By the numbers, the Mariners are facing some tough decisions this week, and who’s on the 25-man opening day roster is just the beginning.
One non-roster invitee, left-hander Arthur Rhodes, will make that team unless he’s hurt. That’s good news for Seattle if the veteran can help them – and bad news for a Mariner on the team’s 40-man roster.
Every time you add someone to the protected 40-man roster, the move must be preceded by removing someone else. That means exposing a player you like to the waiver process, and perhaps losing him.
Beyond Rhodes, there’s the possibility that right-handed rookie Brandon Morrow will make the team – which means another spot on the 40-man roster must be cleared.
And if you want to take catcher Jamie Burke north instead of Rene Rivera, that could be three spots needed on the 40-man roster. There’s no deadwood on that roster, so the Mariners would have as many as three tough calls.
Cha Seung Baek? Travis Blackely? Wladimir Balentien? Michael Wilson?
Any move the team makes will chip away at its depth, and if there’s one thing Seattle is likely to need with its roster this year, it’s depth.
Filling out that opening day roster could have consequences far beyond April 3.