The Seattle Mariners have not made the playoffs in twenty years. So, yes we all know that is the next step. But, how do the Mariners get there?
The Mariners just extended the contracts of both Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais. Which both Servais and Dipoto earned their extensions. While Dipoto earned his by every team in the organization being above .500 from the MLB all the way down to the Rookie-level. While Scott Servais earned his by getting the Mariners into contention for a wild-card spot and even the AL West Division.
The Mariners have graduated three prospects and still have a top-tier farm system. With four prospects being in the top 100; Julio Rodriguez (No. 2), Noelvi Marte (No.11), George Kirby (No. 35), and Emerson Hancock (No.36). The Mariners have some choices to make this off-season. With Kyle Seager having an option and hitting in the most clutch moment for the team this season, though. Seager and Mitch Haniger have been perfect examples of selfless leaders this year, but with an extension of Seager, you have a log jam on the infield. Haniger is under contract and could be a leader in the outfield for a group that includes Kelenic, Rodriguez, and Kyle Lewis.
- Potential Infield: 1B Evan White/Ty France, 2B Abraham Toro/ France, 3B: Kyle Seager/ France, SS: JP Crawford
- Potential Outfield: LF Kyle Lewis, CF Jarred Kelenic, RF Julio Rodriguez, 4th OF Mitch Haniger
- Designated Hitter: France/ Haniger
You’ve got to find a spot for France and Haniger in the lineup every day, and Julio will probably start at Tacoma.
Another spot the Mariners may have a jam is the pitching rotation. At some point, you have got to pay a hefty price in free agency to get an ace pitcher. Yusei Kikuchi has not been good enough in his three years in Seattle to be considered part of the future, especially with Hancock and Kirby on the edge of making their MLB debuts next season. If you were to pick one two veteran starters to keep in the rotation for a playoff team, I’m taking Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen.
Projected Rotation for 2022:
- Marco Gonzales
- Chris Flexen
- Logan Gilbert
- Emerson Hancock
- George Kirby
Kirby and Hancock both might not make the MLB out of spring training, though one should expect both to be up next year.
If the goal for the Mariners is to make the playoffs next season and potentially make a run at a World Series… It’s time for Dipoto and Servais to spend a little bit of money and make a tough decision when it comes to the rotation.
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