The Seattle Mariners have a bad habit of signing free agent pitchers whose tread has worn out. Kevin Millwood in 2012, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bonderman in 2013. And no I have not forgotten Joe Saunders who was 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA and a . 311 batting average against. In his three previous years he was 30-43, all losing season, so the Mariners got what they deserved, a losing pitcher. There is a mutual option for Saunders in 2014, so his return is not guaranteed.
If they want another veteran warhorse there is Bronson Arroyo, 36, who at least had a winning record at 14-12, 3.79. He would fit better than another 36-year old, A.J. Burnett, a decent pitcher, 10-11, 3.30 ERA. Since the Mariners will not get to the post season, they will not have to worry about his 2-3, 6.87 post season record. Tim Hudson is 38. (Where does the time go?) Injuries have limited him to 28 starts in 2012 and 21 last season.
One war house, is 40 year old Bartolo Colon who was 18-6, 2.65 with Oakland. Does he have another year left? He might, but it is doubtful he is on the Mariners sonar.
Going younger, Ervin Santana is 30, has three straight losing seasons, but his ERA was solid in two of those years. Another excellent starter is Ubaldo Jimenez, 13-9, 3.30 with Cleveland. He is 29 like Matt Garza, another free agent, who was 10-6 between the Cubs and Rangers. Any of these three would be better than the aging warhorses Seattle has signed in the past. They would also be better than Dan Haren, 33, who has two straight losing seasons with plus 4 ERAS.
The Mariners have a propensity for bringing in players with a Northwest flavor, so would they pursue Tim Lincecum despite three consecutive losing seasons. He is only 29, so if they do chase Tim, look for the ‘change of scenery’ cliché. He is younger than most of the above mentioned. And the change of scenery might be beneficial.
I would find no reason to complain about Arroyo, Santana, Garza, Jimenez, or Lincecum.
But if the past indicates anything the Mariners would end up with Scott Feldman, Ricky Nolasco, or Burnett. Then there is something to complain about.
The Mariners have two starters, Felix and Iwakuma. They need a third starter, then let James Paxton, Taijuan Wallker, Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer, and Blake Beavan compete for the final two spots. Let the search for number three begin.