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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Mariners Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Scott Weber from Lookout Landing.

1) In your opinion, how does the Robinson Cano signing in Seattle affect his fantasy value for 2014?

I would expect a slight decline based on a couple factors, but Cano is talented enough to remain the top second baseman available on draft boards. A reduction in stats could come from his age, but he’s yet to show signs of decline. He could also see a reduction in runs or RBI, but the Mariners offense should be improved from the year before, and it’s not as if the Yankees offense was anything special in 2013. I’ll be drafting Cano with confidence in re-draft leagues.

2) The Mariners come into the 2014 season with a talented young starting rotation. Which starter do you think will take the biggest step forward this year and why?

Assuming the Mariners don’t make any more major additions to the rotation, I’ve got my eye on Erasmo Ramirez as a sort of post-non-hype sleeper. Ramirez showed a bunch of promise in 2012 as a solid back end option who could rack up buckets of quality starts until an injury derailed his 2013 and he never recovered. He’s certainly the guy who will get bumped from the rotation if the Mariners make another splash, but he’s looked excellent this winter and is a great late-round flier.

3) Razzball thinks Brad Miller is a fantasy sleeper for 2014. What’s your take on the young shortstop?

I love Brad Miller, especially at such a difficult position to field. He’s one of my ideal targets if I miss out on the top tier of shortstops. Miller went through the rookie ups and downs and came up shining on the other end. He’s got surprising pop, will steal some bases, and should hit for a solid average. There is some mild concern that he may have to compete with Nick Franklin at shortstop if Franklin isn’t traded before the season starts, but Miller is the better defender (and hitter), so he should win out and play close to every day.

4) Seattle acquired two players coming off of injuries in Logan Morrison and Corey Hart. Of the two, which one do you think will be more valuable for fantasy players in 2014 assuming both stay healthy?

Corey Hart. While both players are excellent buy-low candidates to fill out a 3rd outfield spot in leagues, I think Hart will play more often and he has the longer track record. Morrison may be a bit more platooned as the season unfolds, and there’s still a bit of a logjam at 1B/DH. No matter what the front office says, I just don’t think there’s any way the Mariners can roll out Morrison and Hart in the outfield on those knees with much regularity. It’d be best for fantasy owners if they played enough to keep eligibility in the outfield but had their knees protected at DH. Hart has hit both right-handed and left-handed pitching well, and should hit in a position to drive in a lot of runs. Plus, he’s in a prove it contract year with a ton of incentives. All arrows point to fantasy draft bargain.

5) Since you’re a Mariners fan who appreciates retro baseball cards, what’s your favorite M’s card past or present and why?

I love the 1992 Upper Deck Greg Briley card where he’s donning a catcher’s mitt with no gear on and he also has these big wire glasses on with 80 grade dad-hat. It makes no sense – Briley never played a second of catcher in the majors. It’s completely ridiculous, and I love it because it represents the end of an era of baseball cards where players would pose for pitchers instead of the company using action shots. That all started to change soon after as manufacturers started to go premium (Fleer Flair, Topps Finest) in the upcoming years, and cheesy cards like this started to disappear. Sorting through boxes of old commons from 1986-1992 are full of totally absurd cards like this, and while this isn’t the silliest of the batch, it’s the one that I most remember.

From Around The Web

  1. Shake N Bacon says:
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    That is a goofy ass card :)

  2. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Ugh, LoMo…I’m hoping for 100 games from him, expecting 60. I get one DH – Hart – but didn’t get the LoMo thing at all. Kid can’t stay healthy and now he’s gonna probably start in LF in a spacious park. Bra-effing-vo, Ms

    Signed,

    Annoyed Mariners fan.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Sky: but he’s the bees knees…and by that I mean his knees have been as fragile as a small honeybee’s

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Haha. Seriously, am an M’s fan. I want to believe but…oy, the futility.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I put $50 down on them to win the World Series… For serious…

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            @Grey: what were the odds?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Terrible considering their history… 18 to 1…

              • Spammer Jay says:
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                @Grey: Might go to vegas this week. Maybe I can get the stros 900-1 haha. I do like pit though if there is value there.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            You just blew your weekly daquiri money!

  3. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: Great Org for questions, hope and then whys…

    First WHY??? Cano…. His contract is silly. And more importantly, it carries the risk of severe lasting damage to the club if anything – I MEAN ANYTHING – happens to Cano in a negative way. YIKES!!!! Worst signing of the year IMO.

    Plus, Franklin is left adrift. I had the hots for Franklin – still do. What will happen to him?
    He never forecast at SS defensively did he??? I guess, that takes care of your Miller Breakout question.

    ***Speaking of having the hots…. If you happen to contact Mr Jay Wrong today – who is out there somewhere in the RazzBall NFL off season Gulag – I think its in Yakutsk, Siberia – give him a great big cyber Valentine’s Day XOXO for me – would ya? Tell him, I have an alter candle burning and a very expensive Hallmark VD card displayed today for him under my giant photograph of a Scottish steer standing looking back with its tail raised high midst the heather on the hill – Shot taken from behind . (It always makes me think of just him).

