Mariners: Productive off-season

1305The Seattle Mariners were no exception during this winter. The Seattle team made a load of moves towards the problem that they have been facing. Their problem was their complete lack of offense where they have finished in the bottom of the rankings in almost every offensive category for the past few years and now they have finally made some moves to move in the right direction. However, other moves were made on the defensive side of the team including the biggest pitcher contract in Major League Baseball. Many moves were made during the off-season that I think will positively affect the team come the 2013 season.

The first move of the season was literally a “move.” The Mariners have brought in the fences at their field Safeco Field. Since baseball started at Safeco Field, people have noticed that it was a very “pitcher-friendly” park that made for low offensive numbers. The team brought in the fences in hopes of increasing offensive productivity and luring in offensive hitters to want to play for the Mariners.

The next big off-season move was a trade between the Mariners and Los Angeles Angels that brought designated hitter Kendrys Morales to Seattle and sent starting pitcher Jason Vargas to LA. Morales is a pure power hitter that works with the dimensions of Safeco to optimize his offensive ability. On the other side of this, pitcher Jason Vargas leaving was also a good thing because bringing in the fences make Vargas more vulnerable to big hitters. He is also a “flyball-pitcher” meaning that he gives up a lot of high hits which would normally stay inside Safeco field, now leave the park with the smaller dimensions. This trade made sense on all angles, and it should work out well for both Morales and Vargas.

There were a few other signings during the off-season that made impacts. The biggest one was a three-way trade that dealt catcher John Jaso, and brought power outfielder Michael Morse back to Seattle. Another big signing  acquired struggling outfielder Jason Bay to a one-year contract. Other signings included pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, outfielder Raul Ibanez, pitcher Joe Saunders, and catcher Kelly Shoppach.

The largest signing of the off-season was signing pitcher Felix Hernandez to a seven-year extension worth $175 million. This is the largest contract signed by a pitcher in major league history. Last year, “King Felix” stunned everybody with some fantastic pitching and throwing the first perfect game in Mariner history. This secures Felix as a Mariner for at least seven more years, and gives Seattle fans something to really cheer for.

The Mariners made a multitude of moves during the off-season, and have made a real step in fixing their main problem in their offense. The 2013 season looks stronger than ever for the Seattle Mariners, and the hope of bringing home a pennant.