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2007 25-man Roster, As Of Right Now

I was planning to write a different post tonight, but then 1am snuck up on me and I ran out of time, so here's this instead. We've been talking about different individual moves all offseason long; now it's time to see what the roster looks like as a whole when you put it all together. And yes, we're going to do the four-man bench thing again. I know, I know.

Starting Position Players:

Kenji Johjima (C)
Richie Sexson (DH)
Jose Lopez (2B)
Yuniesky Betancourt (SS)
Adrian Beltre (3B)
Raul Ibanez (DH)
Ichiro (CF)
Jose Guillen (RF)
Jose Vidro (DH)


Ben Broussard (1B/DH)
Jeremy Reed (OF)
Willie Ballgame ("utility")
Rene Rivera (POS)

Starting Rotation:

Felix Hernandez
Jarrod Washburn
Miguel Batista
Horacio Ramirez
Jeff Weaver


JJ Putz
Chris Reitsma
George Sherrill
Jon Huber
Julio Mateo
Jake Woods
Arthur Rhodes


So, there you go. As far as things that could change before Opening Day are concerned, (1) Ben Broussard's a virtual lock to go away and get replaced by Mike Morse, (2) Rene Rivera might disappear if the front office springs for a veteran #2 backstop, and (3) the end of the bullpen could end up looking different, although I doubt it. Mateo's under contract, Woods was too "good" last year to jettison, and Bavasi said the same stuff about Arthur Rhodes as he did after giving Jeff Nelson an NRI two years ago.

Barring surprise, injury, or surprising injury, there's not going to be much to play for in camp this year, since the roster's pretty much completely set already. And when you look at it from top to bottom, you're struck by just how dull the whole thing is. Aside from limited star power in the persons of Ichiro, Felix, and Putz, pretty much everyone on the team is some reasonable approximation of the league-average at his position. Doesn't really come off as the proper make of a champion.

But then, I have to think that's sort of what Bavasi was going for this winter, because if you look at the roster again, you don't see many glaring problem spots, either. The Vidro trade sucked, but I don't think he's as finished as his 2006 numbers in RFK would have you believe, so the black hole at DH should be a thing of the past. Morse and Reed form the makings of a half-decent bench that would only be strengthened by the addition of a different catcher. A lot of Weaver's trouble last year was the fault of bad luck that shouldn't repeat itself, making him light years better than Joel Pineiro. And while Julio Mateo blows, he's not likely to inherit too many high-leverage innings with Reitsma and Huber ahead of him on the righty middle reliever depth chart.

The Mariners didn't really pick up any big-name impact arms or bats this winter, but they did replace their godawful players with half-decent ones, which can be just as significant an upgrade. The result is what you see above - an unspectacular roster that, even accounting for certain collapse candidates (Ramirez in particular), will probably go as far as Felix, Ichiro, and Putz can take it. I've heard worse strategies.

(This is by no means a comprehensive analysis of the 2007 Seattle Mariners, and shouldn't be taken as such. It's January 30th. Have some friggin' patience.)