Jim Caple

SOME OF THE BEST PLAYERS FOR THE MARINERS

As the Mariners get ready for spring training and the 2020 season, they will need to have good players on the team. Well, in my opinion here are five of the better players they have had at least last season and over previous years.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger was an All-Star in 2018 and also received some MVP votes that year. Unfortunately, he was injured much of last season and missed almost 100 games. Still, he is a good player who has a strong influence on teammates. As manager Scott Servais told me last season: “He means a lot. He’s one of those consistent guys, one of the better hitters.’’ And hopefully, he will be healthy this season.

Marco Gonzales is a good pitcher who won 16 games last year and 13 in 2018, by far the most of Mariners pitchers the past two seasons. He might be even better this season. Gonzales has said he and Haniger do similar stuff before most player arrive in the clubhouse long before the game. “We like to have a routine where we go into the gym and do some warmup stuff.’’

Second baseman Dee Gordon is a two-time All-Star who has led the league in stolen bases three seasons and who hit .275 last season, the highest batting average of any returning Mariners player. Gordon also has a great sense of humor which is often shown on the video board during games, including the time he joked “I’m going to be president in 2027. And I’ll still be playing baseball.’’ He might lose his second base spot to Shed Long who batted .263 in 42 games last year. He also might be traded (damn!).

Kyle Seager has played nine seasons with the Mariners, winning once gold glove award and making the All-Star team once. He also has hit 198 home runs, including 23 in just 106 games last season after missing about the first two months with an injury. And hopefully the Mariners won’t trade him. Or Gordon.

Tom Murphy played four seasons with Colorado (and also was picked by San Francisco) before joining the Mariners as a catcher last season. He homered 18 times in 75 games and batted .273, though he did strike out 87 times. He was considered a better fielding catcher than Omar Narvaez was last season.

And we'll see they and others are this coming season.

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