Organizational Rankings: Current Talent – Mariners

The Mariners spent an all time high on player payroll in 2008 and spent it so atrociously that they won only 61 games with it and got a brand new front office. As it turns out, it was probably worth it as they now employ one of the better-run offices in baseball and are heading back into contention far faster than anyone possibly could have imagined. Still, the new regime has to bear some crosses from the past one in terms of reduced financial flexibility. After that peak in 2008, the 2009 Mariners dropped about $20 million in payroll and this year’s team is down a little over another $10 million.

The Mariners went from 61 wins to 85 last year. Will the loss of an additional payroll project to hurt the Mariners this season? According to our notable projection systems, it looks like it will have some impact though perhaps not a great one. FanGraphs readers and CAIRO both have the Mariners at 83 wins for 2010 while CHONE is more pessimistic at just 78 wins.

Run prevention is going to be the name of the game for Seattle this season. Fronted in the rotation by Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee and possibly joined later on by Erik Bedard, the Mariners can boast some seriously good arms. The bullpen is no slouch either with power arms galore and breakout candidate Brandon League, discussed previously on FanGraphs with regards to his added splitter.

Kenji Johjima departs from the catching platoon, replaced by Adam Moore, which should make pretty much no difference. Casey Kotchman at first base will get a chance to get his career back on track and at the least will provide more solid defending than the Mariners have seen there in a long time.

Newly signed Chone Figgins is making the switch back to second base where he’ll be an asset and Jack Wilson mans shortstop from now until he–no, wait, he just got hurt again. Jose Lopez moves from second to third where the Mariners say that his body type plays better but more likely meant his trade value as they await Dustin Ackley.

Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki need no more fanfare, except they do, but I will not take time here to add on. Left field is a sticky situation, along with DH, with several mediocre candidates vying for time in between Milton Bradley suspensions.

The Mariners, as built on paper, are going to contend in what looks to be a slightly watered down AL West division. Given the savvy front office and talent in house, do not be surprised if the Mariners hang around contention for the foreseeable future.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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Wrighteous
Guest
Wrighteous

Looks like an 80 win team gets the number 6 spot. At least they didn’t make top 5.

eitheror
Guest
eitheror

But they do have a middle of the pack farm system! Man fangraphs(well… Dave Cameron) must really think that Jack Z is some type of superhuman value-finding machine. The talent on this team from the majors down through rookie ball is not even close to sixth best. One of the themes of this site is regression to the mean and semi-conservative value projection, I suggest these concepts be applied to the M’s front office.

DavidCEisen
Member
DavidCEisen

And what are the chances they re-sign Lee? Especially if Beckett re-ups with Boston and he becomes the only top-of-the-line starter on the market?

JH
Guest
JH

If Lee leaves the Mariners get 2 compensation draft picks, making it decently likely that the talent they gave up for him will be a wash.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Sure, but it’s extremely unlikely to be a wash with the talent of CLIFF LEE.

Therefore, the fact that Lee will most likely not be in Seattle next year is a highly relevant point.

Reuben
Guest

“Jack Z is some type of superhuman value-finding machine”

He got rid of Silva didn’t he? He got Gutierrez didn’t he? He traded away Putz for prospects, didn’t he?

I think you’ve described him perfectly.

B
Guest
B

Ah, Reuben, let me tell you this story about a man named Brian Sabean….

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