The last time the Seattle Mariners made the postseason, Ichiro Suzuki was a rookie and Freddy Garcia was widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Yeah, 2001 was a long time ago, and though the M's have registered four winning seasons since, they also finished in the cellar on seven different occasions. So this winter, aided financially by a new TV deal, the front office decided that it was time to make a statement, first outbidding the mighty Yankees for Robinson Cano before signing Corey Hart and most recently, Fernando Rodney. Some quick thoughts:
Cano: He's without question the top offensive second baseman in the game, but one has to wonder how moving from Yankee Stadium to pitcher-friendly Safeco Field will impact his home run production.
Hart: Perhaps the most underrated signing of the off-season. Hart averaged 29 homers per year from 2010–2012 before missing all of last season following dual knee surgeries. If healthy, he will prove to be a steal.
Rodney: His record-setting 2012 is looking like the outlier, as last season, Rodney morphed back into the erratic pitcher we've come to know (eight blown saves). That said, he should get the job done more times than not, as his changeup can be unhittable at times. Just be prepared for a handful of ninth inning meltdowns.
Seattle will no doubt be a better team in 2014, but will they be good enough to sneak into the playoffs? I have my doubts.