The Seattle Mariners just opened Spring Training and they have already got a reason to worry about their starting rotation. Hisashi Iwakuma, who finished No. 3 in the Cy Young voting last season and was entrenched as the No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez, strained a finger on his throwing hand that will put him out of action for 4-to-6 weeks. Add to that that young star Taijuan Walker showed up with some shoulder soreness and the team has a bit of reason to worry about their starting pitching. Could free-agent lefty Chris Capuano offer a stop-gap for the M’s until they get healthy?
According to reports, the Mariners have started talking with Capuano about a possible deal to come to Seattle. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik has a history with Capuano as the two were together during the veteran’s best seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2004-2008. Last year, he struggled a bit with a 4-7 record and a 4.26 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers but did win 23 games over the previous two seasons with the New York Mets and Dodgers. He is reportedly looking for a two-year deal and the two sides appear split on the price during their discussions.
Since Iwakuma’s injury and Walker’s soreness, the M’s have appeared a bit more frantic to add a veteran pitcher to their roster. They were in talks with Ubaldo Jimenez before he agreed to a $50 million, four-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles. They have also been attached with Ervin Santana who could be a final backup option for the team if talks with Capuano don’t pan out and they are determined to add another arm to the roster. The M’s are holding out for a deal that would allow them to add an arm and leave enough money to go out and sign a hitter, like Kendrys Morales.
While the team likely felt confident in their rotation before Spring Training opened, injuries have already forced the team to look for additional support for the rotation. Will Capuano be the right guy at the right price to provide a little depth to the roster for Opening Day?