Why a World Series winner is so bullish on Mariners this season

Apr 3, 2024, 11:27 AM

Seattle Mariners Logan Gilbert...

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners reacts to striking out a Red Sox batter on March 30, 2024. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Imagine this: Julio Rodríguez wins American League MVP, one of Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert claims the Cy Young, and the Seattle Mariners secure their first AL West pennant since the 116-win 2001 season.

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It’s a scenario that seems like it could only be fantasized by the most optimistic of diehard Mariners fans. But it came from a former World Series winner and multi-time MLB All-Star.

Ex-MLB pitcher and co-host of the Intentional Talk podcast Ryan Dempster joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Mariners’ outlook for the 2024 season and more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dempster had high praises for Seattle’s touted pitching staff.

“Every team I’ve been on that’s been any good – from teams that have won divisions, to teams that have gone to the playoffs, to teams that have won World Series – (they have good) starting pitching,” Dempster said. “And the Mariners have that, man. They really do. With no Gerrit Cole for a couple of months, with Sonny Gray now in the National League, George Kirby, Luis Castillo (and Logan) Gilbert – they might win the Cy Young. They’re that good.”

Dempster acknowledged the problems the offense has had, noting the lack of star power in the lineup outside of Rodríguez . But he feels the Mariners’ offseason moves – trading for Jorge Polanco, Mitch Haniger and Luis Urias, and signing Mitch Garver – were a bit underappreciated.

“There’s a lot of things that kind of floated under the radar,” said Dempster, who also mentioned the importance of adding Ryan Stanek to the bullpen.

Dempster also thinks the Mariners’ star center fielder is primed for a massive season.

“If he just continues to do what he did after (his slow start last season), he’s my pick for the MVP,” Dempster said of Rodríguez. “So, I’m picking them to win the division (and) I’m picking him to win the MVP. I think he’s going to (have 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases) or darn close to it this year, and I just think he’s a special player.”

“I love watching him play,” Dempster added. “The catch he made (Monday) night up against wall – that No Fly Zone – I just love everything about him, and think they got a chance to do something special and surprise some people.”

Hear the full Wyman and Bob conversation with baseball analyst Ryan Dempster in the podcast near the top of this post or at this link.

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