Yes, I said it. The Seattle Mariners are the next baseball powerhouse.
In 2008 the Mariners were plagued with injuries. In 2009 the Mariners can win the West.
In 2007 the Mariners were in contention for the playoffs, fighting with the A's, Angels, Yankees, Tigers, and Indians. In 2009 expect only the Seattle Mariners out of all those teams to even win the playoffs.
The Tigers and Indians are cut out by the Twins, White Sox and even the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees are blocked by every team in their division, all personally projected by me to be in contention all season long. The A's and Angels are pushed back by the Seattle Mariners a team that has youth, pitching, and even batting.
The Mariners traded for Eric Bedard last February. I previously wrote an article stating that it was one of the worst trades ever but the Mariners are definitely going to be compensated.
Eric Bedard is very similar to Andy Pettite a few seasons back and Pettite came back to a 17-win season that propelled his team to the World Series. Bedard suffered injuries this season, being placed on the 15-day disabled list twice.
J.J. Putz was also on the 15-day disabled list twice. It was a horrible loss for the Mariners especially with Brandon Morrow becoming a starter, an amazing starter at that.
Mike Morse was what I call the Lost Boy of the 2008 season, batting in only nine at-bats during the season after leading the majors in spring training with a .492 batting average. Expect him to be on the roster as well.
Injuries played a huge role in the Mariners team this past season. Players not mentioned include Willie Bloomquist and Carlos Silva. Bloomquist is a necessary part of the team and Silva can be used in the bullpen.
Kenji Johjima lost his stroke in 2008, possibly because Jeff Clement was so highly predicted that Johjima lost hope of being the full-time catcher again. If he regains his stroke it would solidify the catcher's spot.
Mike Wilson and Greg Halman are future stars, both showing all the tools to be possible stars down in the minor leagues. Expect both of them to be fighting for day to day spots.
Yuniesky Betancourt was amazing at the end of last season batting .343 in September. In this offseason he is training with Mariners MVP Raul Ibanez down in Florida. He could very well have a turn-around year.
The Mariners' farm system shows no signs of slowing down, with Carlos Triunfel, Adam Moore, Michael Pineda, Philipe Aumont, and Gaby Hernandez showing signs of future success.
Not all dreams come true. Fortunately for the Mariners, this one will.