This is Edgar Martinez’s week.
The former Seattle Mariners star will learn his Baseball Hall of Fame fate Tuesday when the Baseball Writers Association of America reveals its 2019 voting results. Martinez is in his final year on the ballot, but all signs point toward him getting in this year. He’s trended up big time in recent years, receiving just short of the 75 percent of the vote required for enshrinement last year at 70.3 percent. As of Monday morning his name was on more than 90 percent of the ballots that were made public, and the prognosticators all have him comfortably making it:
— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) January 21, 2019
— Ross Carey (@Rosscarey) January 21, 2019
Add in the fact the Mariners announced they are carrying the announcement live on Twitter — something I imagine they wouldn’t do if they thought there was any chance at disappointment — and I think we can feel confident about Edgar getting in.
All of which has me thinking. Is Edgar Martinez the greatest Mariner ever?
Martinez will be just the third player who played a large portion of his career with Seattle inducted into the Hall of Fame, with the other two being Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson. I’m not sure anyone would say Edgar was a greater player than those two, but was he a greater Mariner, considering he spent his entire career with the franchise and the other two didn’t?
Indeed, who is the greatest Mariner of all time, based on what he actually did for the Mariners? Using Baseball-Reference.com’s Wins Above Replacement numbers during their time with Seattle, here’s a list of candidates, along with some arguments for and against:
KEN GRIFFEY JR.
WAR with Seattle: 70.6.
Key stats: 1,685 games, .292/.374/.553 triple slash, 417 homers.
Argument for: First player to go into the Hall of Fame as a Mariner. … Mariners career leader in homers. … The player who put Seattle baseball on the map.
Argument against: Didn’t play his entire career with Seattle, leaving amid a cloud in 2000.
WAR with Seattle: 68.4.
Key stats: 2,055 games, .312/.418/.515 triple slash, 514 doubles, 309 homers.
Argument for: Mariners career leader in games, doubles and walks. … Played his entire 18-year career in Seattle. … The street T-Mobile Park is located on is named after him.
Argument against: Had little defensive value as his greatest contributions came as a designated hitter.
WAR with Seattle: 56.3.
Key stats: 1,859 games, .322/.365/.417 triple slash, 438 stolen bases.
Argument for: Mariners career leader in batting average and steals. … Was the player whose arrival catapulted Seattle to a major-league record 116 wins in 2001.
Argument against: .782 OPS suggests his offensive impact was limited.
WAR with Seattle: 50.9
Key stats: 404 games, 168-128 record, 2,467 strikeouts.
Argument for: Mariners career leader in wins and strikeouts. … Perhaps the most loyal player in franchise history, choosing to stick it out during some lean years.
Argument against: Has never taken Seattle to the postseason.
WAR with Seattle: 39.1.
Key stats: 274 games, 130-74 record, 2,162 strikeouts.
Argument for: Most dominating pitcher in franchise history.
Argument against: Played less than half his career with Seattle and went into the Hall of Fame as an Arizona Diamondback.
WAR with Seattle: 38.1.
Key stats: 790 games, .309/.374/.561 triple slash, 189 homers.
Argument for: Most career WAR (117.8) among Seattle players. … Highest WAR per game in franchise history for a position player.
Argument against: Incredibly unpopular in Seattle for some reason.
So who do you consider to be the greatest ever Mariner? Vote here, and if you pick “other” let us know who you prefer in the comments section: