Roy Halladay to the Phillies seems to be the biggest headline in every sports section around the country and rightfully so, the man is a beast plain and simple. He dominated the best division in baseball, isn't afraid to go 9 innings on any given night, is a quality start machine and now is reportedly going to the best team in the National League. Three words for that...Good Move Phillies. While the Halladay deal is taking up the headlines, one thing I think we should notice is that while the Phillies may have improved their rotation somewhat, the Seattle Mariners may have just become the favorite to win the AL West.
Seattle will be adding former Phillie lefty, Cliff Lee, to their rotation if this deal goes through, giving them a top of a rotation, with Felix Hernandez and Lee, that ranks up there with the best in the game. They have already signed Chone Figgins, a versatile, switch hitting, speedster who led the AL in walks a year ago, and that will, in my opinion, probably lead the league in triples this season by playing in Seattle's spacious SafeCo Field. Put Figgins and Ichiro together at the top of the lineup and I think I could knock in runs in Seattle.
If that isn't enough of a plus for Seattle, don't forget that Figgins came from the Angels, the perennial AL West Champ, and that the Angels also lost their #1 pitcher in John Lackey to the Red Sox, and they are likely to lose the face of the franchise, Vlad Guerrero, to free agency. Basically what I am trying to say is that the Mariners got better as the Angels got worse. Granted the Angels signed Hideki Matsui from the Yankees but the guy is a liability in the outfield, can't play any other positions, and is merely a left-handed hitting DH.
So as the Phillies and Roy Halladay distract the media, the Seattle Mariners continue to get better, and they are doing it, for the most part, under the radar. It should be a good season for the folks in Seattle. They can sit back, enjoy a Starbucks, listen to some Nirvana, and watch the Mariners make a push for an AL West Title.