Sometimes during a long season, like the one the Seattle Mariners are having, it becomes clear that certain players need to move on. There are times when people are just having a down year, and you suspect they will rebound in the future. Or, there are situations where the player is not putting up great numbers, but they have displayed great potential for the future.
Obviously, some roster moves are more difficult than others. When you have a player that signed an expensive multi-year deal, they may be hard to move when they are not performing on the field.
A few months ago I would have put Ichiro on this list, but Seattle already took care of that potentially awkward situation.
The Mariners are not in a position where they can cast off a lot of assets because, frankly, they do not have a bevy of stars.
However, there are a few players that are not a great fit for the future. Whether Seattle can get rid of them is another story.
Here are five players on the Seattle Mariners that need to go.
Do you remember when the Mariners signed Chone Figgins?
At the time, it seemed like a great signing. Figgins was going to pair with Ichiro and create havoc on the bases for opposing pitchers.
There was only one problem. Somewhere between Los Angeles and Seattle, Figgins forgot how to hit.
For the last three years, Figgins has been the poster child for big contracts gone bad. You have to assume that at some point during the final year of the contract the Mariners will just cut their losses and eat the rest of the contract.
How about we just do that in April?
I like Brendan Ryan.
I like his defense and I especially like the facial hair this season.
The problem is that Ryan’s bat is dismal. We are talking Mendoza Line dismal. Ryan has never been a great hitter, and you do not necessarily expect your shortstop to be a major part of your lineup.
However, an average that hovers somewhere around .190 is not going to get it done in the big leagues.
Time to see what one of the youngsters can do.
Speaking of Mendoza Line, there is another Mariner that seems to be struggling to stay above .200 for the year.
When the Mariners were doing the Cliff Lee deal, there was a general consensus that they needed to get a young player that could be a key part of the future in Seattle. Justin Smoak seemed to fit that bill.
Unfortunately, Smoak just hasn't put it together. There is certainly evidence of power, but actually connecting with the ball on a regular basis has been a challenge.
Smoak and Ryan have been hanging out far too long in the .190 club, and you have to wonder if Justin is every going to develop into a reliable hitter.
There are other people that the Mariners could put at first base.
It was tough to see Doug Fister go when he was traded to the Tigers, but at least Seattle got some good prospects, right? Well, maybe.
Casper Wells is one of those guys that can do a lot of things, but he does not seem to do any of them particularly well. The average is, well, average. The power is, well, average. What do you do with a guy who hits .220 with 10 home runs?
The problem is that the Mariners have a logjam of guys in the outfield that are not particularly dominant. You do not want to send the wrong one away and have them become a star with another team, but there is also a sense that somebody has to step up.
I do not see Wells being the one to step up and patrol Safeco Field for the next decade.
It is great to have a savvy veteran on your pitching staff. You do not need him to be an ace, but it is good to have a guy who can eat innings and provide stability in the clubhouse.
Kevin Millwood fits that bill, but it may be time to admit that this chapter has ended.
The 37-year-old pitcher was rumored to be trade bait at the deadline, but there were apparently no takers. I wonder why.
When you are 6-12 with a 4.25 ERA, there is not a great chance that a multi-year deal is in your future. Millwood has had a solid career, but from a Seattle standpoint this may be the end.
Granted, Millwood and the rest of the staff do not get a lot of run support from this lineup, but the fact remains that he does not exactly represent the future of the club.
There are talented young arms down on the farm.