Tha Sports Junkies 101

Seattle Mariners: New Year, New Team

Seattle Mariners: New Year, New Team Image via Sportsgraphics36


Seattle Mariners

The 2016 Seattle Mariners were a very competitive ball club, but their 86-76 record made them fall 2 game out stealing the wildcard spot of the playoffs. The team improved from the 2015 campaign and will look to continue that trend heading into the 2017 season. The American League West is a very competitive division but that won’t deter the Mariners from moving up the standings this upcoming baseball season.

Off-Season Moves:

Seattle has been a frequent flyer on the transaction lists this off-season and do not show any signs of stopping any time soon. They’ve given several minor league and free agent contracts as well as been busy on the hot stove through trades.

In November, Seattle traded RHP Paul Blackburn to the Oakland Athletics for Danny Valencia. Valencia adds hitting to this already strong lineup. They continued this when they traded shortstop Ketel Marte and RHP Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks for second baseman Jean Segura, center fielder Mitch Haniger and LHP Zac Curtis a couple of weeks later. With Robinson Cano at second base, Segura will play shortstop and be a top of the order player in the lineup. Segura’s 2016 season featured a .319 average, 102 runs, 200 hits which included 20 home runs and 41 doubles, and 33 stolen bases.

In December, they signed LHP Marc Rzepczynski and traded for pitcher Chris Heston. Rzepczynski had a solid year between his time with the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals. He will give the Mariners another go-to option in the pen. Heston is hoping for a bounce back year after a disappointing 2016 season. When he’s at his best, he will provide the Mariners a starter that can have long outings and not have to tap into the bullpen.

In January, they have made some notable trades to start of the new year. It all began with them trading right fielder Seth Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo is not the starter he once was, but still has left some in the tank and could be a wildcard for this team and could just payoff for Seattle.

Most recently, Seattle sent shortstop Carlos Vargas, center fielder Mallex Smith and LHP Ryan Yarbrough to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for LHP Drew Smyly. Smyly gives them another starter to round out their pitching staff.

Don’t be surprised if the Mariners continue to make deals, as they have been doing it all off-season.

Expectations For 2017:

As most teams, Seattle is eyeing the playoffs. They haven’t had a playoff appearance since their record-setting 2001 campaign.

The lineup for the Mariners looks even stronger with Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Cano and the additions of  Valencia and Segura. Seattle was one of the top hitting teams which included the third most home runs in the league last season.

Pitching additions will bolster the staff and give them plenty to work with. “King Felix”, also known as Felix Hernandez gives them someone to always give them a chance to come out with a win every fifth day. Last season was not his best year, but when he is at his best, no one can dominate him. In 2017, look for a strong bounce back campaign as he will be in the Cy Young discussion once again. Steve Cishek at closer is one of the most consistent in their pen as well as all of baseball. Despite his seven blown saves, his 2.81 earned run average in 76 innings proves he can be an asset to the Mariners and their pen.


The Seattle Mariners can surprise you this season. They’ve put themselves in a nice position with their off-season moves. If their hitting success continues and we see a strong year from guys in the pitching staff like Hernandez, Smyly, Gallardo, and Heston, this team will prove some people wrong.

Don’t be surprised if they end that 16 year playoff drought come October.