The Seattle Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001. When Jerry Dipoto came to the Seattle Mariners just before the 2016 season, he inherited a roster that should have made the playoffs with players such as Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager, and Hisashi Iwakuma. That season the team went 86-76, finishing second in the AL West. They had just missed out on the playoffs.
With the first-round pick that year, Dipoto and the crew drafted Kyle Lewis out of Mercer. From there the Mariners would select college players for the next five years. Three out of those five years, the Mariners selected pitchers (Logan Gilbert – MLB, George Kirby – A+, Emerson Hancock – A+). The Mariners also received Jarred Kelenic (the New York Mets first round pick in 2018 via the Robinson Cano trade).
WELCOME TO THE SHOW:
The Mariners have had quite a few prospects make their debuts in the last couple of years. Including Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield (Mariners Debut), Jake Fraley, Braden Bishop (now with San Francisco Giants). Those four made their debuts in 2019.
Last year the Mariners saw both Lewis (2019 debut) and 2017 first round selection Evan White make his major league debuts. Lewis went on to become the Rookie of the Year in the American League. The M’s also saw Joey Gerber, Ljay Newsome, Aaron Fletcher, Yohan Ramirez, and Anthony Misiewicz all make their debuts in 2020. Out of those five pitchers, only Ramirez and Misiewicz have seen time in the big-leagues this season. This season (2021) the Mariners have seen top prospects Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert, Wyatt Mills and Cal Raleigh make their debuts. While we could see more debuts with the September Call-Ups just around the corner. A majority of the Mariners Top 30 Prospects are in Everett and lower.
SHOULD THE MARINERS BUY:
The Seattle Mariners have found themselves surprisingly in the hunt for a playoff spot. Nobody saw this coming this year. But before talking about whether or not the Mariners should buy and what positions the team needs, let’s take a look at the roster (as of 7/18/21):
Starting Rotation: Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Chris Flexen, Gilbert, Justin Dunn (IL10), Justus Sheffield (IL10).
Bullpen: Kendall Graveman (CL), JT Chargois, Anthony Misiewicz, Rafael Montero, Hector Santiago (suspended), Kenyan Middleton, Yohan Ramirez.
Catchers: Tom Murphy, Luis Torrens, Cal Raleigh
Infielders: Jake Bauers, JP Crawford, Ty France, Shed Long Jr., Dylan Moore, Kyle Seager.
Outfielders: Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic, Dillon Thomas (called-up due to Fraley getting COVID).
The Mariners are currently 20th in Team ERA, and dead last in batting average as a team. Both of the Mariners second basemens are hitting under the mendoza line. The catchers are not doing so hot with the bat either, Murphy is under the mendoza line, Torrens is batting .215, and Raleigh is 0-12.
But on the note of the roster Jerry Dipoto recently said this:
“Our bullpen has been awesome, and it was roughly a number of guys who no one has ever heard of that just needed another chance. That’s put us in a really good position right now to be able to make a more aggressive play in the next two, three weeks if the opportunity presents itself. But we’re not going to push the opportunity because we believe this is a window that is open and we want to make sure it stays open. We don’t want to shortchange our long term.”
While the Mariners have some good bullpen arms that they could trade, I would not necessarily see this happening. Though it has been rumored that if one of the arms is traded it will be Kendall Graveman. If the Mariners make a trade to buy it would more than likely be for a second baseman or a starting pitcher. The good news for Dipoto and his staff is that there are several teams this year that might be trending towards selling: Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins and the Miami Marlins. There are also three teams trending in the direction of a rebuild; Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals. All three of those teams are under .500 this season.
Options to trade for: Jonathan Schoop (Detroit Tigers), Whit Merrifield (Royals), Adam Frazier (Pirates), Kyle Gibson (Rangers), Chris Owings (Rockies), German Marquez (Rockies), Jon Gray (Rockies), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Patrick Wisdom (Cubs), Kyle Hendriks (Cubs).
Some of those may be easy to pry away from their respective teams and some may be extremely difficult.
But to answer the question: Should The Mariners Be Buyers? Yes, as long as they don’t tap into the farm system too heavily. Make a package of players in a position that you have a ton of (Outfield and Pitching). But if any team wants one of our better prospects then the answer should be No.
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