Seattle Mariners baseball is officially back. The lockout is over, Mariners fans. Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have finally come to an agreement that will get the Mariners back on the field soon.
On Thursday afternoon in Florida, the long-awaited deal 99 days in the making was agreed upon. It is being reported that players are expected to report to Spring Training on March 13th. Spring games will begin on March 17th. The regular season will begin on April 7th. The two cancelled series will be made up of nine-inning doubleheaders. The traditional rules of extra innings will also come back into effect this season.
The teams voted 26–4 in favour of the newly proposed version of the deal, while the subcommittee voted 8–0 against. It was good enough anyways to bring baseball, and the Mariners, back. Though unconfirmed, it seems as though the Mariners were indeed one of the 26 teams to vote for the new agreement.
The new agreement states that there will be 12 teams in the playoffs instead of ten. The new 12-team expanded playoffs could be a great opportunity for the Mariners. Narrowly missing the cut to make a wildcard spot last year proved to be full of heartache. However, with expanded playoffs, this gives the Mariners even more of a chance at playoff action.
With Mariners baseball being back, that means the stakes are back too. Being in the hunt on the final day of the 2021 regular season showed everyone in the game a lot of things. One is that the Mariners are good enough to compete with the best. Also, that one game can change everything. As we embark on a now guaranteed 162-game season, the Mariners must remember the devastation of being so close last year. As well, realizing that there is more wiggle room in the standings with the added team from each league will hopefully provide the cushion with the Mariners so desperately needed last year.
At 6 PM ET on March 10th, only a few hours after the signing of the new agreement, free agency is set to begin. With Kyle Seager retired, it is obvious the Mariners need a full-time slugger who can play third base. It will be difficult to replace Seager both on the field and in the clubhouse. However, Kris Bryant could be a nice pickup. Bryant is one of the top free agents from this offseason.
With the free agency being so short and sprung on so quick, the Mariners need to jump into action to get the players they desire. Whether it is indeed Kris Bryant or another infielder, or a pitcher to bolster up the rotation or the bullpen, it is going to be chaos. This is going to be a free agency period like never before.
Mariners Baseball is Back
More in-depth details will become available as this story continues to develop. Many new rules within this agreement will take a while for both teams, players, and fans alike to get used to. For now, rejoice! The slap of the bat on clean cut grass in the sunshine of summer is upon us. The Mariners look to build upon their success from last season. With the agreement out of the way and a full 162-game season salvaged, it is an exciting time as Seattle looks upon the 2022 MLB season.
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