Seattle Mariners: October mailbag – Robbie, Sugar, and free agents

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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It’s the second Friday of the month, which means it’s time for the monthly Seattle Mariners mailbag. You ask the questions and our Emerald City Swagger staff answers them.

Every second Friday of the month our Emerald City Swagger contributors answer your Seattle Mariners questions.

Q1 – What is the Mariners biggest need in the offseason and should they address it in Free Agency?

Matt Barry – The Mariners biggest need is a frontline starter. In order to compete over the long haul, they will need someone to pair with James Paxton. A middle of the order bat will be necessary should Nelson Cruz leave in free agency, but pitching wins. It will be hard to address with a depleted farm system. If general manager Jerry DiPoto and the front office can be creative, they should make an effort to fill this need.

Ed Stein –  Everyone is going to say starting pitching. Yes, they need more of it, then again every team needs it as well. I think they need a dynamic hitter in the leadoff spot. Someone who can get on base at over a .360 clip and then create havoc on the base paths. I don’t see that player among this free agent class, so it would have to be via trade.

Jordan Cordano – The obvious need for the Mariners is another solid rotation pitcher, but with limited resources and a thin field of free agents it could make that a difficult task for Dipoto. My wish list consists of Patrick Corban, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton but the money demand they might be seeking could be out of budget for the Mariners. More reasonable options that could still help the rotation in 2019 are names like Gio Gonzalez, Matt Harvey, Nathan Eovaldi, and Drew Pomeranz.

Herb Nightingale – The Houston Astros won the American League West once again, and are currently in the American League Championship Series. We have to look at their pitching. They have five starters from Justin Verlander who has an earned run average ERA) of 2.52 with a record of 16-9 to Lance McCullers Jr. with an ERA of 3.86 and a 10-6 record. McCullers was placed on the disabled list because of his right elbow on August 5. He was reinstated on September 24. Framber Valdez, a rookie, started five games in his spot going 4-1 with an era of 2.19. Valdez isn’t on the playoff roster.

It is obvious starting pitching is what the Mariners need. The easiest way for the Mariners to get some help would be to go the free agency route however it will likely cost more money than the Mariners want to spend plus general manager Jerry Dipoto prefers trading. So the likelihood is that the Seattle Mariners will get a starting pitcher through a trade.