30 in 30: The Seattle Mariners
2016 Record: 86-76
2016 Finish: 12th in MLB, 7th in AL
2016 in Review
This might be a bit of a shock, but the biggest surprise this year for me was the other Seager. YEAH. I KNOW. 2016 was the year of SEAGERS. Kyle Seager was a man on fire this year for the Mariners, and it doesn't look like that's going to stop anytime soon. As you may have inferred from my previous writing, I am a big believer in good players surrounded by good players makes everyone GREAT. Kyle Seager is the result of Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, and vice versa. Seager's 5th spot hitting was out of control this past year. With the exception of Stolen Bases, Seager put up career numbers across the board, only missing his career high's for doubles and triples by one a piece. This kid went off this year and he's only going to get better.
I think it's time for King Felix to relinquish his crown, metaphorically speaking. Felix Hernandez is now 6 years removed from his Cy Young Award-winning season and he's showing signs of slowing down. The last time Felix had an ERA north of 3.75 it was 2007... 10 years ago. Throughout those 10 years, Hernandez has had a lot of success, but 2016 was the end of that success... to an extent. I'm being hypercritical because at this point with this team in this division you have to be.
In today's game, it's all about winning your division. With the recent changes to the Wildcard procedure, getting to the playoffs has become much more difficult. Winning your division in a must, and that's something Felix wasn't very helpful with. When the American League West, Felix Hernandez recorded an ERA of 4.94, a 4-7 record and when his team was in the wildcard hunt in the second half, Hernandez posted a 1.395 WHIP. In the previous 10 years Felix Hernandez was the guy you wanted on the hill in a big game, but in 2016 he seemed to be more of a liability than royalty.
The Mariners made a couple of solid moves this offseason, you guys. The M's front office went out and snagged Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo, all while giving up very little. Segura will join his offseason training buddy Robinson Cano up the middle and Smyly gets the opportunity to not pitch for the Rays. The Mariner's starting five are also looking to be solid throughout the year, and with Ariel Miranda waiting in the wings, the Seattle Starters are poised to succeed in 2017.
This team wasn't supposed to do great things in 2016, but still found themselves in the hunt for October. Now, with all of these moves and a team who knows what's possible, there's no stopping how far they could go.