Seattle Mariners fans have waited for months to see their front office’s offseason splurge come to fruition, and as Opening Day draws ever closer, the time will soon finally come.
The Mariners’ biggest offseason signing, which just so happened to be the biggest signing across the majors, was the acquisition of Robinson Cano. While the ex-New York Yankees second baseman didn’t come cheap, he’ll provide an established bat in the middle of the lineup that the Mariners have so often lacked in recent years.
But while all eyes will be on Cano this season, the Mariners lineup has plenty more to offer. Third baseman and breakout candidate Kyle Seager, outfielder/designated hitter Corey Hart and perennial 20-homer candidate Justin Smoak will complement Cano nicely in a Mariners lineup that isn’t particularly flashy but is nevertheless solid all around.
With a few unfortunate injuries, the Seattle rotation is a bit of a different story. Hisashi Iwakuma and prospect Taijuan Walker will miss some time to start the season, meaning the Mariners will be forced to test out their collection of young pitchers right off the bat. James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez and Roenis Elias will all figure to get some starts in the absence of Iwakuma and Walker.
Finally, the addition of Fernando Rodney bolsters the Seattle bullpen a bit, despite what some may think. Indeed, after a tough season in the even tougher AL East, many have written Rodney off due to his somewhat disappointing performance last season.
While he might not return to 2012 form—when he saved 48 games with a minuscule 0.60 ERA—the right-hander is still a valuable commodity after putting up 37 saves last year.
But before we delve too deeply into the ins and outs of the Mariners roster, let’s take a look at how the team performed this spring. Read on to find out.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.