Never mind the Mariners’ longshot pursuit of a wild-card berth while still desperately juggling their depleted rotation; I think the battle for the Mariners to be most concerned about is the long-term fight for supremacy in the AL West.
With the understanding that any team’s fortunes can take unforeseen twists and turns due to injury and/or under-performance, the Astros have a core of stars (and superstars) all under the age of 30 and locked up for at least the next two years (most of them longer than that).
Meanwhile, the Astros will have a starting core of Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. – two Cy Young winners and a potential contender — to go with a very good bullpen.
The Astros are a team that embodies the philosophy the Mariners have been espousing – “control the zone.” And they also had Baseball America’s third-ranked farm system in 2017, giving them the flexibility to send three touted minor-leaguers to Detroit for Verlander while still keeping their top two prospects – outfielder Kyle Tucker and pitcher Forrest Whitley.
In the aforementioned April interview, Dipoto laid out his grand vision of inserting a new group of younger players into the Mariners’ lineup around Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager — the likes of Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia.
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- Justin Verlander makes Astros debut Tuesday, but his presence is already feltSporting News
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- Mariners Pregame: Justin Verlander makes debut for Houston, lineups and ...The Spokesman-Review
- Kate Upton supports Justin Verlander at first Astros gameLarry Brown Sports
- Astros set weekend rotation against AthleticsChron.com
- Astros prove why games early in the season mattersClimbing Tal's Hill
- Mariners vs. Astros: Live updates as Seattle looks to stay in playoff huntSeattle Times