In parallel to the sub-par season by King Felix, the starters barely performed at an adequate level. The bullpen is solid. However, relying on 34-year-old Wade LeBlanc to lead a staff in ERA and WHIP is not something to count on. Consequently, acquiring pitching is always a necessity. Rumor has it, the Yankees will be shopping Sonny Gray.
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After a couple of 14 win seasons with Oakland, Gray had a drop-off in 2016 that coincided with the A’s last-place finish. A mid-season trade in 2017 to the Yankees didn’t help him or them either. At 28, Gray still has some potentially good years ahead of him. I think it would be a worthy venture to acquire the right-handed throwing former All-Star.
There are two World Series left-handers in Drew Pomeranz and Hyun-Jin Ryu that would be nice additions to the Mariners. The adage of “never enough pitching” still holds true. Pomeranz, who turns 30 in November, won 17 games for the BoSox in 2017. After two stints on the disabled list this past season, Pomeranz lost his place in the starting rotation and finished the season in the bullpen, having posted an overall 2-6 record with an ERA of 6.08.
Ryu, 31, is the first South Korean-born pitcher to start a post-season game in Major League history. He won 14 games in each of his first two seasons with the Dodgers. Unfortunately, he missed the entire 2015 season due to shoulder surgery. Both of these big lefties could easily find a spot on the Mariners staff.
Another lefty for consideration would be Gio Gonzalez. The former Oakland and Washington starter, who won 21 games for the Nationals in 2012, is likely to garner much attention. How many lefties do the Mariners want on their staff? That is a question for general manager Jerry DiPoto.
The rest of the Mariners roster seems fairly stable. Although, small contract transactions are never out of the question. On spotrac.com, outfielder Austin Jackson was listed in a category as one of the free agents with the lowest salary at $545, 000 this past season. If the Mariners are willing to give him a second chance in Seattle, Jackson might be worthwhile. With a payroll of $131 million last year, it would be a cost-cutting maneuver. It may be a busy off-season for Jerry DiPoto.