The Mariners have been a very nice surprise this year, coming off a season when they had the second worst record in baseball. They have bounced back this year and are currently four games over .500.
Although the M's most likely will not factor into the playoffs this year, here are a few moves they could make to improve in the offseason. We will cover all the basics, from the hitting to the bullpen. The M's have a ton coming off the shelf, so let's take a look.
Free Agents for M's
Russell Branyon, Jack Wilson, Adrian Beltre, Mike Sweeney, Ken Griffey Jr., Miguel Batista and Erik Bedard.
Russell Branyon—Resign this guy. I can't stress enough how much .BA doesn't matter as long as you are being productive. For you guys that can't live without .BA, he was hitting .280 before the All Star Break.
Jack Wilson—I really don't want Wilson back with the club, he is hitting .211 with the M's, plus his defense has taken a step backwards.
Adrian Beltre—Mariner fans DON'T like this guy, his previous contract screwed us over. He seems to do well in a one year basis deal. He can hit when he is working for a contract; before he went on the DL, he was hitting .444 in his last seven games. But all in all, I don't want him to wear the jersey Griffey made famous next season.
Ken Griffey, Jr.—Us Mariner fans have to come to terms with the fact Ken won't be a Major Leaguer for much longer, but if he wants to play one more year, then it's the M's duty to bring him back. He might not be the old Ken, but he can still juice one, 14 HR in 321 AB.
Mike Sweeney— He has been decent for the M's, but I say cut him loose at the end of the year. This is no Griffey.
Miguel Batista—I am one of the biggest Miguel Batista haters out there. He is the type of guy that gets you fired. He throws mid 90's but has no control. Just cut him.
Erik Bedard—Whatever you do, M's, offer him arbitration because he wants to go play close to his home in Canada and he hates it in Seattle. You get a compensation pick. But the risk to that is he excepts because his stock isn't high, thanks to the shoulder surgery.
Trades And Or Signings That Need To Be Made
SS (Trade)—If there has been one position that has been a joke for that past few years for the M's it has been SS. That is why I say we need to solidify that position in the offseason.
The youngest SS out in the free agent market is Bobby Crosby, who is less than tempting. I say we go out there and try to trade for Alexei Ramirez; this will be our only huge move of the offseason and Ken Williams has made it clear that all players on his Sox are on the trading block.
Think about it. He's young and has a good arm to get runners. I say give up Ian Snell, Josh Wilson, and Langerhans for him.
SP (Signing)—I believe a guy that could help out is Randy Wolf, and he won't cost anything. He is under the radar, and with Beltre's and Bedard's contracts coming off the shelf, the M's have more than enough to get him. He could really help out Ryan Rowland Smith.
RP (Signing)—Just another guy that is cheap and could help cement the pen is a guy named Rafeal Soriano. Most of you might remember him, as he was a home grown Mariner and had a combined 2.89 ERA for the M's.
He has proven he can close in Atlanta, but most teams don't need a closer, and the M's could use him to set up for David.
RP (Signing)—The last transaction the M's should make is bringing in left handed reliever Joe Beimel. Again, not a signing that will cost much, and he is having a decent year. I really think the pen needs left handed help.
Transactions That I Would Like To See Happen
Signing: SP Randy Wolf, RP Joe Beimel, OF Ken Griffey Jr., 1B Russell Branyon, RP Rafeal Soriano.
Trading: SS Alexei Ramirez.
That's five signings and one trade; the signings combined really should be around the 13 million range, but probably lower.
The Opening Day Lineup
C. Rob Johnson
1B. Mark Carp ( I really hope he gets on the roster )
2B. Jose Lopez
3B. Bill Hall
SS. Alexei Ramirez
OF. Franklin Gutierrez
OF. Ichiro Suzuki
OF. Ken Griffey Jr.
DH. Russell Branyon
BN. Kenji Johjima
BN. Jack Hannahan
BN. Michael Saunders ( very good defender )
SP. Felix Hernandez
SP. Ryan Rowland Smith
SP. Doug Fister
SP. Luke French
SP. Randy Wolf
CL. David Aardsma
Set Up. Rafeal Soriano
Set Up. Mark Lowe
Lefty Specialist. Joe Beimel
Middle Reliever. Brandon Morrow ( I don't want him in rotation )
Middle Reliever. Chris Jakubauskus
Middle Reliever. Shawn Kelley
Middle Reliever. Sean White
I think this team is pretty good, so let me know what you all think.
And as always, I love hearing those comments that can help me get better.