After a long and arduous wait to see what the 2014 Seattle Mariners would like, we have our answer. Though a last-minute deal is technically still possible, it is extremely unlikely—and the 25-man roster will be as it looks now.
The full listing is below, but there are a couple noteworthy things. Though, a majority of it was obvious.
Brad Miller has officially won the starting shortstop job and Nick Franklin is headed to Tacoma, where he will primarily play shortstop—but "he might play some outfield," says Lloyd McClendon via Ryan Divish. It was funny, on the radio broadcast the day before last, Aaron Goldsmith relayed his short story of attempting to ask Brad Miller what he thought about playing on his first MLB Opening Day. Miller, and I'm paraphrasing from memory here, said "What are you talking about? I haven't been told anything." Well, get excited Brad. We are.
Also, what had also been broadly assumed is now official: Stefen Romero has made the team as the righty bat this front office desperately craved. We'll see if he eventually becomes a regular, a platoon guy, or neither—but right now the big club has a need and it's time to figure out if he can fill it.
Lloyd McClendon had said not too long ago that he hoped to have three lefties out in the pen, and he did have three lefties he could potentially take, but in the end Lucas Luetge didn't make the cut as the team will go with Joe Beimel and Charlie Furbush.
Also of note in the pen, the team will not, as it's tended to do in the past, pluck a flamethrower from the minors as both Carson Smith and Dominic Leone will be pitching in Tacoma as the team has opted to go with Tom Wilhelmsen. It'll be interesting to watch how Wilhelmsen does in the early going because it shouldn't be too long before Stephen Pryor is ready.
Finally, Hector Noesi makes the team as the long reliever over Blake Beavan. Noesi was out of options, and Beavan wasn't. This probably played a role. People will fret about Noesi making the team, and I understand that, but the vast majority of the time a long reliever enters the game, it's already over. And, on rare occasions, Noesi has been serviceable in that role.
Now, with guys making the 25-man who weren't on the 40-man roster, some people had to be designated for assignment. And there, it will be Carlos Triunfel and Xavier Avery. They have the option to stay within the organization but, given the multitude of teams seeking middle infield help, it wouldn't be surprising to see someone give Triunfel—once, a long time ago, a top-flight prospect—a look at either shortstop or second base.
Finally, here's how it all comes together.
- Justin Smoak, 1B
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Brad Miller, SS
- Kyle Seager, 3B
- Mike Zunino, C
- John Buck, C
- Logan Morrison, 1B/OF
- Willie Bloomquist, UT
- Corey Hart, DH/RF
- Abraham Almonte, CF
- Dustin Ackley, LF
- Michael Saunders, RF/CF
- Stefen Romero, LF/RF
- Fernando Rodney, RHP
- Danny Farquhar, RHP
- Charlie Furbush, LHP
- Tom Wilhelmsen, RHP
- Joe Beimel, LHP
- Yoervis Medina, RHP
- Hector Noesi, RHP
McClendon on telling Roenis Elias he'd made team: "I didn't understand everything he said because most of it was in Spanish ... (1/2).— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 28, 2014
McClendon on Elias: "... but I think in the end he tried to kiss me. I figured he was happy at that point." (2/2)— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 28, 2014
Let's do it. Go M's.