Seattle Mariners (+1000 to win AL Pennant)
The M’s and their GM Jerry DiPoto have had another busy offseason. The biggest splash was sending Marte and Walker to Arizona in exchange for Segura, Haniger, and LHP Zac Curtis.
What happened in 2016.
It will be interesting to see how this trade plays out, as Walker looks to be a potential ace, and Haniger, who was Arizona’s Minor League POY in 2016 could blossom into a major contributor this season. Dipoto on Haniger “There’s not much left for him to do in the Minor Leagues. You can’t have a better year than he just experienced.” Segura, who will bat leadoff, will be an enormous offensive upgrade from Marte. Defensively, they should be a wash.
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The lineup will still feature one of the best power 3-4-5 trios in the big leagues with Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager. They also added Ruiz and Valencia, which gives them some good offensive depth.
Their pitching staff as a whole last season was a bit above average. Losing Walker will hurt, and Seattle could turn to LHP Ariel Miranda to step up in the rotation this year. He was acquired last year from Baltimore in exchange for Wade Miley and pitched well for the Mariners. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma will once again be asked to lead this pitching staff.
What about 2017?
If the Mariners intend to contend this year, and not fade off in September, they will need to address their starting pitching. Either getting another front-end starter or another middle-rotation piece to add depth to their very shallow pool of starters.