It would be easy to build a dream team for the 2012 Seattle Mariners if we could, say, toss in a free agent, maybe make a trade or two, but Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong already have a general manager - Jack Zduriencik.
So we'll play with the toys we already have.
As the week goes on, we'll look at other areas of the team. Today, let's build the '12 Mariners rotation, looking at the guys who finished the year here, at least one bullpen arm who's been considered as a starting pitcher and some minor leaguers who may well be ready for prime time next spring.
For openers, let's keep Felix Hernandez.
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Beyond that, here are the candidates from the rotation of 2011: RHP Michael Pineda, LHP Jason Vargas, RHP Blake Beavan, LHP Charllie Furbush. From the bullpen, where he proved to be a consistent eighth-inning setup man: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen.
Now, let's mix in some rookies - pitchers without an inning of big-league experience: RHP Taijuan Walker, LHP James Paxton, LHP Danny Hultzen. It's not impossible to see any one of them join the team at some point next season, why not - for arguments sake in October - figure one will be ready next April?
So there are your candidates, unless you want to take a flyer with someone else in the system or the bullpen. Come up with a rotation, maybe the win-loss record of each member, and any thoughts you have on it overall. You know manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis are doing the same thing these days.
Keep the conversation moving. Maybe tomorrow, we'll build ourselves an outfield.