    The young staff is exciting… Paxton (yum-yum super Sleeper ) along with the intriguing Ramirez (I do have trouble spelling that name… the i & e placement kills me). Throw in Walker along with the 2 big guys and they may set the AL West and all of MLB on their ears. That they could withstand the bad news on Hultzen (now toast????) and still have a look’n good group of young SPs speaks volumes to their depth there.

    Now, to the Bull Pen – OH NO!!! Rodney is out for 6 weeks already (the M’s curse has begun early – now add the Franklin Gutierrez with a non BB related year off due to illness / GI tract ) What is next in Grunge City..

    The rest of the pen is learning on the job… Not looking all that good for a smooth late innings early season start for the M’s in 2014 … Until, they figure out what they really have. It could get ugly (not 2013 Stro ugly though) The oldies but not so goodies, they have signed, do not instill a feeling that there is help on the way from below.

    The outfield is a mess – that signing a post PED Cruz will not help. Ackley without Franklin Gutierrez backing him up is a potential hole… Ackley for FBB may be a breakout candidate and his 2B Eli makes him a nice late pickup – He could really turn it on – He just has to do the job in center to make that happen.

    Left field is fine with Morrison ( a great signing) – maybe Hart out there hobbling about on those knees??

    Right is the problem .. Can Saunders find enough MLB and FBB consistency at the plate to warrant being an everyday player.. Will Hart hobble around here too??? Hart’s knees are a huge question going forward for the M’s in 2014.

    I really liked the signing of M&H to answer your question. They compliment each other and the teams needs.

    Catcher Buck was a great signing for the M’s IMO.. He will take the heat off the Z-kid.. He can be a series changer when hot too.. Will Montero ever amount to anything behind the plate or anywhere for that matter? The Yanks screwed the M’s on that one.

    Corners. Where there is Smoak is there may finally be fire this year – Morrison and Hart Backup – Smoak may be the forgotten Sleeper out of the puddle this year. Seager is solid and Franklin should be fine as a backup..

    They do have the Bloomquist factor too – whatever that means..

    This is an interesting team that could explode in either direction. Depending on some now experienced young position players and an inexperienced lower end of their rotation and a ???? young BP. Above 500 is a good goal for the team… If they get there, it means plenty of bargains are to be had there in 2014 FBB.

    Another factor, besides Bloomquist, is the Super Bowl Winner spillover effect. I hate NFL football, but there seems to be some collective regional energy around winning it. Will this happen in Seattle???? Naw…

    • Spammer Jay says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: instead of team blog writers, find bitter fan blogs. I like this less sanitized version better.

      • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        Spammer: Could you please explain yourself.

        I’m an A’s fan.

        I’m not bitter. I pity, the poor M’s fans..
        A great stadium, good fans and a chronically poor performing ball club..

        I was lucky enough to spend a season in the town where the sun does not seen for 9 months a year and summer is perfect and watch the M’s and talk to their fans – who are “bitter”??? Discouraged is really a better term for them.

        • Spammer Jay says:
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          @The Ghost of the Disappeared: You wrote it sounding like a bitter M’s fan. I like your points. Not everyone has the luxury of having the best GM in baseball. Go A’s!

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @Mike: especially the part about the Buck signing…it’s a very low risk move by them

        • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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          Mike: Just thought Buck was a great fella to pick up given their inexperienced catcher of the future is all – was not factoring risk. Just like him in Seattle for now.

          A huge risk is Cano in my way of thinking. Think you might agree. But then, I’m not a multi-billionaire either

  4. Spammer Jay says:
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    E-Ram for the win!

  5. baseballallday says:
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    Franklin was a SS coming up. To me, It isn’t that Franklin can’t play SS, it’s Miller isn’t the option at 2nd and Franklin can do both.

    Jack Z quoted as saying, “before the Cano signing, we were excited about Franklin moving forward as the 2B”.

    He already left it on the field last ST while competing with Ackley. Franklin was quicker and stronger than Ack at 2nd. Surprised they waited two months to bring him up.

    Let’s see what happens this ST with Miller

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @baseballallday: once the position shakes itself out this spring (and like Scott I think it will be Miller) my guess is Franklin becomes trade bait in Triple-A…looks like starting shortstop is going to be earned not given in Seattle though

  6. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    BBAD: SS coming up does not always transfer to the Bigs… But, I’m hoping you are right about Franklin…

    • baseballallday says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared:
      I agree, but my comment was intended to deflect the criticism that Nick might not be a SS and is only a 2b.

      Even though he hasn’t played much 2nd base, his defense on the Mariners ranked the highest in range factor and fielding percentage of infielders.

      Remember he was a first rounder and if he can do both it makes him more valuable.

  7. Tehol Beddict

    Tehol Beddict says:
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    Dan WIlson

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