With September quickly approaching, many teams (especially losing teams) will want to bring up young players when rosters expand to 40. However, for one to be brought up, they have to be placed on the 40 man roster. So here I rank the players on the Mariners 40 man roster from 1-40. With the off-season coming upon us as well, this list could be used as an consultant. Perhaps one could look at this list as “who should we DFA first?” (with the 40th being the player that should be DFA’d first). With the Mariners in the positon they are currently in (i.e. last), guys that are not under contract next year are heavily penalized.
1. Felix Hernandez: No need to add much to this.
2. Danny Hultzen: Perhaps a little aggressive for a player that has never played in the Majors and has a 4.02 SIERA in the PCL, but he was the top pick for the Mariners in 2011.
3. Dustin Ackley: Tough offensive year, but there is potential in the bat, great glove, and team control
4. John Jaso: Team’s best hitter and under team control. I believe he starts arbitration this off-season.
5. Charlie Furbush: Putting roles aside (especially the “closer” role), Furbush has been better than Wilhelmsen this year. Great left-handed bullpen piece with a lot of team control left.
6. Tom Wilhelmsen: He is really good and has a lot of team control left.
7. Erasmo Ramirez: My opinion on Erasmo has been really changed this year. He should be in the rotation right now. Will be a Mariner for a long time (barring a trade).
8. Kyle Seager: That Seager is this high really reflects on the Mariners more than Seager. He isn’t a bad player, but he isn’t really good either. Lots of team control.
9. Jesus Montero: Wasn’t a big fan of him before the trade, even less so now. However, there are way too many years of control and there was way too much currency (in terms of players) paid for Montero to not give him every opportunity possible.
10. Brendan Ryan: I am higher than Ryan than almost everyone else. He is the best defensive shortstop in baseball. He will be a free agent after 2013, the Mariners should extend him.
11. Casper Wells: I have always liked Casper, but this ranking has more to do with the Mariners (.4 O-WAR according to Baseball Reference in 69 games this year) than Wells.
12. Jason Vargas: I am guessing that they extend him or trade. He will be a free agent after the 2013 season.
13. Stephen Pryor: Hard throwing reliever with at least 5 more years of control. There is always value in that.
14. Michael Saunders: Really resurrected his career, but is still basically average.
15. Carter Capps: Another hard throwing reliever that hits 100 MPH. His breaking ball is not as good as Pryor’s, which is why he is rated lower.
16. Blake Beavan: Back of the rotation starter with some team control.
17. Francisco Martinez: Taken a big step back this year, but tools and potential in the bat. The key part in the Doug Fister deal, hopefully will be tearing up the PCL sometime next year.
18. Mike Carp: He is your first baseman right now, and is serviceable and cheap.
19. Trayvon Robinson: I’m still a believer. Way too early to give up now.
20. Eric Thames: Not a big fan, but a lot of years of control still left.
21. Johermyn Chavez: Still just 23. Put up about league average numbers in AA this year so far with an improved walk rate. Tools are a plus but he struggled with some injuries this year.
22.Justin Smoak: As bad as he is and has been, he still isn’t arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season.
23. Hector Noesi: A right-handed reliever that throws pretty hard and is under team control for several more years.
24. Alex Liddi: Basically a replacement player. Lack of other options is the only reason he isn’t lower.
25. Oliver Perez: What a story. He is my highest rated guy out of players that will be free agents after this season. Why? He throws 95 and is left-handed. I am curious to see how this plays out and whether the Mariners will try to re-sign him.
26. Franklin Gutierrez: When healthy, he is a pretty good player. Just can’t stay healthy. Still on the DL.
27. Lucas Luetge: Lot of team control and has been pretty good this year. Is expendable though and is redundant in a bullpen with Perez and Furbush.
28. Shawn Kelley: I am curious to see what they do with him this off-season with arbitration looming. Serviceable reliever, but this is the Mariners strong point.
29. Chance Ruffin: If I didn’t still believe in him, he would be much lower.Really disappointing season in Tacoma.
30. Carlos Triunfel: He will play in the big leagues some day, but his upside is utility player. Have not liked what I’ve seen in Tacoma at all.
31. D.J. Mitchell: Probably a future reliever, although he has been solid since coming in the Ichiro deal. Still like Farquhar (who isn’t on the 40 man but I imagine will be next year) better.
32. Yeorvis Medina: Having a decent season in Jackson after a slow start. Possible trade bait in the off-season.
33. Kevin Millwood: Been pitching really nice for the Mariners this year but his contract is up at the end of the year. Still have no idea why he wasn’t traded.
34. Hisashi Iwakuma: Currently holding a rotation spot, would be shocked if he still was in September. Free agent after the year is over.
35. Carlos Peguero: He has proven that he is not a big league player. If there was a manual on what constitutes a AAAA player, Peguero would be on the cover.
36. Josh Kinney: A pleasant surprise as a minor league free agent, he still doesn’t provide much value for the team down the stretch as a reliever who won’t be under contract next year.
37. Mauricio Robles: Still young at 23, but he has a 6.18 FIP and 5.75 SIERA over the last two years, mostly at AA. He started the year at Tacoma but couldn’t throw strikes and was sent down.
38. Miguel Olivo: Won’t be a Mariner next year. The only reason I wouldn’t release him now is that the catcher situation gets somewhat complicated, especially if you want to play Jaso and Montero at the same time (if you end up having to bring up Guillermo Quiroz and put him on the 40 man roster, then you have accomplished nothing).
39. Munenori Kawasaki: He won’t be under contract next year, and is pretty bad at baseball.
40. Chone Figgins: Perhaps one could say that nothing should be added here as well. While he is owed over 10 million dollars in guaranteed money, keeping a terrible player on the roster doesn’t help you either.