Winning in 2019
General manager Jerry DiPoto has said he wants to add a few pieces and not rebuild. He thinks the Mariners can contend next season. In order to do so, they need production from Cano and a better year from Hernandez.
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The M’s also need Nelson Cruz or someone like him as a power bat lineup. Losing his bat would be another hole to fill. Cruz wants to stay, but that will depend on the kind of contract he will ask for.
Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Denard Span were bright spots offensively. What do they do with Kyle Seager, who continues to fade? Mike Zunino has mentioned he will look to take more pitches. Even if he does, it’s still Mike Zunino.
My feeling is that the Mariners can’t outhit teams like Oakland, Houston, Cleveland, Boston, and New York. They certainly can’t do it without Cruz. Some shrewd moves will need to be made and I’m not sure DiPoto can make them.
As great as the first half was, could it be that the Mariners are fool’s gold? Was the first half smoke and mirrors? Did it give management a false hope that a couple of changes can help? Will another year or two of chasing the teams ahead of them deplete them even more in the future?
I don’t know how much time Mariners fans will give the team to make the playoffs. I do know that the diehards probably want the promise of the first half of 2018 to carry over to a postseason birth in 2019. I just don’t know if it can happen.