The Seattle Mariners once looked like an up and coming team. Their saber-friendly GM, Jack Zdurencik led them to a surprise 85-77 finish after winning just 61 games the year before. The Mariners became the darlings of the sabermetric community.
But things have sort of stalled since then. The Mariners have not won more than 75 games since Zdurencik's splashy debut. There are talks that Zdurencik will get an extension but patience is still wearing thin. He just fired his 3rd manager. Is this the year for Seattle to make a move to a more win-now mode?
The Mariners have what the Cubs lack, which is young front of the rotation pitchers like top prospect Taijuan Walker and two good LHP prospects in Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, though I was just reminded Hultzen had shoulder surgery. The Mariners, meanwhile, are perpetually looking for bats.
The Cubs aren't exactly an offensive juggernaut, but they do have some depth at a few positions, notably in the infield where they have Starlin Castro, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Christian Villanueva. They also have a trio of left-handed hitting outfielders in Nate Schierholtz, Bryan Bogusevic, and Ryan Sweeney.
One scout told me recently, "Getting Castro cheap for 7 years is about worth 2-3 top shelf prospects alone". The Mariners certainly have that to offer -- and at a position of need for the Cubs.
Might there be a match somewhere?
The Mariners particularly struggled to get offense from the SS position, where Brendan Ryan hit less than .200. They also have a young LH bat that has fallen out of favor in Dustin Ackley, but he's a talented hitter with good plate discipline that could benefit from a change of scenery -- especially to a more-hitter friendly ballpark.
Its just speculation at this point, but it's not hard to think of potential matchups between the two teams
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