Unveiling the Seattle Mariners’ Offseason Targets: Who Might Land on Their Radar?

Seattle Mariners’ Season Ends on Disappointing Note

As the divisional round of the playoffs commenced this past weekend, the Seattle Mariners found themselves on the sidelines. The Mariners, who finished the 2023 season with an 88-74 record, narrowly missed out on postseason play, falling just two games behind both the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers in the American League (AL) standings. Additionally, they were only one game back from the Toronto Blue Jays, who secured the third AL wild card spot.

The outcome of the season was widely regarded as a disappointment for the Mariners, considering the high expectations set for them. Despite remaining in contention until the penultimate day of the regular season, their stated goals – winning the AL West and challenging for their first-ever World Series appearance – went unfulfilled. Instead, the Mariners regressed, finishing with two fewer wins compared to the preceding two seasons.

Offseason Plans For The Seattle Mariners

While awaiting the conclusion of this year’s playoffs, let’s shift our focus to the upcoming offseason for the Mariners. There aren’t many impending free agents for the team, with right fielder Teoscar Hernández being the most prominent name. Although Hernández had an inconsistent season, finishing with a .741 OPS, 26 home runs, and 93 RBIs, his 211 strikeouts ranked third-highest in Major League Baseball (MLB) and second-highest in the AL, only behind his teammate Eugenio Suárez.

Catcher Tom Murphy and reliever Dominic Leone are also set to become free agents. Other members of the 2023 Mariners could potentially join the free agency pool through releases or non-tendering. Several players are scheduled for arbitration, including first baseman Ty France, relievers Justin Topa and Trent Thornton, first baseman/designated hitter Mike Ford, second baseman Josh Rojas, utility man Sam Haggerty, catcher Luis Torrens, and Super Two player Logan Gilbert.

This offseason, the Mariners may need to make a decision regarding their approach to building their lineup. With the team recording the second-highest strikeouts in the league this season, management identified strikeouts as a contributing factor in their fall from contention. The Mariners must decide whether to prioritize players with lower strikeout rates or to prioritize power and risk more strikeouts.

Noteworthy Free Agents Available

Historically, the Mariners have shown minimal activity in free agency since their rebuilding phase in 2018, except for the signing of Robbie Ray in 2022. However, following a disappointing 2023 campaign and a relatively quiet 2022-23 offseason, Mariners fans are hoping for more aggressive moves in the free-agent market this year.

Shohei Ohtani, the two-way phenom, is the standout player in this year’s free-agent class. Despite missing most of September due to surgery on his right elbow, he is expected to win the AL MVP award. However, his injury may impact the level of contract offers he receives. Apart from Ohtani, outfielder Cody Bellinger and third baseman Matt Chapman are notable hitters who could be available. The class is generally considered weaker on the hitting side, which happens to be an area where the Mariners need improvement.

Potential Trade Targets

While it’s difficult to predict trade availability, two superstar players, Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres and Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, are potentially on the market. Soto, widely recognized as one of the best pure hitters in the game, would be a natural fit for the Mariners, given their need for outfield talent. Alonso, known for his exceptional power hitting, could significantly upgrade the Mariners’ first base position.

Both Soto and Alonso are approaching free agency after the next season, and their respective teams missed the playoffs in 2023. Reports suggest that they are likely to stay with their current teams, but their availability could change based on the Mets’ plans to scale back in 2024.

In terms of pitching, the upcoming free-agent market appears more promising and deeper than the hitting market. Notable pitchers available include Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Eduardo Rodríguez, Sonny Gray, Lucas Giolito, Jordan Montgomery, Clayton Kershaw (expected to re-sign with the Dodgers or potentially retire), and Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Star reliever Josh Hader is also set to become a free agent.

Considering the Mariners already have a solid rotation in place for next season, it is unlikely that they will pursue high-profile starting pitchers in free agency. However, if they decide to trade one of their young starters for hitting help, they could become a team to watch for a veteran starter.

While the Mariners’ 2023 season did not pan out as expected, the upcoming offseason presents an opportunity for the team to regroup and make strategic moves to strengthen their roster. Mariners fans eagerly await the team’s approach to free agency and potential trade discussions as they look forward to the 2024 season.


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