Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 10/23/14
When the Seattle Mariners re-signed Hisashi Iwakuma just before the beginning of the free agency period on Friday night, I paused for a minute and got to thinking. Iwakuma would be staying in a rotation where he thrived in the second half, combining with ace Felix Hernandez, blossoming star Erasmo Ramirez, and consistent veteran Jason Vargas to create a rotation that looks pretty solid on paper, even when you throw Blake Beavan into the fifth spot. My original point was that Seattle's rotation could be the best in the AL West for 2013, but they were actually the second best in 2012 behind just the A's. But could this Mariners staff actually be the best starting five in the American League? Despite their status as a middling, offensively-deficient team, the Mariners weren't a totally lost cause in 2012. Their pitching staff (bullpen included) had a 3.76 ERA for the season, good for fourth-best in the AL in 2012 and just a hair behind the pennant-winning Detroit Tigers ...
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