AL West MLB Team News — 31 March 2010

2009 regular season record: 85-77, Third place, AL West

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Chone Figgins (LAA), Cliff Lee (PHI), Ken Griffey Jr. (CWS), Milton Bradley (CHC), Casey Kotchman (BOS)

Major Offseason Losses: Adrian Beltre (BOS), Russell Branyan (CLE), Kenji Johjima (Japan), Bill Hall (BOS), Carlos Silva (CHC)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats):

1. RF-Ichiro Suzuki (.352 BA, .386 OBP, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 26 SB)

2. 3B-Chone Figgins (.298 BA, .395 OBP, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 42 SB)

3. 2B-Jose Lopez (.272 BA, .303 OBP, 25 HR, 96 RBI)

4. LF-Milton Bradley (.257 BA, .378 OBP, 12 HR, 40 RBI)

5. CF-Franklin Gutierrez (.283 BA, .339 OBP, 18 HR, 70 RBI)

6. DH-Ken Griffey, Jr. (.214 BA, .324 OBP, 19 HR, 57 RBI)

7. 1B-Casey Kotchman (.268 BA, .339 OBP, 7 HR, 48 RBI)

8. C-Rob Johnson (.213 BA, .289 OBP, 2 HR, 27 RBI)

9. SS-Jack Wilson (.255 BA, .292 OBP, 5 HR, 39 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. RHP Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49 ERA, 238.2 IP)

2. LHP Cliff Lee (14-13, 3.22 ERA, 231.2 IP)

3. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (5-4, 3.74 ERA, 96.1 IP)

4. RHP Ian Snell (7-10, 4.84 ERA, 145 IP)

5. RHP Jason Vargas (3-6, 4.91 ERA, 91.2 IP)

Closer: RHP David Aardsma (2.52 ERA, 38 saves)

2010 outlook: The Mariners were one of baseball’s biggest surprises in 2009, winning 85 games and finishing in third place in the AL West.

Young Felix Hernandez enjoyed a career year, and was rewarded with a new five-year, $78 million contract in the offseason.

They also made what could prove to be a huge acquisition in former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee.

Lee has been one of baseball’s most dominant starters over the past two seasons, and combining him with Hernandez may give Seattle baseball’s best 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.

They also made major changes to their everyday lineup, picking up Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman, and Ken Griffey Jr.

Bradley could be a key coming off one of the worst seasons of his career in 2009.

He never blended with the Cubs, and after hitting .321 in ’08 with the Rangers, he hit just .257 in Chicago.

The Mariners are hoping he’ll regain his comfort level in a new environment, and he should be able to provide some pop to a lineup devoid of much power.

The Mariners could improve on their surprising ’09 performance in 2010, but it may not be enough in the tough AL West.

2010 Prediction: 88-74, Third place, AL West

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