By now, the entire baseball world knows about the deal that the Seattle Mariners signed “King” Felix Hernandez to. It was the talk of the town because of the record dollar amount and the buzz about if the Mariners committed too much for too long. There are plenty of ways to look at that deal, but what about the Mariners’ other off-season acquisitions?
Staying with pitching, there was a big free agent signing that finds it difficult to get out of the shadow of the Hernandez deal. With Hernandez the 26-year old face of the franchise, the leader of the pitching rotation isn’t exactly a wily veteran.
Enter Joe Saunders. Saunders isn’t going to threaten a perfect game, but is likely to put away close to two-hundred quality innings. At the age of 31, he brings a little more of a veteran presence to the rotation as well. That will be especially big with the young guys that will come behind Saunders in the five-man rotation.
Offensively, there were three big signings as well. Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse will be able to hit for average as well as power to give the middle of the line-up more pop. Veteran Raul Ibanez has had the five best years of his career from the ages of 35 to 40. Now in his eighteenth season, Ibanez will provide plenty of offensive punch, as well as a nice veteran presence that is always great to have in the clubhouse.
Felix Hernandez was the most notable figure the Mariners signed, for sure. He might have the most singular impact of any other individual player. It will not be that deal however, but rather the smaller deals made around it that make the Mariners a threat for a surprise season in 2013.