Seattle Mariners: 81.5 wins
- Baseball Prospectus: 82 wins
- FanGraphs: 84 wins
It was a surprisingly quiet winter for Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, who is known for constantly tinkering with his MLB roster and making trades out of nowhere. Seattle tried very hard to clear enough bonus space to woo Shohei Ohtani, but he chose the Angels. The Mariners did make two notable moves, however, trading for Dee Gordon to be their center fielder and acquiring Ryon Healy to play first base.
The Mariners have not been to the playoffs since their magical 2001 season and fell back below .500 last year after seeming to be trending in the right direction. Injuries to the starting rotation ultimately torpedoed any hope Seattle had of making the postseason.
Unfortunately for the Mariners and their fans, adding a free agent to the rotation this winter was not an option due to financial restrictions. Landing Ohtani would have been huge because he came at such a low cost. The Mariners now carry a top-five payroll and have outsized commitments to Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Mike Leake dragging them down.
Seattle will once again feature an exciting attack on offense, but will only go as far as the rotation takes them. If this team is to end a long playoff drought, James Paxton, not Ariel Miranda, must lead them in starts.
Conclusion: Paxton has never been able to stay healthy, and King Felix is heading downhill quickly. The Mariners may start out the year hot, but will ultimately fall below .500 by the end of the year with another difficult season on the mound.