|C||Adam Moore||SP 1||Felix Hernandez|
|1B||Casey Kotchman||SP 2||Cliff Lee|
|2B||Jose Lopez||SP 3||Ryan Rowland-Smith|
|3B||Chone Figgins||SP 4||Ian Snell|
|SS||Jack Wilson||SP 5||Garrett Olson|
|CF||Franklin Gutierrez||CL||David Aardsma|
|RF||Ichiro Suzuki||RP||Brandon League|
|DH||Milton Bradley||RP||Mark Lowe|
|IF||Ryan Garko||RP||Jason Vargas|
|IF||Eric Byrnes||RP||Erik Bedard|
Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.
|Key Additions||Key Losses|
|SP||Cliff Lee||Trade (PHI)||1B||Russell Branyan||Free Agency|
|OF||Milton Bradley||Trade (CHC)||SP||Brandon Morrow||Trade (TOR)|
|3B||Chone Figgins||Free Agency||3B||Adrian Beltre||Free Agency|
Top Prospects: Carlos Triunfel (SS), Michael Pineda (P), Dustin Ackley (OF/2B), Alex Liddi (3B)
The Mariners came into 2009 with a new manager (Don Wakamatsu), and were hopeful that 2009 would be a good season for them. While not expected by many to perform well, the Mariners still finished with a 85-77 record, good for 3rd place in the AL West and 12 games back of the Angels. They also brought Ken Griffey Jr back to the Mariners, partially as a publicity stunt, and partially to help fill the role of a veteran presence.
The pitching staff was led by Cy Young runner-up Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49, 217 strikeouts), Jarrod Washburn (8-6, 2.64), and Ryan Rowland-Smith (5-4, 3.74). On offense, Ichiro (.352, 11 HR, 26 SB) was a standout as usual. The Mariners also had some breakout performances, including 1B Russell Branyan (31 HR, 76 RBI), CF Franklin Gutierrez (.283, 18 HR, 16 SB), and closer David Aardsma (2.52, 38 sv).
Team Outlook for 2010
The team had a very active offseason, and are considered by many to be the most improved team going into 2010. The big acquisition was obviously the trade that brought former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Northwest. And how they were able to bring Milton Bradley in return for Carlos Silva’s useless contract is beyond comprehension. They’ve added more speed and a top-of-the-order hitter in Chone Figgins, and continued to improve their defense with 1B Casey Kotchman.
I think that the Mariners may only be missing some additional power in their order, although they did bring Griffey back to help provide some power off the bench. Adding Lee will help the Mariners should they make the postseason, and give them a very good 1-2-3 punch with Hernandez and Bedard as well. They should see some development in both rookie C Adam Moore and OF Michael Saunders as well. They have really done well to build a team that is reliant upon defense and pitching, specifically built for Safeco Field.
Fantasy Outlook for 2010
Ichiro remains a top tier outfielder, although there are some concerns that he may be slowing due to age. I wouldn’t worry too much about him though. Also, King Felix and Cliff Lee are both top-25 starters and will probably not last past the 7th round (in Lee’s case). 3B Chone Figgins should provide a good value, although at 3B he is one of the few players who provides no power and a lot of speed. Deeper leagues, I would say look at Milton Bradley, as he could potentially provide high-upside power, and also Ryan Rowland-Smith as a potential end-draft starter.
Prediction for 2010
The Mariners look like they have improved enough to compete in the division, and will rely on the 1-2 punch of Hernandez and Lee to help finish the job in the season’s final weeks. The AL West is wide open, and I think that the tandem of Hernandez-Lee will be what puts them over the top.
88-74, 1st in the AL West