The Mariners biggest offseason acquisition is coming in to a team that is ready to make a run for the playoffs. Bedard is coming off of a Cy Young caliber season with the Orioles, in which he struck out 221, an Orioles' club record. He should be able to duplicate last year's performance, now that he is on a club that doesn't suck (sorry Orioles fans, but you did last season, and you probably will do so again in 2008).
Projection: 16-7 W-L, 3.29 ERA, 218 K
Now that a bit of the pressure is off of the King, he should be able to really come out of his shell, and prove that he deserves the title of 'King'. He is coming off of what could of been his breakout season, and it was untill an injury sidelined him for a few weeks. Can he get off to the same start again? I think so. We'll have to wait another two weeks to see. Either way, there's a reason that he's acquired the nickname 'The King'.
Projection: 15-8 W-L, 3.72 ERA, 178 K
Silva was brought in to do what he normally does, and eat away innings to help preserve a bullpen that once again was overused in 2007. Few of his stats are glamorous, but he gives up very few homeruns. He has been healthy for the majority of his career, and should be so again. Like I said, don't expect a lot in the stats department for Silva.
Projection: 13-10 W-L, 4.37 ERA, 89 K
Washburn has put up average numbers over his career, and should be expected to do the same again this year. He hasn't had much success with the Mariners, but things may change. I don't think that he'll be back to his 2002 season with the Angels (18-5, 3.15 ERA) this year, or ever, but I'd like to see a better showing than his 10-15 record and 4.32 ERA from 2007. Maybe he has some confidance now that his the team behind him has proved itself, maybe he'll go out and prove himself.
Projection: 11-13 W-L, 4.12 ERA, 114 K
Batista is coming off of a career high 16 win season last year, and is the team's fifth starter. That's something that I don't think any other team in the league has. I would like to see his ERA go from 4.29 to under 4, in his second year with the Mariners. But he did put up 193 healthy innings last season. Expect more of the same with Batista in 2008.
Projection: 14-11 W-L, 4.13 ERA, 118 K
I only need one word to describe him: NASTY. Putz established himself last season as one of the best closers in the game. He throws some serious heat, and can mix in a great changeup, which also comes packing some punch. More of the same in 2008.
Projection: 41 saves, 5-1 W-L, 1.27 ERA
Nothing else that I need to say. Ichiro burst in to the league as a rookie in 2001, and got everybody's interest. These past couple of seasons before last, he kind of snuck under everyone's radar being one of the best outfielders in all of baseball. Expect him to do everthing that he did last year, with a little give on both sides.
Projection: .339 AVG, 7 HR, 63 RBI, 44 SB
Vidro is in the last year of his contract, so their may be some urgancy for him to do something this year. A lot of people were dissapointed with him last season, even though he put up a good .3114 average, but I think that most people were looking for the power numbers. Don't expect more out of him power-wise, but he should have a decent average if he is getting regular AB's at DH, 2B, or 1B this season.
Projection: .298 AVG, 9 HR, 59 RBI
Joh has been a solid contributer to this offense, in a position that hasn't seen much offense produced from. It's his third year with the Mariners, and in North America, and is in a contract year. I wouldn't expect too much more than his .287 average from last season. Still, he's a solid fantasy option.
Projection: .292 AVG, 13 HR, 61 RBI
If Sexson is any better than his .205 average from last season, then a lot of Mariniacs will be happy. The Mariners need a better showing in the power department this year. His 2006 and 2007 form would be much appreciated over his dismal 21 HR from last year. He needs atleast 30, probably more in the 33-38 range actually. He's in a contract year if that means anything.
Projection: .231 AVG, 33 HR, 102 RBI
Lopez hasn't done anything offensively, no, he hasn't done anything since the first half of the 2006 season. Other than that, he hasn't done so great, and he probably won't again. Maybe Lopez can break out again, but who knows. Anything could happen, but a lot of the time, what could happen may not.
Projection: .260 AVG, 13 HR, 65 RBI
Beltre has slowly gotten some of his form back, but in all likelyhood, will not regain the stats of his magical, and maybe fluky 2004 with the Dodgers. He has shown that he can actually hit over the past two seasons with the Mariners. His first season was pretty nasty. Maybe he can improve on his power numbers a little bit to go with his Gold Glove defence at the hot corner.
Projection: .275 AVG, 27 HR, 93 RBI
Could this finally be the year that Betancourt breaks out in, not zits, but offensive ability? His average has stayed at .289 the past two seasons, but his offensive numbers have improved. Maybe this year his offensive numbers improve to the point where nobody will notice Jose Lopez' poor play.
Projection: .296 AVG, 11 HR, 75 RBI, 17 SB
Like Joh, Ibanez has been a solid offensive outfielder over the past couple years. His age has almost helped him along the way, but that age may start to catch up with him. He's in a contract year, and may be on his way out, so he needs to prove that he isn's washed up next winter.
Projection: .283 AVG, 19 HR, 98 RBI
Wilkerson's stats will depend on how much playing time he is going to get this year in right field. Wladimir Balentien is ramming the door to the big leagues with a log, and will likely get more than three at bats this season. Wilkerson is going to have to put up some solid stats right from Opening Day, if he wants to prove that he is better than Wlad for this season.
Projection: .244 AVG, 18 HR, 54 RBI
Same goes for Wlad. He'll get his shot and shots this season, and should be able to make the most of it, especially of the Mariners other power hitters don't show up right away. It's hard to project what he's going to do because of how little MLB experience he has.
Projection: .286 AVG, 15 HR, 73 RBI
I decided not to do the bench players or bullpen, for the simple matter that nothing is determined yet. If any of you readers would like to see projections for other players, than feel free to tell me in the comments, or drop me a line at marinerscentral"at"gmail.com