in 2010, Moore and Saunders are both going to have to step up and at least give us decent production.
9. I'm giving you the option to cut players without any salary repercussions, which Mariners do you part way with?
Carlos Silva. With Miguel Batista and Kenji Johjima gone, that's it. Just Silva.
10. Final Question, you've got a crystal ball, the Mariners will win the West in ________.