It seems that since October of last season, it's become en vogue to repeat a single word so as to focus on one's goal.
For President Obama, it's "economy," his work in progress.
For the Seattle Mariners it's "transformation," and they've mostly completed it.
Clubhouse chemistry, defense, the back end of the rotation, power in the lineup, and the bullpen were all addressed this offseason.
The M's traded away J.J. Putz, Jeremy Reed, Luis Valbuena, and Sean Green in a swap that brought defense and power. It also rid the team of locker room poison.
They signed and traded for underrated bounce-back candidates like Ronny Cedeno, Chris Shelton, Russell Branyan, Chad Cordero, and Mike Sweeney.
They decided on Jack Zduriencik to be their new general manager. He's a man who, as a scout, found players such as Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks.
Zduriencik then chose Don Wakamatsu as the field manager. Wakamatsu is a coach that has spent almost a decade in the AL West and knows what it takes to win there. He brings insider tips on how to beat his former teams.
The bullpen is still a "problem," but it's not for lack of a qualified closer.
No, the problem is the reverse: Seattle has over five qualified closers. Roy Corcoran, Chad Cordero, Miguel Batista, Mark Lowe, Randy Messenger, Tyler Walker, and David Aardsma are among the candidates.
My own belief is this: Corcoran should stay as the set-up man, and David Aardsma should be the Mariners' closer until relief prospects Shawn Kelley and Joshua Fields mature into lights-out finishers.
Out of all the brilliant moves done this offseason, I believe the smartest was picking Jack Zduriencik as GM.
Without him, we wouldn't have made any of the other changes. That rumored Seattle-Detroit-Tampa Bay trade might have happened, and the Mariners would now be stuck with an injured Fernando Perez.
Zduriencik chose a highly knowledgeable manager, Don Wakamatsu, to be his skipper. His perspective makes him quite the asset
Now, can Jack Zduriencik's plan pay off and lead this team to pennant contention?