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Seattle Mariners

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Projected WARMarket Value

18.9 170


11.6 104


3.7 33


Projected WAR by grouping is from Fangraphs’ depth charts.
Historically each win is worth ~$9 million on the free agent market

Projected Team

  • Dee Gordon, CF
  • Jean Segura, SS
  • Robinson Cano, 2B
  • Nelson Cruz, DH
  • Kyle Seager, 3B
  • Mitch Haniger, RF
  • Mike Zunino, C
  • Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
  • Ichiro Suzuki, LF
  • James Paxton, LHP
  • Felix Hernandez, RHP
  • Mike Leake, RHP
  • Marco Gonzales, LHP
  • Erasmo Ramirez, RHP
  • Scott Servais

Health Check

“The farm has been trimmed by trades, and then trimmed again because it wasn’t quite even, and then oops again because now it’s not even on the other side, and then thinned one more time because it’s better to just start over, and this is why you don’t cut your own hair, Amanda.

Dipoto’s top draft picks Kyle Lewis, Joe Rizzo, Evan White and Sam Carlson all remain, as do most other recent draftees who look to help out the big-league team before we achieve nuclear winter, if we’re lucky. Other than that, every draftee left standing from 2012-2015 deserves some kind of merit badge for either being extremely tenacious or extremely able to fold themselves into an origami crane and avoid Jerry’s roving eye.

The farm’s strength is its relief corps, thanks to multiple starters-turned-relievers (which also means the weakness is its starting pitching, curse a coin for having two sides), and there is some outfield depth, but the Mariners will have to rely on a combination of excellent development and luck to get the most out of the talent on their farm. [Lights candle to St. Joe DeCarlo, patron saint of catcher conversions.]

To make an extremely topical reference, the Mariners need to capitalize on what they have now, because winter is coming. The team has chosen a strategy of betting on their own ability to develop talent in-house, with only moderate improvements, and have been roundly criticized for that. Time will tell if their gamble pays off.”

—Lookout Landing

Key Player

Which Mariners player alone justifies an subscription? Should we go with a seasoned star: Nelson Cruz, bringer of the Boomstick and heart of the team? Or maybe every-play-a-highlight-reel Robinson Cano? The feelings-y, nostalgic choice: King Felix, as the grains of sand left in his MLB career sift determinedly to the bottom of the glass. Maybe a more muted option, like the quietly, consistently excellent Kyle Seager, who even in his worst year as a Mariner posted 3.5 fWAR. Or how about a breakout star in the making, like Mitch Haniger, or James “Big Marketing Opportunity Maple” Paxton, or Mike Zunino, who is, in fact, Good? Or maybe we should select the most joy-per-pound, with Guillermo Heredia.

All of these are worthy options; if only we could have them all! Well, you can, in the form of Dee Gordon. Like his Dominican brethren, Dee is a seasoned MLB veteran, a Gold Glove winner and All-Star. However, thanks to his position change, he also poses a threat to be a breakout star in the making. The baseball world knows Dee Gordon, All-Star infielder; it is yet to be introduced to Dee Gordon, potential All-Star outfielder. Consistency? Dee might not walk a lot, but he also doesn’t strike out a lot, and when healthy, he’s a lock to steal at least 30 bags, if not 40 or even 50. You want feelings? Dee’s got feelings. You want joy? Dee’s got that, too.

Dee Gordon has already been electric this spring, both on the field and off. Learning a new position on the fly, he’s shown flashes of the type of player he could be, making both routine catches and gamely trying for highlight-reel ones.

Dee Gordon isn’t the only reason to watch the 2018 Mariners, but he is a darn good one. We don’t know how many wins the 2018 team will bring, but with the shimmering ball of light that is Dee Gordon sitting atop the lineup, fun seems guaranteed.

—Kate Preusser, Lookout Landing

Best Case

Adding Dee Gordon to the lineup — and as a center fielder, no less — is a gambit that pays off for both the lineup and the defense. The Mariners don’t regret missing out on Shohei Ohtani, as he struggles to hit and isn’t the game-changing starter Seattle thought he was — sure, that still leaves questions about the M’s own evaluations — but don’t discount the power of schadenfreude and bullets dodged. Ichiro Suzuki’s return to Seattle shows he has something left to offer, all those midseason rotation adds end up paying off this year, and Felix Hernandez is able to pull out of his early 30s slide long enough to give the Mariners a reliable starting five, a place in the AL Wild Card hunt, and the end of what is currently the longest playoff-drought in North American sports.

Worst Case

They are still the Mariners.