MLB: What's Next for the Mariners?

Michael ArtusoCorrespondent IJune 20, 2008

This past week, the last-place Seattle Mariners fired their General Manager and Manager and more changes might be in store. 

Prior to the 2008 season, many, including myself, predicted Seattle to be one of baseball's best teams.  And with a duo of Bedard and Hernandez, even earn themselves a trip to the Fall Classic.

Barring an unprecedented comeback, I would be wrong in my pre-season predictions. 

However, for the Mariners, this year's expectations don't matter anymore.  It's now time to look toward next year and the year after that, and try and fix the areas which need improvement. 

Over the past week or so, I've heard rumors regarding Erik Bedard being dealt.

The Mariners traded two of their top prospects in Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, along with their set-up man George Sherrill, to get him.  They essentially reshaped their organization to acquire Bedard, and it doesn't make much sense to give up on him after one year. 

Although the Mariners may lose 100 games this year, it doesn't mean they don't have a shot at winning 100 next season. 

A 1-4 of Bedard, Hernandez, Washburn, and Silva can potentially be one of baseball's best and considering the year some of them are having, you can go by the philosophy of "they're due." Much of the Mariners' struggles have been on the offensive side of things, an obvious area where change is needed. With Jeff Clement getting a lot of playing time behind home plate, he can bring plenty of offensive production from the catcher's spot, unless they give Johjima another shot. 

      Also, they could opt to sign a big bat this off-season like a Mark Teixeira or an Adam Dunn, both who bring power and OBP to a team that doesn't have hitters that do either. 

         The bullpen has potential with the likes of Putz, Morrow, Lowe, Green, O'Flaherty, and others.  I don't see much of a need there and keep in mind they will all be a little more mature next season. 

    Although 2008 looks like a lost season in Seattle, keep in mind many of the pieces are there for a future winning team.