First things first. Sorry for the Yuni picture—that was uncalled for.
The former Mariners in this list are actually relevant to their respective teams' playoff hopes.
As fans, we tend to dwell on "the ones that got away," but it's important to remember that for every Mike Morse who goes on to blossom in a new setting, there's a Jeff Clement somewhere else.
There are plenty of ex-Mariners who'll get their shot at a ring this year. Some guys, like Mark Lowe, Willie Bloomquist and Arthur Rhodes, will get glimpses of playing time, while others will be integral parts of their teams' postseason runs.
Some of these guys we will always love, and some we'll always love to hate—but they will all play a major role for their new teams this October.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your Game 3 ALDS starter.
Freddy Garcia was good in his time with Seattle. Very good, in fact.
Since being on the wrong side of 30, his career has seemed destined to fizzle out. This year, however, Garcia has exceeded all expectations (12-8, 3.62 ERA). His performance has earned him a spot on the Yankees playoff rotation, ahead of "Eighty Million Dollar Man" A.J. Burnett, who takes up an unfamiliar role in the bullpen.
Garcia has postseason experience with the White Sox, and will need to draw on every bit of it if the Yankees are to make it through the first round.
The series against Detroit will be tough, and the Yankees' fate may hinge on Garcia's Game 3 start.
So, how does a guy hit .217/.280/.336 one year, and then come out and put up a line like .306/.378/.422?
Apparently, shaving off the goatee and getting his eyes checked out was all it took.
Do they not have barbers and optometrists in Seattle? Jeez.
Kotchman has played Gold Glove defense this year (as he did for Seattle last year), but has also been in contention for the AL batting title for much of the year. He's become a fan favorite in Tampa Bay, and will have to bring his bat if the Rays are to make it past the Rangers.
Rauuuuuuul left Seattle with best wishes from the fans. He was good while he was here, but he was looking for one more big contract, and it wasn't going to come from the Mariners.
Enter the Phillies.
Ibanez has performed as expected with Philadelphia. Pretty good bat, awful glove.
Fortunately for Raul, he has finished strong enough to get a decent share of playing time this October. Incidentally, he figures to share time in right field with former Mariners draftee, John Mayberry, Jr.
He's a good player and an even better person. It would be great to see him finish his career on a high.
It was a massive 12-player deal, but it will forever be known as "The Putz Trade"—or, "The gift that keeps on giving."
Because Seattle got such a huge haul in that trade (Guti, Vargas, Carp, Chavez, etc.), it's easy to forget that Putz continued to be a quality reliever. This year with the Diamondbacks, he has saved 45 games and held opponents to a .195 average.
It's unlikely that Arizona is going to blow opponents out of the water with their offense, so it could be argued that no closer is more important to his team this postseason than J.J. Putz.
After 13 consecutive seasons of 30 HR and 100 RBI, A-Rod came down to earth in 2011.
Was it an injury-related descent, or is this the beginning of the end? One thing is for certain: He will be desperate to shake the postseason "choker" tag that has been bestowed upon him, despite his monster performance in 2009.
If the Yankees go all the way this year, Rodriguez figures to be a major factor behind it. If they stumble, he figures to shoulder much of the blame. Such is life when you've made $283 million in the last 11 years. In that time, the Yankees have as many World Championships as the Florida Marlins—one.
In two of those 11 years (2006 and 2008), A-Rod has made more than the Marlins' entire playing roster. As if you needed another reason to hate him.
There are few people in the game who play with as much passion and commitment as Adrian Beltre does every day.
He was thought by some to have underperformed in Seattle—an opinion given even more weight by the two monster seasons he has had since leaving the Emerald City.
Even if you question his numbers, you can't question the fact that he left it all on the field every day he played in a Mariners uniform. A World Series ring would be a fitting reward for one of the best in the business.
Doug Fister was Seattle's No. 4 starter with a 3-12 record and has been Detroit's bona fide No. 2 starter (behind Cy Young certainty Justin Verlander) with an 8-1 record since being traded.
That's right—the guy who was on pace to lose 20 games in 2011 has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball since the trade deadline (1.79 ERA, 0.84 WHIP).
Now he steps onto the biggest stage of his career with a legitimate shot at a World Series ring.
The rest of the Tigers' rotation behind Verlander and Fister is inconsistent at best. But, if their two best guys continue to be the best one-two punch in the league, it may be enough to take them all the way (See: R. Johnson and C. Schilling).
Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: Doug Fister has arrived.
How on earth can Philadelphia possibly not win it all this year?
When Cliff Lee is your No. 2 starter, you know your rotation is in pretty good shape. Lee is even better during the postseason—to the tune of 7-2 with three complete games and a 0.84 WHIP.
Seattle fans were incredibly fortunate to be able to witness Cliff Lee go about his craft in the first half of 2010. In 100-plus innings, Lee struck out 89 batters and walked six. You heard right—six.
As fans, we knew we wouldn't get to keep him. Lee was destined to go somewhere else and win championships. But as he goes on to dominate yet another postseason, I, for one, will look back and smile—remembering the three wonderful months when he was ours.