Should The Seattle Mariners Attempt To Re-Sign Their Own Free Agents?

Six M’s Players Not Under Club Control Headed Into Winter

While I, and virtually everyone else, have been talking about big name free agents and possible trades the Seattle Mariners should be considering this winter, no one seems to be considering the M’s own free agents.

The Mariners do have six names on that list, and while none of them are along the lines of a Robinson Cano, some certainly could be considered key players. 

Let’s take a look at the list and decided if the M’s should let them walk or not.

Joe Beimel

The crafty left-hander certainly had an impact on one of baseball’s best bullpens.  Joe Beimel was outstanding for the Mariners all season long.  Beimel put up a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings with a WHIP of just 1.18.

Beimel and his beard should re-sign with the M's.

Beimel and his beard should re-sign with the M’s.

Simply put: Beimel was the best lefty the M’s had in the bullpen in 2014.  They’d be crazy to let him walk away without a solid offer.  Given his solid relationship with Lloyd McClendon, I expect this deal will get done in one of the easier decisions the M’s will have with their own free agents this year.

Endy Chavez

What can you say about a guy like Endy Chavez?  The M’s signed the veteran outfield to a minor league deal before the 2014 season.  It took until the end of May, but Chavez found his way back to the big leagues and did nothing but produce for the M’s afterward.

Chavez wound up hitting .276 including a couple of homers for the M’s in 2014.  The Mariners used Chavez far more than they ever imagined, as their struggles with injuries and poor offense in right field really mounted.

As good as it is to have a veteran bat like Chavez around, I find it unlikely that Chavez returns in 2015.  Dustin Ackley is going to be the guy in left.  The M’s traded for Austin Jackson in July to play center and they seem hell bent on signing a big name right fielder this offseason.

That just leaves a bench role as a fourth outfielder possibility for Chavez, a spot that Michael Saunders seems to have a lock on.  Saunders has his own issues and now he also has a frosty relationship with the M’s too, but unless the M’s trade or release Saunders, Chavez is going to have to move on.

Chris Denorfia

The ex Padre, Chris Denorfia, came to the Mariners in a trade deadline deal this past July.  The idea was that he could handle left handed pitching better than Saunders, Chavez or even Ackley.  Unfortunately, the deal just didn’t work out.

Denorfia wound up hitting just .195 with Seattle in 82 ABs.  In the deal, the M’s sent minor-league outfielder Abraham Almonte and minor-league pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen to the Padres.  That’s a lot given by the M’s without much production in return.

Speaking of return, I expect that’s exactly what will NOT happen with Denorfia, as it pertains to the Mariners in 2015.

Kendrys Morales

The Seattle Mariners wanted no other player more in recent memory than the one and only Kendrys Morales.  They offered him $30 million to stay with the M’s prior to the 2014 season.

Thank goodness he said no.

The Morales deal did not work for the M's (Photo: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports)

The Morales deal did not work for the M’s (Photo: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports)

Even after saying no, the M’s wound up trading for him with the Twins anyway and he produced exactly bupkis.  Morales hit just .207 in 59 games with Seattle during 2014.  It was a costly mistake too as the M’s gave up a talented pitcher in Stephen Pryor in order to re-acquire the surly DH.

I really don’t expect the Mariners to make the same mistake twice.  Morales is headed down the road.

Humberto Quintero

The veteran catcher, Humberto Quintero, is more of a coach than a player in the M’s eyes.  They signed Quintero last year to a minor league deal and only brought him up to the majors once rosters expanded in September.

If the M’s decide they’d like Quintero to continue in that capacity, I’d certainly have no problem with it.  With that in mind if you read in the near future that Quintero has be re-signed by the M’s, don’t think it’s because he’s replacing Mike Zunino.

Chris Young

The Mariner’s fifth starter, Chris Young, is certainly the most interesting player on this list in my mind to watch during the offseason.  Let’s consider the M’s starting pitchers right now.

Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are both locks to be in the rotation.  I think you can also feel confident about James Paxton and even young Roenis Elias being back out there.

Chris Young will cost the M's a lot more cash if they chose to keep him.

Chris Young will cost the M’s a lot more cash if they chose to keep him.

The M’s have Taijuan Walker, who is going to be considered for the rotation during spring training.  The M’s also have a young pitcher who should be healthy by then in Danny Hultzenalthough, I don’t see Hultzen pitching above AAA to start the year.

Do the M’s really need Young?  It’s a tough decision to say the least.

There is nothing wrong with Young’s numbers.  Young was 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA and threw 165 innings.  He did run out of gas at the end of the year in large part because he hadn’t thrown that many innings in a season in several years.

Financially, Young was a bargain last year.  He only cost the M’s $1.25 million for 2014.  That’s not just a bargain, it’s a steal given his numbers.

Young was just named the Comeback Player of the Year for the AL too.  I can pretty much guarantee you, even at 35 years of age, he’s going to be looking for a lot more money and probably more than a one-year deal.

I honestly don’t know which way this one is going to go.  If it were up to me, I’d let Young walk and sign another re-tread type of starter for the same kind of money the M’s just paid Young in 2014.  If that starter struggles…well, then you can always fall back on either Walker or Hultzen.

Why would I do this?  Simple, the M’s need to save their money for an outfielder and a DH.  Throwing $10 million or so over a couple of years at Chris Young scares me to death given his injury history.

That type of deal has disaster written all over it and offense needs to be the priority for the M’s limited free-agent dollars.


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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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