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Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:43 pm

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

The Seattle Mariners have finished last place in the AL West six of the past eight seasons. Would things have been different if management had done a better job of keeping the right organizational pieces? In a word: Yes. Check this out ...


1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Adam Jones, CF
6. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
7. Dustin Ackley, 2B
8. Raul Ibanez, 1B
9. Jason Varitek, C

Starting Rotation

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Michael Pineda
3. Doug Fister
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Joel Pineiro


Closer - J.J. Putz
Set up - Rafael Soriano, Matt Thornton, Eric O'Flaherty, Brian Fuentes, Damaso Marte, George Sherrill
Long - Derek Lowe

Notable Bench Players

Adam Moore, Greg Dobbs, Bryan LaHair, Luis Valbuena, Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Willie Bloomquist, Michael Saunders, Carlos Peguero

What's Good?

Almost everything. The lineup is solid, the starting rotation is very good, the bullpen is great and there is some bench depth. There are superstars like King Felix and A-Rod with up-and-comers like Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Pineda. And 2011 first-rounder Danny Hultzen (starting pitcher) will soon be added to the mix.

What's Not?

Age in some areas. A-Rod, Ortiz, Ichiro and Ibanez are all in different levels of decline, but there's no doubt they're all certainly in decline. Catcher is also a problem, as we're left deciding between a has-been (Varitek) and a possible never-will-be (Moore). Pick your poison there.

As for the lineup, I tried to figure out how to best work it. Maybe swap Jones and A-Rod spots? I'd be OK with that, considering the seasons those two had in 2011. Also, Ichiro's OBP was terrible for a leadoff man last season (.310), but wouldn't it make the back-end of the lineup too punchless if you batted Ackley leadoff? With the way I left it, the leadoff spot is weak.

Comparison to real 2011

The 2011 Mariners lost 95 games and this team above would have a shot at winning 95. You can take away from the older stars all you want, but with that pitching staff, the offense doesn't have to be great. It only has to be good, and it's easily good enough to get plenty of wins when only needing to put three or four runs on the board. Plus, as those older guys continue to decline, the likes of Jones, Ackley and Cabrera just get better. In Sunday's Homegrown Team, I said to expect to see the Cubs toward the bottom of the rankings (when we do them). This entry is the complete opposite. Expect to see the Mariners toward the top of the rankings. This is a great team. For now.

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Since: Jun 4, 2009
Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:10 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

How about Omar Vizquel as a bench option? He's still playing right?

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 24, 2011 11:52 am

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

Big Papi isn't homegrown I don't think. I thought he was drafted as a Minnesota Twin.

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: December 24, 2011 2:44 am

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

I respect the Bavasi comment, but doesn't the last few years show you that maybe he wasn't as bad as his rep?
Bavasi passed on hometown kid Tim Lincecum for Brandon Morrow. He traded uber talented Rafeal Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. He backed up a Brinks Truck to Carlos Silva's back door. You're right. Bavasi wasn't as bad as his rep.....he was FAR WORSE.

Now, as far as Jack Z, the Milton Bradley fiasco was getting a bad contract for a worse one in Silva. How can you blame Jack Z taking out Bavasi's garbage? I'm willing to give him a pass on Figgins because there is no one in baseball who could have seen that coming. Prior to showing up in Seattle, he had only had one year that could be considered below average and Seattle paid the market price for a capable top of the order hitter with his versatility.

Don't judge Jack Z on the major league team only. Bavasi left the cupboard completely bare and he has rebuilt that organization from the bottom up. As of now, the M's have a minor system teeming with elite level arms that are going to be ready soon. Not to mention that you have already seen the fruits of what Jack Z does in Dustin Ackley.

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:27 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

I respect the Bavasi comment, but doesn't the last few years show you that maybe he wasn't as bad as his rep?  I mean, come on, Z hasnt exactly put out a winning product...  who would you rather have, cirillo or figgins?  Carl Everett or Milton Bradley?

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 4:57 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

This just drives home the point that Bill Bavasi is, was and always will be an idiot.  That guy single handedly put the M's in the crapper. 

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:48 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

Almost, Matt. You forgot two San Diego Padres who played considerable time this past season. Rob Johnson, solid defense and no bat. Also, Jesus Guzman who plays 1B, hits right handed, is 10 years younger than Raul, and posted good offensive splits: .312 .369 .478 .847

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:33 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

Ok, the Mariners drafted Ortiz, but he was really with the Twins.  They were the ones who gave up on him after having him for six years. 

As for the rest of the screw ups, please remember those two dunces Armstrong and Lincoln let Bavasi be the GM and totally destroy what was a good organization.  Bavasi was without a doubt one of the worst the Pacific NW has ever seen.  Probably one of the worst GM's ever in baseball.  Fortunately the team seems to be on the right track with Jack Z now. 

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 10:58 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

With this line up and a manager that could get the best out of you, this team event with tweaks would be battling for the wild card if not the AL West.

THe team managed by a Ron Washington like manager would be feared unlike many a team line up

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

Smoak came from Texas in the Cliff Lee trade.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:22 pm

Homegrown Team: Seattle Mariners

That is quite misleading. That assumes we could afford all of that, which is not the case. It's not like we traded Rodriguez away. He signed a ridiculous (at the time) contract that we couldn't match.

Also, I'd rather have Smoak (as rough as it's been) over Ibanez at this stage. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or