If Seattle is that close to .500 that's a huge step forward. I expect them to do a lot come next off-season if they are starting to put together a decent team.
it depends, if they are 500 because Hart, and Baker, and Iwakuma, and Rodney took them there. I wouldn't call it a step forward. But if they get to 500 because players like Miller, and Franklin, and Seager, and Ackley, Zunino, and dare I say smoak take steps forward I consider that huge improvement. We can talk about the offseason moves all we want, but in the end it will come down to the growth of the young kids[/quote]
we also added Cano..
Lets be real here. This whole thread seems to ignore the fact that we just added 30+ HRs at 2nd base, and another 20+ in Hart. I agree that we are a .500 team. But if Miller, Franklin, Zunino, Ackley and Smoak (Seager still needs to prove himself? He'll be an All Star this year I think) improve this team will be pushing for 90 wins.[/quote]
I'm usually on the same wavelength as you about the M's, but I feel a little bit different than you (or others in this thread). There's a lot of struggling talent on this roster that, if they grow, this team will be leaps and bounds better. I'm a bit skeptical of the coaching staff's ability in that regard, however, and simply adding home runs does not directly translate to any improvement in record if you suffer in other areas of the game.
Adding Cano is awesome (leaving aside the money), but that means either Miller or Franklin are probably out. Miller seems to be the preferred SS prospect, so that means a likely trade for Franklin, while his value is still pretty high. They could theoretically trade Ackley, but they wouldn't get as much for him at this point, and he still has upside in the OF, where we're pretty thin.
Zunino is exciting. Miller is exciting. Franklin is exciting, but I'm not sure he'll be with us.
Ackley and Smoak are both mixed bags, where they show flashes of being competent and valuable contributors to a roster, and then look utterly lost at other times. I feel more optimistic about Ackley, perhaps just based on his age and his particular skillset, both at the plate and in the field, but perhaps Smoak can carry forward his September.
I'm a bit concerned about Seager, although I have no reasonable justification for it. He hit a prolonged slump towards the end of the season, and I guess the fact that he came from (nearly) nowhere to be a star makes me worried that maybe he was overperforming his ability before.
Hart could either be a huge part of an improving offense or a lost cause. It's hard to know given his history. If he stays healthy and performs, that provides a boost, but we have a roster that is crowded with corner infielders, so I'm not sure how they all get into the lineup to actually provide value.
Felix and Iwakuma are great, but do we really know what we're going to have on the rest of the staff? Young players like Erasmo, Paxton, Walker, etc can impress, but they can also struggle, and we won't know until they get here.
This is all a really long way of getting to my overall feeling for the season: I think with reasonable luck, we can be a .500 team. But I really wouldn't be surprised if that didn't work out, based on the Mariners' history with player development. With great luck, and significant progress in the youth of our team, I agree we could get to 90 wins, but I think that would be a pretty magical outcome. I'd expect we'll be around 78-82 wins this year, pending any further moves this offseason.