ESPN’s Buster Olney: Mariners ‘incredibly dangerous’ — even to NYY and O’s

Jun 22, 2024, 9:59 AM | Updated: Jun 23, 2024, 10:06 am

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh...

Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners in swings against the Yankees on May 22, 2024. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners are one of the three division leaders in the American League, but they haven’t played as well as teams like the AL East-leading Yankees, AL Central-leading Guardians or even the Baltimore Orioles, who are second in the East.

Seattle Mariners Trade Target: A versatile infielder from the Rockies

But as we’ve heard from MLB insiders for a few years now, nobody wants to run into the Mariners and their pitching staff in October. Longtime ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney took that perhaps even a step further while talking Friday with Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

“Right now, it’s going to sound strange, but I think in a short series I’d bet on the Mariners against either (the Yankees or Orioles) just because of the strength of pitching,” Olney said.

Olney began the conversation by saying he sees the Mariners “as an incredibly dangerous team relative to the the postseason.” He related Seattle to the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team fighting for a wild card spot in the National League that has a talented trio of starting pitchers at the top of its rotation. The M’s, meanwhile, have five strong starters, including a pair of All-Stars in Luis Castillo and George Kirby, plus two more potential All-Stars this year in Logan Gilbert and Bryce Miller.

“(The Pirates) would absolutely be a team that would scare the heck out of people in a short series, and I think the Mariners potentially are that way as well,” he said.

Roster needs for everyone

The Mariners of course could use some additions for both their lineup and bullpen, which is something Olney expects team president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto will make happen in an environment similar to how things went over the offseason.

“Here’s the great thing – with what they need, I do think there’s going to be opportunity there, and we know Jerry Dipoto, right? We know that he can make a trade,” Olney said. “And the other thing too is just from talking with general managers of teams that potentially might sell, I think that we’re going to see an extension of what we saw last winter where there wasn’t a lot of money in free agency, not nearly as much as what people expected. And so the teams that are selling I think will go into it with the idea that, yeah, we’re probably going to have to pick up salary for some of the buying teams.”

By the way, the Mariners aren’t the only team fighting for positioning in the AL with clear needs. The first two teams Olney brought up are in similar boats to the M’s.

“(The Yankees’) bullpen is a real problem. They’re lacking, like, three guys,” Olney said. “The Yankees in recent years have typically put together great bullpens. Brian Cashman, their general manager, has to go out and get help because it is absolutely going to be a problem here down the stretch, and you better have a strong bullpen once you get in the postseason. And with the Orioles, it’s starting pitching. To lose Kyle Bradish and John Means and (Tyler) Wells – I mean, they have absolutely been devastated in their rotation.”

You can hear the full Bump and Stacy conversation with ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Mariners

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ESPN insider breaks down projected Mariners first-round pick
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The Seattle Mariners’ less-talked-about trade deadline need

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