With a stellar MLB debut from prospect Taijuan Walker last night, the Seattle Mariners are looking forward to the 2014 season. The question over the next month will be which players on their current roster will be a part of the team moving forward and which players will not.
There are a few players who were signed to one-year deals and will need to prove that they deserve to be offered a job in 2014, either by the Mariners or another team. Joe Saunders is one of those players, and with so many pitching prospects in AAA Tacoma looking for jobs as well, Saunders is in an especially precarious position with the Mariners. He is earning $6.5 million for the 2013 season, but will be a free agent in a month.
Saunders got the start tonight against the Houston Astros and gave the Mariners 5.1 innings, allowing no runs on six hits to earn his 11th win of 2013. It was a decent outing for Saunders considering he has gone 3-5 with a 6.22 ERA in his last 10 starts. The 32-year-old lefty will need to have a very, very good September if he wants any team, let alone the Mariners, to take a look at him as a starter for the 2014 season.