Once upon a time, the Mariners were a playoff-caliber team.
The story starts on Nov. 30, 2000, when a young superstar was signed from Japan. The Mariners won 116 games that year, led by Ichiro, who won Rookie of the Year and MVP, and Brett Boone, with 37 homers and a .331 average.
Then, when the playoffs came, the M's lost every game to the Yankees in the ALCS except Game Three.
Let's put this nicely; last year, the Mariners were not a playoff-caliber team.
Well, actually, the M's had the worst record in baseball, went through two managers, and the Sonics left.
Many writers are trying to say that "the Mariners are the new Rays."
Well, the Mariners aren't.
Yes, Russell "Muscle" Branyan does bring some power to this team, but not enough. Who's going to close? Miguel Batista? Mark Lowe? The only option is Brandon Morrow, in my opinion, and the Mariners are not interested in having him back in the bullpen.
Who's in left? Some unknown rookie?
Adrian cannot hit.
Our catchers are not big-league caliber.
Who's our ace? We know King Felix can't handle the job, and the injury Bedard received will haunt him the rest of his career.
And who is our DH?
There are some players left on the market. The two I think the M's should sign are Burrell and Abreu.
Burrell could fill the hole in left, and Abreu could DH.
Although we still have some holes, look for '09 to be a re-building year for the Mariners.