Seattle Mariners: Three realistic free agents targets

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 07: Manager Scott Servais #29 of the Seattle Mariners leads a team meeting during summer workouts at T-Mobile Park on July 07, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 07: Manager Scott Servais #29 of the Seattle Mariners leads a team meeting during summer workouts at T-Mobile Park on July 07, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Garrett Richards
SAN DIEGO, CA – AUGUST 21: Garrett Richards #43 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the game against the Houston Astros at Petco Park on August 21, 2020 in San Diego, California. The Padres defeated the Astros 4-3. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Garrett Richards is a low-cost, veteran option to round out the Seattle Mariners rotation.

Heading into the 2021 season, the Seattle Mariners have a starting rotation capable of being a productive unit, but it appears that Dipoto is going to deploy a six-man rotation to protect younger arms, which sounds like a plan many other rebuilding teams should employ.

Marco Gonzalez and Yusei Kikuchi are the veterans at the top of the rotation, with Justus Sheffield emerging as one of the more intriguing young arms to watch in the American League. In shorter stints and on longer rest, Justin Dunn and Nick Margevicious are decent options to round out a rotation, but adding another veteran to bridge the gap to Logan Gilbert, Emerson Hancock, and George Kirby would be valuable.

If the Mariners want to spend a little more, reuniting with Taijuan Walker is a great option, but after his breakout 2020 season, Walker will have plenty more suitors this offseason willing to offer a more lucrative deal.

Dipoto could turn to another familiar face in RHP Garrett Richards. Of the five starters mentioned earlier, Dunn is the only righty in the mix. Adding another righty to round out the rotation would help offset the unbalance there.

Richards spent his first eight seasons in the big leagues with the Angels, the first five of which under Dipoto as the Angels general manager, so there’s plenty of familiarities there.

Richards is another year removed from Tommy John surgery and adding him to a six-man rotation as he continues to build his innings could be even more beneficial to the 32-year-old starter.

Last season with the Padres, Richards went 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA, a 21.6% strikeout rate, and a 1.25 WHIP, numbers more similar to his 2014/2015 seasons in LA when he was healthy.

Signing Garrett Richards to a one-year deal just south of $10 million could pan out well if he can continue to re-establish himself and eventually become a trade piece to make room for an up-and-coming prospect or pitch valuable innings throughout the year as a backend starter/swing-man.

Next. Ken Griffey Jr joins Seattle Sounders ownership group. dark

The Seattle Mariners may not be overly aggressive this offseason, but there are still smaller moves they can make to improve the roster for 2021 as they wait for their top young talent to reach the major leagues. It shouldn’t be long before the Mariners become one of the more intriguing teams in the AL.