RHP Jeff Weaver
How he got here: The Mariners signed Weaver, a free agent, to a one-year, $8.3 million contract (plus a possible $1 million in incentives) on Jan. 29.
The scouting report: Weaver is a workhorse — more than 200 innings in four seasons since 2000. After Weaver joined the Cardinals last July following his trade by the Angels, St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan made some mechanical refinements that he believes helped Weaver regain his shattered confidence.
His role: Weaver is one of the Mariners’ five starting pitchers.
- For UW, an Apple Cup victory that doubled as a breakthrough
- The story of one homeless girl, Brittany, who was failed time and again
- Bill Gates to commit billions for clean energy
- India draws tech dreamers back home
- Holiday and Independence Bowls are potential destinations for UW and WSU
Most Read Stories
Best-case: Weaver keeps riding the momentum from the 2006 postseason, in which he won the clinching game of the World Series against Detroit. Weaver revived his career under the tutelage of Duncan, going 7-4 with a 3.63 ERA in his final 16 games with St. Louis, including the postseason.
Worst-case: Weaver reverts to the dismal form that got him designated for assignment then traded by the Angels with a 3-10 record and 6.29 ERA.
RF Jose Guillen
How he got here: The Mariners signed Guillen, a free agent, to a one-year, $5.5 million contract on Dec. 4, with a $9 million option for 2008.
The scouting report: Guillen is a strong, right-handed batter capable of 25 to 30 homers and 85 to 100 runs batted in. He also had one of the best throwing arms in baseball before undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last July. Guillen is a volatile personality who seems to have incidents everywhere he goes, including a run-in with Angels manager Mike Scioscia in September 2004 that resulted in the Angels suspending him for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.
His role: Guillen will be the Mariners’ right fielder.
Best-case: Guillen’s arm is fine, and he becomes a productive presence in the lineup.
Worst-case: Two concerns — either Guillen’s elbow isn’t ready for the rigors of playing every day, or he has some sort of clubhouse eruption over a perceived slight.
RHP Miguel Batista
How he got here: The Mariners signed Batista, a free agent, to a three-year, $25 million contract on Dec. 14.
The scouting report: Right-hander matched his career high with 11 victories for the Arizona Diamondbacks last year while working a career-high 206-1/3 innings. On the downside, his WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of 1.53 ranked 35th among 38 qualifying starters in the National League.
His role: Batista is one of the Mariners’ five starting pitchers.
Best-case: Batista, at age 36, remains as durable as he has been throughout his career and uses Safeco Field and a strong infield defense to his advantage in compiling 12 to 15 victories for the first time in his career.
Worst-case: Batista, who has had bouts of inconsistency throughout his career, gets hit hard and often en route to a losing record — with two more years on his contract.
LHP Horacio Ramirez
How he got here: The Mariners traded setup man Rafael Soriano to the Braves for Ramirez on Dec. 6.
The scouting report: Soft-tossing left-hander who walks almost as many as he strikes out. With Atlanta, Ramirez liked to study tapes of Tom Glavine and at his best is the same sort of pitcher, relying on location and change of speeds.
His role: Ramirez is one of the Mariners’ five starting pitchers.
Best-case: Ramirez stays healthy, cuts down on his walks and uses the Mariners’ solid infield defense to his advantage. If he does that, he could win 12 to 14 games. In two healthy seasons with Atlanta (2003 and ’05), Ramirez went a combined 23-13 while averaging 192 innings.
Worst-case: Ramirez continues to struggle with injuries. In 2004 and ’06, he was limited to a combined 24 starts and seven victories by a variety of injuries, including a sprained left middle finger last August that ended his season.
DH Jose Vidro
How he got here: The Mariners traded outfielder Chris Snelling and reliever Emiliano Fruto to the Washington Nationals for Vidro on Dec. 18.
The scouting report: Vidro, a switch-hitter, was a gap-hitting menace (96 doubles from 1999 to 2000) from both sides of the plate in his prime. However, a variety of leg injuries in recent years has led to a precipitous decline in production.
His role: Vidro will be the Mariners’ designated hitter.
Best-case: No longer burdened by playing in the field, Vidro is healthy and returns to being a .300 hitter with a high on-base percentage and impressive run production.
Worst-case: Vidro, 32, still is plagued by nagging injuries and remains the middling player he has been for the past four years.