What is migrating to Seattle, other than seagulls?
Trader Jack Zduriencik, Mariners GM, has repeatedly asked for patience from Mariner fans, saying the minor league system had to be built before replenishing the big club. For many in the Great Northwest it has taken too long, and many are not sure if it is working. But a look at how the roster has changed indicates the plan is coming to an end.
The migration started in June 2011 when Dustin Ackley was brought up from Tacoma and made his major league debut. His college teammate, Kyle Seager, migrated north the next month. Seager continued to improve in 2012 while Ackley took a step back.
But in 2013 the migration was not two lone birds, but a flock. April 16, pitcher Yoervis Medina; May 27, second baseman Nick Franklin; June 12, catcher Mike Zunino; June 28, shortstop Brad Miller; and August 30, pitcher Taijuan Walker, and outfielder Abraham Almonte.
For better or for worse, the future of the Mariners is taking shape for next season, and perhaps, if luck shines on the Good Ship Mariner, for many years. During this season the Mariners have shed veterans Jeremy Bonderman, Aaron Harang, Kelly Shopach, and Mike Morse, all of whom were brought in this season. Considering how they played, they pretty much took up space.
Next year Danny Hultzen should migrate north and be part of the rotation, it is hoped, with King Felix, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, and Erasmo Ramirez.
What Seattle does not need is the veteran, washed up pitcher, Trader Jack has brought to Seattle the last two years. Kevin Millwood and Aaron Harang were a combined 11-23. Seattle does not need that type of veteran. Nor does Seattle need the likes of Milton Bradley, Jack Cust, Chone Figgins, Ryan Langerhans, Russell Branyan, Casey Kotchman, Miguel Olivo, and others who, like the seagulls, waited for the game to end so they could have their post game spread.
For better or worse I would rather watch the migration of youth