Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/20/12
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Hello Kendrys G’Bye Jason For someone that likes to think they have a pulse on the Seattle Mariners, the inter-divisional trade that happened with the Angels took me by complete surprise.  The first shock was to think of the fact that the Mariners were able to get a well known and proven bat without giving up their most valuable prospects. The second surprise was that the Mariners parted ways with their left handed veteran starter, Jason Vargas. Despite the fact the Vargas was the M’s most valuable trade piece last season, with all of the off season interest in free agents, I had completely forgotten a Vargas trade could be a possibility. I was in such shock I wasn’t really sure what to think.  I’m still not.  It is like the analytical part of my brain is completely void and I am left just gasping for breath. I do have questions though. Lots of questions. Here are five of them. 1. Are the Mariners finished with Justin Smoak? The reason that Kendrys Morales was an available trade option was due the fact that the Angels had too many first base options. Morales is not athletic enough of a player to take on a different position, neither is Justin Smoak nor is Mike Carp for that matter.  With that log jamb at first it puts the future of once heralded prospect Smoak very much in question. I think Smoak is about to have a breakthrough season though, so this move may be a huge mental blow to him. 2. What do the Mariners plan for DH? While the M’s are pushing to have Edgar Martinez recognized for the Hall of Fame, thus recognizing the DH as a viable position, as opposed to some sort of catch all – which is how they are currently using the position. The Mariners have Jesus Montero, Jason Bay, Mike Carp, Justin Smoak and now Kendrys Morales standing in line to be the DH. Seems a bit crowded and unplanned. 3. What are the Mariners going to do with the starting rotation? The DH position in Seattle seems a bit overcrowded now doesn’t it? Please don’t say they are bringing Hector Noesi back. Please. Bringing up one of the “big three” prospects may be an option, the last thing they need to do is promote a guy before he is ready. I’m not all that sad about losing Vargas, I suspected his numbers were not going to be as good with the Safeco fences being moved in. He was going to be a free agent at the end of the year anyway and his value was inflated, but that leaves a void of a lefty hurler on the rotation. 4. Are the Mariners ready for the season as is? I would think no.  With Miquel Olivo gone, the Mariners are without a 3rd viable catching option.  I highly doubt they would start the season without that hole being filled. The moves they have made indicate that they want the 2013 season to be something more than another rebuilding year.  However to contend in the new AL West they will need a bit more than Morales in the middle of the line up or opposing teams will simply pitch around him. The pitching rotation has some big holes and the outfield is power starved. So what’s next? Another 1B/DH? 5. Wasn’t I secretly happy when Morales broke his leg? I am conflicted to have an inter-division trade.  Morales broke his ankle after embarrassing the Mariners and while I don’t wish harm on any player, I didn’t feel bad for the Angels in losing their slugger. Now he is here, a part of our team. Can you blame me for being nervous about this?   The last fallen Angel the M’s picked up proved to be a hex to the Seattle franchise. Have we just picked up the next Chone Figgins? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEATTLE MARINERS CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!
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