Who will be four and five?
Christy Mathewson would be nice, but is unavailable
Trader Jack is said to be looking for a starter through the trade route, so any speculation is fruitless. Jack does his business low-key, quietly manning the phones, and leaks from his office are like leaks from the CIA. They don’t happen.
So if a trade or free agent starter does not happen, who could fill those spots from within the rank and file?
Blake Beavan could fill a spot. He was 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 15 starts for the Mariners. It is doubtful to be Charlie Furbush who the Mariners got from Detroit in the Fister trade. The lefty pitched in 28 games, 12 were starts, but was 4-10 with a high 5.48 ERA.
If you want a lefty and I certainly do then perhaps Danny Hultzen, only 22, but impressive in the Arizona Fall League, and who has pitched in the college World Series could be the guy.
Then there is James Paxton, 23, who was 6-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the minors and struck out 131 in 95 innings.
For lefty Paxton, first the world, then the Mariners
Hultzen and Paxton will get a good chance in spring training even if a veteran starter is picked up by Jack. The more arms the better as arm woes can plague a staff, so depth is needed. Like in the NFL, if a man goes down, then it is next man up.
If it comes down to giving up one of those good young arms for a starter, then I say pass and keep the kids. If Seattle were in a position to compete for the title against Texas and the Orange County Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels-or whoever they call themselves these days, it might be worth the risk.
Keep the young arms and see if a trade can be made with other pieces.