The 2016 Seattle Mariners are as much of an enigma as an MLB team can possibly be. Last season’s squad was touted as a sleeper World Series pick but failed miserably under manager Jack Zduriencik. New GM Jerry Dipoto has done a complete overhaul of the roster, tweaking more than 50 percent of the team he inherited from 2015 aiming for a squad with more athleticism, better pitching and a solid defense. Core players Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz are all still in Seattle and with new players surrounding them should provide a more consistent level of production for this Mariners team in 2016. In the middle infield, 2B Cano will be joined by Ketel Marte at short stop who was called up late last summer. Marte is an aggressive base runner and switch-hitter, which should be an advantage this season. At first base, Dipoto went out and grabbed Adam Lind from the Brewers to complete his quest for having players that can get on base. The Mariners outfield should see improvement defensively this season with the acquisition of speedy Leonys Martin from Texas who should end up in center field. Nori Aoki will be the left fielder the majority of the time with Franklin Gutierrez and Seth Smith sharing time in right field. When healthy, Seattle’s starting pitchers are as good and reliable as any in the AL. Aside from veterans Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, there is excitement around the three young starters; Taijuan Walker, Nathan Karns and James Paxton who could really elevate this rotation. As part of
his overhaul, Dipoto has retooled the bullpen as they were among the league’s worst last season. He brought in 38-year old veteran Joaquin Benoit, Steve Cishek, Justin De Fratus and Evan Scribner who should be able to close out and win more games for this Mariners team in 2016.
It will be hard to predict exactly how this Seattle team will fare with so much roster turnover. One thing is for sure, it will be an exciting summer so be sure to purchase your Seattle Mariners tickets and support these guys as they attempt to climb to the top of the AL West.
The Seattle Mariners have been playing professional baseball since 1977. This makes the franchise one of the youngest in the MLB, which is why fans are not too upset that the club has yet to win or play in a World Series. The M’s time will come and the very deserving sports fans of Seattle will make the most of the opportunity to cheer their team on in the biggest series of the season.
The early rosters managed to obtain Hall of Fame players at the end of their careers or simply did not have enough great players to put together a winning season or survive the difficult road in the playoffs. Eventually the baseball team would put together the kind of talent that made them preseason picks to win the American League West and take the AL Pennant, but somehow the efforts of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, and Jay Buhner were not enough to make those predictions come true.
These guys did win the division twice in the second half of the 1990s though. But, the Mariners always seemed to lack the depth in the starting rotation to make a real run at a championship. Still the fans were treated to some of most talented players in the league.
Those players retired or left in free agency by the beginning of the 21st century, but the remnants rallied around the super-single hitting Ichiro Suzuki to post an American League record 116 wins and advance to the ALCS in 2001. Alas, the unlikely club could not keep the fairy tale story going and lost to the Yankees. This is as close to the Promised Land as the Mariners have come, even though in the immediate years after they managed to win 93 games. Since then the team has been searching for the next generation of stars.