The Seattle Mariners have been adding bats this offseason like they were going out of style. While many perceived that to mean that the team was happy with the projected rotation heading into 2013, it may have just meant the team was biding their time and looking for the right deal. With pitchers and catchers set to report soon, will the M’s pull the trigger and add another starter to the rotation?
The Mariners have been linked with the Detroit Tigers in a potential trade that would bring right-hander Rick Porcello to Seattle. The Tigers have been shopping Porcello because of an abundance of starting pitching. The M’s, however, would probably prefer a lefty after trading away Jason Vargas to get Kendrys Morales from the Los Angeles Angels. They probably would also prefer not to give up players for a pitcher they feel they can get equal value to on the free agent market.
That free agent market, however, is dwindling. The best remaining pitcher on the market is Joe Saunders with journeymen like Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood, Derek Lowe, Jonathan Sanchez and Chris Young waiting out there as well. Saunders seems like the most likely target as a left-handed arm who would be willing to sign with Seattle as his options dry up. At this point, Saunders is likely down to either Seattle or the Minnesota Twins as a landing spot for 2013.
If the Mariners stay pat, the M’s have plenty of options for the back end of their rotation this spring. Erasmo Ramirez brings some experience as a starting pitcher and likely has the inside track for the fifth starter job. A pair of young pitchers Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen are waiting in the wings, however, to push for a spot in the starting rotation this season.
With spring training just around the corner, the M’s will need to move on their starting pitching plans soon. Whether that means a trade, a free agent acquisition or calling up a young arm, Seattle will be making moves in their rotation to go along with the moves they’ve made to their offense.