Seattle Mariners: Is Drew Pomeranz Worth the Risk?

With speculation linking the Seattle Mariners to Drew Pomeranz, is he what they’re looking for to boost their starting rotation?

Spring training may still be a couple of months away, but it’s never too early to minimize your needs in preparation for the new season. For the Seattle Mariners, one of their main areas of need is the starting rotation, especially after trading away Taijuan Walker.

As per Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, one of the Mariners’ trade targets is Drew Pomeranz. However, the main sticking point is that the Boston Red Sox sent mixed messages during the Winter Meetings, about whether he is actually available.

For what it’s worth, the two sides have been in constant contact in recent months. As previously reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Mariners were apparently close to sending Seth Smith to Boston, before the Red Sox went elsewhere to resolve their need for a left-hand hitter.

Any ongoing conversations aside, is Pomeranz the type of pitcher the Mariners need, to strengthen their starting rotation? Certainly there are some intriguing aspects to what he would potentially offer in Seattle, especially when you consider what he did last season.

In many ways, you could argue the 2016 season was the Collierville, Tennessee native’s best yet in the Majors. Among other things, he recorded his second-best ERA and WHIP to date (3.32 and 1.184 respectively), while registering his most ever strikeouts per nine innings (9.8).

Pomeranz also showed his potential to be a workhorse in the rotation. His 30 starts and 170.2 innings both represented career highs.

Critics will understandably point to the fact the majority of the 28-year old’s best work last season came while he was with the San Diego Padres, before being traded to Boston during the All-Star break. In addition, does the 2016 campaign represent the start of more consistency, or will it turn out to be the high-point of his baseball career?

Of course, there are always questions and gambles when it comes to professional sports. In any event, Pomeranz’s pitching repertoire also makes him a tantalizing proposition.

The 2010 fifth overall draft pick’s curveball is particularly impressive. Using a knuckle curve grip, the pitch has an exceptional bite and leads to significantly more groundballs compared to the average pitcher’s curve.

Pomeranz’s fourseam fastball is also worthy of noting. Averaging out at 92 mph during the 2016 season, it generates a lot of unnecessary swings and results in a lot of flyballs.

One last factor to consider, is the left-hander’s contract, with him being arbitration eligible for the next two seasons and becoming a free agent in 2019. Overall, he is definitely someone the Mariners should consider for their rotation, again depending on whether or not the Red Sox will make him available.

What’s your take on Pomeranz? Do you think the Mariners should attempt to trade for him or look elsewhere, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section.