There is no doubt that we are experiencing another golden age of pitching in baseball. From Justin Verlander to Clayton Kershaw, Matt Cain and even Stephen Strasburg when he’s not on a pitching curfew, the arms in baseball today are off the charts when it comes to talent.
The only logical step pas recognizing that we’re in a pitching boom, is to stock-pile as many of them as you can, and to put out the most ferocious starting rotation that you possibly can conceive. We saw it with the Philadelphia Phillies a few years back, and teams like the Angels and Rangers have all attempted to get as many aces on their staffs as possible.
The Seattle Mariners may be the next team in the evolution of the pitching rotation.
Right now the Mariners have one of the best young arms in the game on their staff: Felix Hernandez. They also managed to get Justin Vargas to stick around and he’ll likely return in 2013. But beyond those two pitchers, Seattle didn’t have anything to offer last season, nor have they in the last decade it seems. The Mariners are so far gone from that spectacular 2001 season that they did the unimaginable and let their franchise face in Ichiro go to the Bronx.
Why did they do that? Because there’s a new face for the new look franchise and he’s Felix Hernandez. The Mariners have one of the best arms in baseball and it would be a shame if they did nothing with that potential. That’s why building a rotation of three lights out pitchers, and two serviceable guys combined with a solid lineup of young and veteran talent could bring about a renaissance in Seattle.
That renaissance could start with the signing of top pitching free agent Zack Greinke.
Greinke is no stranger to American League ball, having spent the last half of the year with the Angels, which also means he’s no stranger to the A.L. West. Signing Grienke would do two things for Seattle, generate instant interest in the team by way of upgrading the pitching staff, and it would weaken a divisional opponent betting on being able to get Greinke to return.
And the best for for Mariners fans is, it’s completely possible. Seattle has a $45 million TV deal, they have a cast of young players with loads of potential, a farm system brimming with talent, and as mentioned, a Cy Young winner on their pitching staff. But Seattle doesn’t have is a winning culture, and it’s been that way for a long time.
What’s the fix, bring in another Cy Young winner.
The Mariners have a lot of flexibility on their roster, and they always get the benefit of the doubt when the season begins that this is finally going to be the year the aren’t just an abortion of a baseball club. We may be falling into the same rut suggesting that adding Greikne and perhaps a guy like Nick Swisher puts them over the top, but how can it be any worse than it’s been?
There will be a lot of action at the Winter Meeting and all offseason long, but if the Mariners — who have historically shown they have a large and loyal following– can snag Greinke and throw him out there with King Felix, we might have a resurgence of a winning culture in the Pacific Northwest.