Fixing the Seattle Mariners Starting Rotation

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Seattle Mariners Starting Rotation
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 2: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after talking with manager Scott Servais after pitching five innings game of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco Field on August 2, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Blue Jays won 7-3. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners recently moved Felix Hernandez to the bullpen for the first time in his career. Taking the spot recently vacated by Sam Tuivailala, who is on the DL with an achilles injury. After posting a 5.73 ERA through 23 starts, something needed to change. With the Mariners pushing for the playoffs, the team decided to put Felix in the pen. After 398 starts, it’s going to be a big change for Felix. With the move, the team needs a new starter to fill out the rotation. Let’s look at some of the moves that could fix the Seattle Mariners starting rotation.

Fixing the Seattle Mariners Starting Rotation

Small Upgrades

Although the main trade deadline has passed, players are still able to be moved until August 31st. If a player is waived, he is eligible to be traded. There are a few candidates for this, and some have already moved. A couple starters are still available who could be quite helpful for the Mariners. Francisco Liriano could easily be one of them. Having already cleared waivers, he is eligible to be traded to any team. Although not the strikeout pitcher he once was, Liriano has turned in an average season. With an ERA+ of 101, he could be a solid option to pitch five to six innings a game.

Ervin Santana recently came off of the disabled list and doesn’t look to be back to full strength. With a large salary and a cheap buyout, he should easily clear waivers. Santana is a good boom/bust candidate, with low risk. The Mariners getting the All-Star from 2017 would be another tremendous move by Dipoto. It could also derail their season if he continues on his 6.53 ERA pace.

The Toronto Blue Jays have already made a multitude of trades. A name that we could see added to that list is Marco Estrada. Struggling to get back to his 2015 and 2016 form, Estrada’s been mentioned in trades the better part of 2018. A change of scenery might do him well and help regain that form. Estrada will be a free agent after 2018, and can likely be gotten for next to nothing.

Big Upgrades

The best available starting pitcher likely to be traded who is left on the market is Matt Harvey. The former New York Met and current Cincinnati Red has had an up and down season. Harvey looks to be doing better, having given up two or fewer runs in seven of his last nine starts. One reason is he looks to have his velocity back, throwing in the mid 90’s once again. Like Estrada, Harvey is a free agent after 2018. If the Reds don’t think they can resign Harvey, they should be looking to acquire an asset.

Zack Wheeler is an unlikely candidate, but his name has still been mentioned. With the glut of pitchers the Mets have, he could be dealt. Already 28, Wheeler has arbitration in 2019 and will be a free agent in 2020. Easily having the best season of anyone on this list, Wheeler would be an instant help. If Dipoto is able to get Wheeler for a reasonable price, he shouldn’t think twice.

Last Word

With an opening in the Seattle Mariners starting rotation, the team desperately needs another starter. Jerry Dipoto has easily made the most trades in baseball since taking over in Seattle. Regardless of what is said in the media, Dipoto is looking for solutions to fixing the Seattle Mariners starting rotation. With a few weeks left in August, one or two more isn’t out of the question. After an incredible four-game sweep of the Houston Astros, Dipoto is looking to strike. If the past is any indicator, keep a lookout for a new starter to be on their way to Seattle.

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