Relief Pitcher Brandon League #43
29 years old; Experience: eight years
It seems that a lot of recent Seattle Mariners moves have been to wash out the bad taste that Bill Bavasi left all over the organization. No player came to represent that more than Brandon Morrow, whom the organization drafted ahead of such clowns like Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum. OH WELL! I'm a firm believer that at the time Morrow probably was better than those other two. It's the only way to deal with it. Or, you can deal the way that Jack Z did and just flat out deal Morrow. The offseason before 2010, the Mariners dealt Morrow to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brandon League.
League has been a solid closer for the Mariners since thrust into the role after the injury to David Aardsma last year. Last year, he closed out 37 games while only blowing five saves. League relies on an absolutely nasty sinker to punch out his opponents, which he does at a pretty effective rate. If the sinker isn't sinking, League also tops out in the high 90s on his fastball. He doesn't walk a lot of people, and when he melts down - he melts down in typical closer fashion. After rattling off nine straight saves to open the season last year, League had a bit of a rough patch in May - blowing four straight saves, giving up 10 runs in four games in the process.
With David Aardsma out of the picture, League is the man that will be punching out games virtually night in and night out. Being on a rebuilding team, and since closers unfortunately are a dime a dozen, if League goes and has another dominant first half, it wouldn't be halfway surprising to see him dealt at the trading deadline to a team in need of elite relief help. It is a shame but that is the life of a closer. Most projections for League are painting his numbers around the same spot as last year, hovering around a 3.00 ERA and notching close to 40 saves. League is one of the few bright spots on the Mariners unless the young guys start to produce, so enjoy him while it lasts.