The Mariners now need a No. 3 guy capable of logging close to 200 innings and doing so without embarrassing himself. In other words, doing it without an ERA up near 5.00.
So far this offseason the Mariners have lost Kevin Millwood and Jason Vargas. Millwood exited via free agency, while Vargas was shipped to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for slugger Kendrys Morales.
Baker says you don't need to be extreme fans of either Millwood or Vargas, but he points out that the two consistent arms logged 378 1/3 innings last season for the Mariners.
At this point, the Mariners have Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma sitting atop their projected rotation. Other starting candidates include Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and Hector Noesi.
Baker sees a lot of unknown in the latter three mentioned, leading him to implore the Mariners to acquire a veteran starter that offers a track record of consistency. His candidates include a pair of left-handers; free agent Joe Saunders and Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Capuano.
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Saunders is reportedly seeking a three-year commitment, but Seattle may be able to snag him for two guaranteed years. They would be competing with several teams for his services, including the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets.
In order to pry Capuano away from the Dodgers, Baker suggests the Mariners send them outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. He would then have Seattle use their remaining cap space to sign free agent Michael Bourn.