Spring Training 2013, Rotation Report

Last week, pitchers and catchers reported to their respective camps to begin Spring Training. The Seattle Mariners enter Spring Training with a roster that is full of both interesting pieces and questions marks. Last week, two separate sports writers chose the Mariners as their surprise 2013 team, echoing the seasons Oakland and Baltimore had in 2012. I’m not ready to claim we’re on the verge of contending but we do have a very young team, and a very different team than the last few years. To prepare for the coming season, I’ll be examining each positional group throughout Spring Training to give us a better idea how the roster might shape up come April. I’ll begin with the starting rotation because that unit had more changes during the offseason than any other unit. Continue reading

King Felix and the Greatest Mariner Ever

The most exciting news of the offseason for the Mariners was revealed last week. Felix Hernandez is on the verge of signing a long-term contract with the Mariners that will keep him in Seattle until 2019. The all but confirmed details are $25 million per year over seven years for a total of $175 million. That is a lot of money for one player; $25 million is over a quarter of our entire 2012 payroll. On the one hand, this contract is a confirmation by both the Mariners and Felix that they are committed for the long haul. It probably hasn’t been easy to play for the Mariners the last ten years. Toiling at the bottom of the standings, in the midst of constant rebuilding probably isn’t the most invigorating environment for a competitor. Yet Felix has consistently professed his devotion to the Mariners and Seattle. By offering this contract to Felix, the Mariners have tacitly committed to building a winning franchise around him and he has committed to being the central figure of that franchise. Continue reading