The Seattle Mariners went into the off-season at the end of September with a lot of unanswered questions. At the start of spring training a lot of those questions have been answered. The Mariners brought in a slew of veteran hitters to show the young guys the ropes and the extending SP Felix Hernandez’ contract shows the Mariners will look to spend money in the future.
A lot of people believe the signing of Felix will handcuff the Mariners in the future, but that is not the case here. The Mariners salary is only at $85 million. This is far below a lot of teams in the majors. A new TV deal coming shortly will allow the Mariners to compete with big teams for players in the future. The Hernandez deal is just the beginning of a new era for Seattle baseball.
Also, if the Mariners are competing for the division before the trading deadline, you can expect they will make a big deal to bring in another top starter or a big hitter as long as they don’t have to give up more than one of their top prospects.
I have never been a fan of giving up young talent for a quick fix, but the Mariners have one of the best farm systems in the majors, so they can afford to give up somebody as long as his name is not Danny Hultzen. GM Jack Zduriencik has set this team up for the future nicely, but now that they are set up, he has to bring in the complementary players that can allow this team to compete while continuing to build up the young talent in the minors.
Over the past several years, the Mariners have brought their salary down and a lot of people were concerned they were not going in the right direction. After this off-season, I am convinced Zduriencik knows what he is doing. He has missed signing a few stars, but that can be expected if you’re a fan of any team in the Northwest.
The Mariners will show improvement this year, but it may not be enough for them to make the playoffs. The next off-season will be the time you will see some fireworks from Seattle.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33