Groz: Why this is the most important Mariners season of the last decade

Mar 30, 2021, 12:18 AM
Mariners J.P. Crawford Kyle Lewis...
The Mariners' J.P. Crawford and Kyle Lewis are both coming off winning awards in 2020. (Getty)

Welcome to the most important Mariners season in at least a decade.

Unafraid to speak his mind, Mariners’ Kelenic makes no apologies

With the damage done by the brutal statements of former team president and CEO Kevin Mather – especially with the fans – the Mariners are still faced with the specter of having their postseason drought, already the longest in any major American sport going into this season, reach 20 straight seasons.

I for one felt it was important that the Mariners looked to contend this year, that they make some moves in free agency to be ready when their young core moves up. And despite Mather’s comments, owner John Stanton stuck to his guns and support of general manager Jerry Dipoto.

The Mariners did not make any significant offseason moves (save a one-year deal with James Paxton), and no one is picking them to make the postseason. Even if you like the young talent the M’s have put together, they are really rolling the dice. The injury suffered late in spring training by center fielder and 2020 American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis is a reminder that the team has little depth, and if two or three of their top players get hurt it’s likely to be a disappointing season even with expectations tamped down.

If their young players show promise and they don’t win, you can only count on a group of fans – let’s call them the die-hards – seeing that progress is being made. The problem is that group makes up about 25% of the fan base at best. If the Mariners are 15 games out in July, it’s going to be all Seahawks and Kraken buzz in town, and the Mariners will become what they’ve been far too often the last 20 years – an afterthought.

Here’s hoping they contend into May, the front office makes some moves, and it becomes a magical baseball summer. A guy can hope, can’t he?

Follow Dave “The Groz” Grosby on Twitter.

M’s haul from Padres, led by Trammell and France, may speed up rebuild

Seattle Mariners

Mariners MLB logo...
The Associated Press

MLB drops arbitration cuts after union holds on free agents

Major League Baseball withdrew its plan for more limited salary arbitration on Tuesday, a day after the MLB players' union withdrew its demand for greater free agent eligibility.
21 hours ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger Servais...
Brent Stecker

The important message Mitch Haniger sent about the 2022 Mariners

After hearing Mitch Haniger's thoughts on the Mariners' offseason, Jake and Stacy break down what they say they couldn't agree more with.
3 days ago
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...
Brandon Gustafson

Can Kyle Lewis and Evan White contribute to the Mariners in 2022?

Baseball America's Kyle Glaser joined Jake & Stacy and discussed what the Mariners can likely get from Kyle Lewis and Evan White next season.
4 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

‘No reason to panic’ after Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic’s rocky debut

Jarred Kelenic struggled in his first taste of MLB action, but Baseball America's Kyle Glaser says not to worry about the young Mariners OF.
5 days ago
Shannon Drayer

Mitch Haniger sees Mariners getting closer to his World Series goal

Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger joined 710 ESPN Seattle's Wyman and Bob and sounds hungrier than ever after the 90-win 2021 season and two big M's moves this offseason.
6 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: 3 Mariners in top 20 in new Baseball America prospect rankings

Once again, the Mariners have five players in the first Baseball America top 100 rankings of the year. And they're mostly high on the list, too.
7 days ago
Groz: Why this is the most important Mariners season of the last decade