Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners ‘not interested’ in dealing their young arms

Mired at the bottom of the AL West for the past few seasons and in need of some significant upgrades on offense, it would appear as though the Seattle Mariners are unwilling to discuss trading any of their top young arms in a potential deal. The team would rather address their offensive needs on the free agent market, according to the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton on Twitter.

Seattle’s collection of young arms focuses mainly on three names: Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton. The trio has been highly touted as they’ve climbed through the organization’s minor league system and two of them (Walker and Paxton) made their MLB Debuts this past season. Their immediate place in the Mariners’ rotation, however, remains unclear as both could end up seeing more time down at Triple-A to begin the 2014 season.

Walker’s easily the big name of the group, having twice ranked among the Top 20 prospects in the game according to Baseball America. The 20 year old split his 2013 season between Double-A and Triple-A, making 25 starts on the year and throwing 141.1 IP. His numbers were good, posting a combined 2.93 ERA and 1.196 WHIP on the year before making his debut with the Mariners at the end of August. In three starts to close out the season he’d pitch well, allowing just 11 hits and 4 walks while striking out 12 over 15.0 IP

Paxton has been less heralded, but he too has been twice named among the Top 100 prospects by BA. The left-hander has seen less success in the minor leagues than Walker, but figures just as prominently in the team’s future plans for their rotation behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

The wildcard here is Hultzen, of course, who’s status remains in doubt. After missing most of the 2013 season due to discomfort in his shoulder, the team announced in late September that he’d need to undergo surgery on his labrum, causing him to miss the entire 2014 season. There is optimism that he’ll be able to return to form following the procedure, but there are no certainties.

Seattle will need to make some moves this winter in order to beef up their offense. The team has potential holes at both first and third base as well as in the outfield, so there is room for improvement. Never a top destination for free agents, it will be interesting to see just how willing to spend the organization might be in order to land a quality bat on the open market without parting with their young pitching.

Tags: Danny Hultzen James Paxton Seattle Mariners Taijuan Walker

  • Keith Boyd

    Umm, I think you meant Hisashi Iwakuma at #2…

    • Jared Keeney

      LOL i saw that too…..

    • Aaron Somers

      You are absolutely right. Thanks for catching that.

  • Wade Sawkins

    Holes at 3rd base? Kyle Seager will fill that for years to come. Hisashi Iwakuma was the 2 starter for Seattle and it’s looking like Erasmo Ramirez will make the starting 5 with Walker an Paxton. I think Seattle will need to keep Walker I they are to rebuild seriously.

  • Ethan Slater

    I dont really feel like you know what your talking about. Seager is easily our best player on the team as of now and will be playing 3rd base for years to come. Iwakuma is our #2 starter, not Takahashi. There has been rumours that the mariners have talked about trading Nick Franklin along with one of our pitching prospects, some saying that may be Paxton or Maurer, which sort of makes this entire article pointless and for the most part not correct. It is pretty clear that Walker will stay with the team for a while since he is only 21 years old and Hultzen is not a factor for this upcoming season due to injury. It might be better to check out more twitter buzz and reader every rumour before you stick with one that is false.
    Go Mariners

  • Jared Keeney

    This article needs to be deleted. This guy has no idea what hes talking about

  • ~~yüñg b£ēēzy~~

    takahashi?? haha, get your facts straight

  • Reynaldo Martinez

    Don’t you mean iwakuma? Great research. Didn’t finish your article. And if you said holes at third? I’m glad I didn’t.

  • Aaron Somers

    Yes, as a few comments have pointed out the Mariners are not in need of a third baseman as I so strongly suggested. Seager has been better over the past two seasons than I gave him credit for. Beyond that I still stand by my point that the team is unlikely to deal one of these arms. In fact, I never suggested that the team should or will move one of these players.