Apparently, anyone who claims to be a fan of the Seattle Mariners. Except the Good Guys.
This afternoon, Randy Wolf was released by the Seattle Mariners because he didn’t want to sign some complicated contract (basically, if he wasn’t on the club for 45 days then he wouldn’t be owed a million dollars). The Good Guys sat at their respective places, saw the news and celebrated! We don’t have to watch some below-average lefty, who is not a part of the team’s near (or distant) future, make any starts as a member of our hometown team! We saw this story last year with Joe Saunders, except Wolf is even worse!
The rest of Seattle fell into a panic and I still haven’t figured out why. I know people really don’t like Hector Noesi and understandably so. Blake Beavan isn’t our favorite guy either but both of these guys are on par with Wolf (sure, they might be a little worse). They don’t have to pay either of those guys what they were going to pay Wolf. Heck, there are other free agent options out there who are better than Randy ‘hang ’em and bang ’em’ Wolf.
Mostly, I just don’t understand the freak out but there are two points I want to make. The 5th starter (where Wolf is headed) will only make 1-3 starts before Walker comes back. Walker is about 3 or 4 weeks away but the Mariners only need to use the 5th starter once in the first two weeks because of off-days which will allow them to skip the spot the rotation. Literally, they only would need to use that 5th spot once before April 15th (the day Walker could come off the DL).
The other issue people keep talking about is that the last 2 days have ruined the Mariners rotation depth. I have two thoughts on this. First, if a player is going to make a couple of starts and then decline to go to AAA, that’s not rotation depth, it’s just a stopgap. Rotation depth is built in the minor leagues and the Mariners have done a fairly good job with this in recent years. Secondly, no team is ready to have 2 starters out. Look at Oakland, Texas, or Atlanta. All of them have injury problems and their rotations are a bit of a mess right now. Randy Wolf was the Mariners 8th or 9th starter. That’s not bad. They got rid of him because he thought he was good and got greedy. He’s not good. Sure, it would have been great to add a free agent arm this off-season but not for the contracts they were going for. Some didn’t have any interest in coming here.
Everything is okay, everybody. By next month, none of this will matter. Roenis Elias is a fun filler in the 4th spot in the rotation. No one knows anything about him so he could catch some teams by surprise for a few weeks, then the guy who finished 3rd in Cy Young voting can take his spot. The 5th spot could be ugly for 1 or 2 starts and then the top pitching prospect in baseball can take his spot. Things aren’t so bad.
Aaron Harang could be the Braves third starter to start the season. Joe Saunders could be in the Rangers rotation until July. The Mariners are in fine shape compared to these teams. Go enjoy some baseball and stop freaking out about cutting a guy who hasn’t had an ERA under 5 in the last 3 seasons.