After an impressive season, the Seattle Mariners out of the 2022 season will be key to their future. They were better than most people expected and knocked on the postseason door, but, in full Mariners fashion, they failed again.
The depth of the sailors’ expectations proved real. They are talented, competitive and ready to take a step forward even if people keep getting overlooked. This team has proven to be solid and not just outperforming, it has put even the biggest competitors against the wall more often than not.
Seattle hasn’t hosted a postseason game in two decades, but for the first time in years, it looks like baseball’s longest drought may be ending sooner rather than later. Notably, the team seems poised for some fun off-season action.
Mariners need offseason 2022: How to become a contender
No one expected the Seattle Mariners to reach the final week of the season with chances of making the playoffs. Mariners trade rumors flooded the internet left and right throughout the season but they refused to be salesmen and continued to trust their core.
They’ve been hard as nails for most of the year, especially in one-run games. They have won more than 20 matches decided in one round and can never be counted from any game. With that in mind, let’s talk about their biggest off-season needs and how to solve them.
Lots of cash to spare
The Seattle Mariners, unlike most teams, have plenty of money to spare ahead of the 2022 season. Along with Evan White, Chris Flexen, Marco Gonzalez and Ken Giles, they don’t have guaranteed money on their books, and these players’ salaries combined are about $15 million.
They still need to decide on Yusei Kikuchi but that looks like a no-brainer at this point, while Mitch Haniger, Diego Castillo and JP Crawford would be eligible to arbitrate. Also, getting Kyle Seager back should be a priority, but they’ll still have plenty of money to spend at a free agency. If not, the sailors’ depth of potential will have to show again next season.
Marco Gonzalez was far from the bowler they expected to be last season, especially so early in the year. Yusei Kikuchi was often tough but also struggled towards the end of the season. The sailors’ rotation was fairly stiff for the most part but they still needed to add another reliable lever.
General Manager Jerry DePoto ended the season by saying that they would be very aggressive in the market to improve their roster. Players like Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray and Kevin Gossman may be out of their range, but they could try to run on Marcus Strowman and Eduardo Rodriguez, or even take the risk with Noah Sendergaard coming out of an extended injury absence.
Sign to the left of the bull
As mentioned earlier, sailors thrived in single game scenarios, which meant their work base was solid. Dipoto made this an area of focus after posting a 5.94 bullpen ERA in 2020, bringing that number down to 3.88. However, most analysts are expecting some regression from the bulls’ game that helped pave the way for a 90-win season that no one else came up with.
So, you might ask why to fix what doesn’t need fixing, and the answer is simpler than you thought.
Ken Giles, Diego Castillo, Paul Seewald, Drew Stekenryder, Casey Sadler, and Andres Muñoz are all right-handers. So, put the Sothbow dump at the top of the Mariners’ off-season needs list, as Anthony Misevich – the team’s only left-handed option off the field – wasn’t quite as sharp against the left-handed hitters.
Sailors are better than expected and will be fine in the future, but these moves will take them to the next level right away.