2016 Record: 86-76 (2nd AL West)
We’re now headed to the Northeast to check in on the Seattle Mariners. We’ll be joined shortly by Bob Sutton of the Tacoma News Review to get more of an inside scoop on the 2017 Mariners.
The Mariners currently hold baseball’s longest active postseason drought at 15 years after coming oh so close to October baseball last season. Seattle made several key offseason moves including trades for Jean Segura and Jarrod Dyson to try and make it back to the playoffs this year.
Even after the additions the Mariners made to their offense, I have them rated as my ninth overall unit in the American League. Although that’s what my numbers ultimately came up with I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the M’s ended the year in the top half of the league.
The starting lineup rates as my seventh best unit so the potential to score some runs will definitely be there. The Mariners bench however won’t be doing them any favors this year; I’ve got them rated as my 14th bench in the American League.
I think the pitching will again be pretty good in Seattle as I have them as my seventh best squad in the AL. Their starting rotation grades out as my seventh best unit in the American League and their bullpen stays consistent in the seven spot as well.
The defense should be pretty good at Safeco this year, as I project Seattle as the AL’s 6th best defense.
Let’s check in with Bob Sutton to hear a little more about Seattle heading into 2017!
First off, what did you think about the Jarrod Dyson acquisition?
"The Mariners see Dyson as a significant defensive upgrade in the outfield and a natural fit atop their lineup. Both were problem areas a year ago. It’s a rental. He’s eligible for free agency after the season, but the Mariners would look to retain him if he plays to their projections. He was a platoon player in Kansas City, but he’ll get a chance to play more regularly with the Mariners."
Are the Mariners worried about Felix's somewhat down 2016?
"Sure, they’re concerned. So was Felix. He changed his offseason workout regimen and came to camp with an all-business attitude. Now…does that turn him back into what he once was? Probably not. But the Mariners would take the 2015 version, and that’s not unreasonable. He missed nearly two months last year because of a strained calf and struggled at times after he returned. The Mariners’ hope is Felix responds to the critics and doubters in the same way that Robinson Cano did a year ago after battling injuries in 2015."
Who are some prospects or younger guys that you expect to contribute in Seattle in 2017?
"The Mariners are convinced right fielder Mitch Haniger, whom they got from Arizona on the Jean Segura deal, is a potential star. We’ll see. He’s been very good so far in spring training. They also believe first baseman Dan Vogelbach, whom they got last July from the Cubs, can hit. The question is whether he can play defense well enough not to be a liability. He’s a work in progress, but he’s shown promise this spring."
What are the Mariners expecting from a full season of Edwin Diaz in the closer role?
"They expect him to be a lockdown closer. They don’t expect him to maintain the same strikeout ratio."
Finally, what are your overall expectations for the 2017 Mariners?
"Mariners are better on paper than the roster they had at the end of last season. They have more speed and athleticism, particularly in the outfield. They believe they have a major upgrade at shortstop in Segura. They see their rotation as solid one through five, and they believe they have more power than a year ago in their bullpen. Twice in the last three years, they weren’t eliminated from postseason contention until the season’s final weekend. GM Jerry Dipoto doesn’t hide from the reality that this team is in win-now mode. The Cano-Cruz-Hernandez core is getting older. This is a club that is already moving toward its inevitable transition (Segura, Haniger, Vogelbach, etc), but everyone knows the big three doesn’t have a lot of prime years remaining."
Thank you Bob for the very insightful information! I am interested to see how some of the new additions fit in Seattle this year.
Overall, I have the Mariners as my 8th best team headed into the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they compete for a playoff spot.
Last year’s 8th place team in the AL was the Houston Astros who finished at 84-78. Vegas has the O/U set at 85.5 for the Mariners headed into the season. I’m not quite as optimistic on this Mariners squad compared to last year’s Astros so I think they finish under 85.5 wins.
They’ll hit at least 80 wins but I don’t think they’ll get many more, if any at all. I think Seattle comes back to Earth a little bit this year and finishes the year right at .500, or 81-81.