Well Mariners fans, lets face it, the 2010 season is a bust.

There will be no comeback, no 1995 style legendary run to the post season. No, I’m afraid the last exciting moment for the Mariners will be watching who they dump in the upcoming midseason fire sale.

Cliff Lee is a lock to be traded, and rumor has it that everybody not named Felix or Ichiro is up for grabs. I’d expect a lot of familiar names to be playing in different markets come August.

So, what does that mean for the 2011 squad? What does the future hold for Seattle baseball?

Well for starters, expect a lot of call-ups here in the second half of 2010, young players auditioning for a role in the 2011 campaign.

I expect Mike Carp to get a lot of reps at first base the rest of the season. But I do not expect to see him starting there following the end of the year.

Who do I see as the Seattle first baseman in 2011?

Prince Fielder.

I imagine that the Seattle will make a heavy push for the hefty slugger in the offseason to anchor what is this year a horrid offense. This is more than just a pipe dream from a fan with an active imagination as Fielder has connections to the club.

The man who drafted Fielder, is current Seattle general manager Jack Zdurineck.

After his failure to improve the offense, while actually ending up with a worse team, Zdurineck must make a move like signing Fielder to save his job.

Felix Hernandez has been inconsistent this year to say the least, unable to capture his 2009 form that saw him finish second in the American League Cy Young voting.

He will still be the top starter in 2011, and I fully expect him to regain his consistent dominant form.

But who will follow him in the rotation?

Lee will be gone by the deadline, and even if they make the foolish mistake of hanging on to him all year, they will have virtually no chance to bring him back in the off season.

Rumor has it they have been talking with the Mets, about Jon Neise, but New York seems hell bent on keeping him around.

So who follows King Felix?

Doug Fister had been fantastic before going on the disabled list, and Jason Vargas has pitched way above his career standard.

But who would really be comfortable going into a make, or break year with them as your second and third options in the rotation?

I wouldn’t be, and I doubt anybody in the Seattle front office is either.

Look for them to pick up a decent, middle of the road guy in the offseason.

Tim Hudson, Jeremy Bonderman, Kevin Millwood could all be solid options to bridge the top and middle of the rotation.

That brings us to the bullpen.

For the rest of the 2010 season everybody in the bullpen will be auditioning for their own jobs.

Including David Aardsma.

After blowing onto the scene last year and being the definition of a lights out closer, he has regressed dramatically this year, posting a 5.85 ERA with four blown saves.

If he continues to struggle, look for a new gunslinger coming out in the final inning for Seattle.

The expectations will not be high in 2011, it will be a brand new team. One that needs to succeed for the people in charge to keep their jobs.



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