Mariners Insider Blog

The next Mariners GM: How long will it take them to turn the team around?

The search for the next general manager continues for the Seattle Mariners, although a finalist from their 2003 search won't be a contender this time around, but whoever takes the job is going to find themselves busy.

This isn't just a team coming off a 101-loss season.

The Mariners are a team without a regular center fielder, almost certainly without a regular left fielder and their best minor league outfield prospect – Wladimir Balentien – hit .202 in 243 at-bats last season.

The team doesn't have a regular first baseman or designated hitter, and has two catchers who aren't good defensively and who both managed to hit .227.

The Mariners have the makings of an intriguing rotation with Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Brandon Morrow and Ryan Rowland-Smith. They also have more than $30 million invested in Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista next year.

They have a closer coming off a dreadful season, and no left-handed specialist or dominant setup man.

So the fact that Detroit became the latest team to deny the Mariners permission to interview an assistant GM – in this case, Al Avila – is hardly the issue. The Mariners have enough candidates.

The question is, how long will it take to turn this team into a legitimate contender once someone gets the job?

Looking ahead, what are your expectations? What's the best and worst-case timeline, no matter who the next GM is?