The Seattle Mariners New Year's Resolution

Entering a season where they are not expected to compete in a division that is getting better right now and bigger in 2013, the Mariners need to resist temptation to simply react and pledge to stay focused on the long-term goal: building a sustainable contender.

We all do it. The new year rolls around and we all set goals for ourselves for the upcoming year. Ways to better our lives or rid ourselves of bad habits. Often times they are unreasonable goals. A way to get our peers to gasp and say, "Wow! Look at him/her!"

Staring at a season that will likely net another playoff-less end, General Manager Jack Zduriencik and the rest of the Seattle Mariners front office need to resist their natural urge to puff up their chests and proclaim to their division mates, "Look at us!!!". The Angels and Rangers both have spent a lot more than the Mariners so far this offseason. And both have added key pieces to their already formidable ballclubs this Winter. But instead of making irrational, reactionary moves to try and catch back up to their division brethren, Seattle would be best served by staying the course.

That means not trading Felix Hernandez or Michael Pineda. That means continuing to let their other potential pitching stars -- Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Jose Campos, to name a few -- develop rather than dealing them. It means not putting all of their eggs into the Prince Fielder basket. It means seeing what Casper Wells, Mike Carp, Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak can all give you in a full, healthy season.

As I covered here, the Mariners could be in for marked improvement from their offense in 2012 without spending another dime, so breaking the bank for a slugger or trading away the farm to land one isn't the best approach to "fixing" what ails the club. Patience is. Patience with the plan. The plan that Jack Zduriencik mentions nearly every time he speaks to any member of the media. The plan to build a sustainable contender by strengthening the quality of players in the organization, from top to bottom.

As difficult as it is to go through another season of "wait 'til next year", the front office and the fans would be best served to practice patience and remember the long-term goal for the Mariners is -- and should be -- not just winning this year, but winning every year. And it takes time to build an organization that can do that. The Mariners are on their way, already boasting a Top-10 farm system, but they aren't quite there yet. Patience.

So, Happy New Year to all of the readers of SeattleClubhouse, and make sure you work hard and stick to your resolutions in 2012.

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