The Seattle Mariners are finishing up the 2017 MLB season this weekend and this year has been a huge disappointment for the fans. This was the year where the Mariners were supposed to break the longest playoff drought in baseball. This was supposed to be where the Mariners started creating more postseason highlights in an effort to finally retire the tapes from 1995 and 2001. This was supposed to be… more.

Coming into the final game of the regular season, the Seattle Mariners have an unimpressive 78-83 record that is a far cry from where many MLB analysts projected this team would be back in Spring Training.

With several significant acquisitions for the season, including new starting pitcher Drew Smyly, the Mariners were supposed to make waves in the American League. There's that word “supposed” again, rearing its ugly head and forcing everyone to realize how terribly wrong the 2017 season went.

What do fans want the Mariners to do next?

Mariners fans want starting pitching. They want to see the front office open up the checkbook and spend a lot of money in free agency. Names like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and even Jhoulys Chacin keep getting mentioned on social media. Other starting pitchers getting mentioned, who could opt out of their contracts to become free agents are Masahiro Tanaka and Ian Kennedy.

But that isn’t the name at the top of the wish list for many playoff-starved Mariners fans.

The biggest name involved in any of the Seattle Mariners rumors is Shohei Otani. The Japanese pitching star has declared his intention to sign with a Major League Baseball team this offseason. Scouts and fans alike have been clamoring for any information about where he would like to play and there is no shortage of Mariners fans assuming he would enjoy playing in the Pacific Northwest.

Shohei Otani with the Mariners?

Last season with the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Otani hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in just 104 games. He also had a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in only 140 innings. That’s right, Otani is a pitcher who loves to hit, drawing early comparisons to what Babe Ruth used to do for the Boston Red Sox.

This could make him a very interesting weapon for a National League team. If he wants to continue hitting, then it might just rule out a contract with the Mariners.

The Mariners did add some pitching in the second half of the regular season, trading to acquire Mike Leake from the St. Louis Cardinals. The deal turned out to be a really good one for the Mariners, as Leake became the best pitcher for the team during September. It wasn’t enough, though, as there were too many questions with the pitching staff and no real ace for the team to stand behind. Injuries destroyed the Mariners this season, even though there were bright spots like the emergence of Mitch Haniger.

It may be wishful thinking for fans to hope that the front office is going to offer a huge free agent contract to a pitcher like Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta.

But it won’t stop fans from looking for any Seattle Mariners rumors that give even the slightest mention of general manager Jerry Dipoto showing interest in one of them. This could mean another busy offseason for the team.