Are The M's True Contenders Now?

lonnie swansonContributor IDecember 19, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 20:  The Seattle Mariners stand for the national anthem before the game against the New York Yankees on September 20, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Well M's fans, are we content with what we got?  Some would say yes, but I am going to say HELL NO! I dont know how someone could be content, but everyone is entitled to feel the way they feel.  I believe that Seattle needs to make at least two more moves to make this a successful off season.  Now don't get me wrong, we are being successful right now by drawing in talent and trading for talent, but I truly believe we need to make two more moves, at least, to say we did the right thing in this off season.  Let me explain -

First, we got Chone Figgins to sign with us, instead of signing with the Angels.  I think he seen something coming down with there organization, cause he could of stayed there.  Yes, we gave him an extra year and an extra million for each, but if he felt there was a chance for them to contend for the WS this year (2010) again, he would have stayed.  The M's are on the rise (cross my fingers), so why wouldnt you wanna sign with a team that is getting ready to contend.  Especially when you have some good year's left in ya to play. Great move.

Second, we got Cliff Lee.  Wow!!!  Didnt see that one coming, but I am really excited it happened.  Now that we got him, we cant give him a reason to wanna go elsewhere come the end of the year.  He is great talent and in his prime.  I dont care what ANYONE out there says, we truly have the best one-two punch in major league baseball right now.  The thing is, we wanna keep this one-two punch for several years.  We have got to give hime a reason to wanna stay.  I really hope he comes to Seattle with all that resentment behind him and wants to win for us. I was a little bummed to here his comments, but understandable.  I just hope he will leave them back in Arkansas when he reports for spring training. Agreed?

Third, Milton Bradley.  Wow, another surprising move. I didn't see this one coming either.  Some will say this is a BIG mistake.  Im sorry, I don't think so.  He is a very valuable commodity.  We have the exact make-up for a team that he needs - High spirits, the right coaching staff, and great players, with great attitudes, low media attention and Seattle is a kick ass city to live in.  All the things to make Mr. Bradley happy to be part of this organization.  Now, lets plug all that in to him and make him feel like he is welcome.  Trust me, you make him feel welcome with all that I mentioned and he wont even have a reason to throw a pissing contest in anyone's direction.  He will be thanking the M's organization for just thinking of bringing him here, let alone doing it.

SO, now that we got those three, we need two more to truly contend this year.  We need to make the trade for Adrian Gonzalez.  I really don't think it will happen though.  I think that the Padres just enjoy teasing people with the only great talent they got. There waiting for someone, like the M's, to throw there entire farm system at them.  I dont think that Jack Z. is dumb enough to get lured into that or the trade would probably already happened.  So dont count on Adrian G. to come our way, unless Jack can work his magic and pull something great off without selling the farm.  

So now that I killed my own idea, lets move to the next feasable idea.  Sign back Branyan for the two years he's asking for.  We need his bat.  His defense is ok, but his offense is great, when he is healthy, of course, and I know that is the big question.  Nick Johnson is gone.  He is our next best option unless we wanna bring Adrian Beltre back and move Jose Lopez to first base.  That would be awesome actually but I dont think it will happen and neither will the Gonzalez trade, so this is the next best option.  So you have three options -  Sign Branyan,  Sign Adrian Beltre (move Lopez to 1st), or trade for Gonzalez.  The Branyan signing, to me, is probably the one that is going to happen.

So that was the first move, now for the second.  We NEED one more top pitcher.  One could say we have a good rotation.  - Great top two, good last three.  RRS is unproven still.  He cant stay away from getting shipped to AAA.  Sorry, not a steady man.  Next Brandon Morrow.  Damn I wish this guy would just establish himself.  I feel sorry for him.  He is such a stud but just cant shed his coat of baby (rookie) fat.  Maybe it is the M's fault for trying to move him to be a potential closer to a bullpen set-up man to trying him out as a starter.  When you dont know your role, sometimes it can mess with someones head.  Maybe if they just said to him, " You are number 5, make it happen or you could be a bull-pen man.  Enjoy the dugout, or enjoy the bullpen.  Take your choice, it's up to you."  Maybe then, he can say, its finally up to me.  Then he might shed his baby fat and kick ass.  He has already shown signs of that.  Then there's Ian Snell.  Good pitcher, but has shown a little inconsentancy in his career as a Mariner also.  So, if we could get a pitcher like Ben Sheets in here, that would be awesome.  Now, I know he has been off for a year, but what do you have to lose.  Make him throw and give him a physical.  If he passed both tests, then that should be it, ink him.  No lost prospects to give away for him, just money.  Its a risk, but you also have to do the right type of contract with him.  An incentive contract, not just throw money his way and hope for the best.  So let's say we get him, and he stays healthy.  Now Seattle is feared!!!!  Teams will be looking forward to there series to be over with Seattle and move to the next, not look forward to coming to play against us.  If Sheets didnt work out, then were right back where we started.  Nothing lost, except for a couple bucks.  We can make it up.

Now ya have it, lets hear it. Interested to here some feed back on my thoughts.  Maybe someone could give me a better plan than what I have wrote.  I never said my plan was the best or most favorable, just a good idea.