Astros, American League West Round Up Pre-Lockout

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Houston Astros, Robbie Ray
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Seattle Mariners

New Additions

  • Robbie Ray
  • Adam Frazier (via trade with San Diego Padres)

The Mariners came off a little desperate for a big name free agent right out of the gate, agreeing to a five-year, $115 million dollar deal at reigning American League Cy Young Winner, Robbie Ray.

Ray is just now having his breakout season at the age of 30. While that’s not an unprecedented thing to happen in MLB, for an organization not known for its spending, it seems like a lot of risk.

While it’s difficult to project whether Ray will continue that level of play, he does fill the role of staff ace on the Mariners staff and should complement that team nicely for now.

As a resident of Seattle, I attended every Mariners game when the Astros were in town plus a few others this last season…and darn it, if I didn’t find myself enjoying the Mariners. They are a plucky, young team that should continue to get better as the core develops.

However, they are positioned for a large regression in terms of performance. From my perspective, I don’t see how the Mariners are going to be able to recreate the insane amount of timely hitting they had down the stretch in 2021 without a big injection of offense into this lineup.

Despite winning 90 games in the 2021 season, the Mariners posted a -51 run differential. For a comparison, the Houston Astros were at +205. Additionally, the Mariners were the only team in the American League that posted a winning record with a negative run differential.

Not only do they have a massive mountain to climb to win the division, but they also have another large mountain to climb to remain in the hunt for one of the Wild Card spots. They started out on the right foot trading for veteran infielder, Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres.

Frazier is slashing .281/.327/.335 in his six-season career. The 2021 NL All-Star is a solid contact hitter with low strikeouts and high contact. He slotted to play second base, complimenting a bigger name like Marcus Semien, who the Mariners seemingly whiffed on.

Prior to the lockout, Jerry Dipoto was certainly staying busy with the Mariners being to several big free agents including Trevor Story, Kris Bryant and Seiya Suzuki.