The Mariners sought multiyear accords with a couple of free agents this winter, including Kolten Wong and Tommy La Stella, per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com. The Mariners were clear in their attempt to find a left-handed bat to split time with Dylan Moore at second base. Ideally, that player could stick his cleat in the grass at times as well, specifically as an option in left field.
Though the Mariners came up empty, there were more than a few free agents who fit that mold. Ha-Seong Kim, Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Villar, Jurickson Profar, Brad Miller, Jace Peterson, Ehire Adrianza, Brock Holt, and Dee Strange-Gordon signed elsewhere at a variety of different price points. It’s a little hard to fathom that the Mariners couldn’t find a way to add someone from that group. Presumably, those names either didn’t fit GM Jerry Dipoto’s vision or priced themselves beyond the Mariners’ comfort zone. Mike Freeman and Eric Sogard are two options whom the Mariners could turn to, should they want to bolster their depth. They are prepared to enter camp with the roster as-is, however.
Per Kramer, Dipoto more-or-less put a bow on their winter work, saying, “We had a series of targets, each of which we thought were ideal fits. We put them in an order that we thought best represented the way we saw that player, and then we tried to go out and get them. In all of those cases, we offered multiyear contracts that seemed to fit what we were trying to do not just for 2021, but for 2022 and potentially beyond that. We were aggressive in that market. We just failed to bring in the offensive piece we were looking to add.”
Without that additional piece, the Mariners will roll with Moore at second and Shed Long filling that versatile bench role. Sam Haggerty and Donovan Walton will push him for playing time in spring training, while Taylor Trammell and Jake Fraley will get take some spring at-bats in left. Designated hitter Ty France could also see time at second.
In further Mariners news, Logan Gilbert will likely start the season in Triple-A. While he was previously going to have an opportunity to contend for a spot in their six-man rotation, the James Paxton signing will allow the Mariners to protect his innings and bring him along slowly.
This follows a trend for the Mariners’ roster-building this winter, as they’ve tried to build out their depth to allow for maximum flexibility in how they promote and push their young players. Mission accomplished: if anything, the Mariners are light on veteran depth at the moment on the position player side. As is, they can allot most of the playing time this spring to youngsters, including top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez – both of whom are likely to start the season in the minors.
The Mariners CBT payroll sits at $102MM, per Roster Resource, with their actual payroll even slimmer at $85MM. That leaves them roughly $5MM shy from 2020 payroll level. This winter, they handed out four Major League deals to free agent pitchers: Paxton, Ken Giles, Keynan Middleton, and Chris Flexen. Giles and Flexen received two-year pacts, though Giles will miss this upcoming season. The Mariners have not signed a position player to a Major League contract.
Isn’t Shed Long a left handed hitter who can play both second and LF….?
Yes he is. They probably just wanted someone more established.
They seem to have given up on Long after he hid an injury from them and really underperformed last season. Was given the job in 2020, but was really bad and now all offseason Dipoto and Servais have said 2nd base is Dylan Moore while searching for a FA addition. So that would make me think they have absolutely no confidence in Long, but I definitely would love to see him earn his spot back.
I feel like “given up” is a bit harsh. From my perspective, I think they believe he can still contribute, but given everything that happened last season he certainly has to earn a role with his performance. That seems like the right way to go about it. Can’t just give him the job after putting up a 50 OPS+.
It’s my understanding that they want him to work on a number of things in AAA and transition into a utility role.
The same seems to be true for Fraley (working on things in AAA), though a strong spring could earn him a roster spot if we don’t see a trade or waiver claim before the season starts.
Remains to be seen. He had a tib/fib leg injury most of last year. His numbers are just awful. He needs more AB’s to prove that he belongs. I’m rooting for him.
MLB is my favorite American sport, I didn’t make the cleverest decision to choose the Mariners as my favorite ML team but I love the M’s none the less.
I’m excited to read any Ms article in the National media but I don’t understand the pessimistic tone in this article- “hard to fathom that the Ms couldn’t find a way to add someone from that group.” For me, it’s hard to fathom Dylan Moore being much worse than almost every sgl name in that group. Brockstar, Jace, Dee! Cmon!
Okay we didn’t get LaStella or Wong but if this team is going to spend money on an INF who is going to be better than Moore surely it’s going to be from next years stacked INF FA class. I hate to use the term “broke out” in a shortened season but that’s pretty much what Dylan Moore did last yr.
If you asked most knowledgeable Mariners fans (those on board w the rebuild) they’ll tell you we had a good offseason. The additions of Paxton and Giles changed the whole outlook of our signings.
MLB teams as a whole spent less money and gave out mostly 1 and 2 year deals. Historically it was one of the worst free agent off-seasons in decades, roughly equivalent to the season following the 94 Labor dispute. When you put the Mariners free agency class into that context there’s plenty of reasons to be satisfied w this offseason.
James Paxton. 3 late inn high/leverage RP’s all with MLB experience-Graveman, Montero and Middleton, the latter two having 17 saves (9,8) between them. Ken Giles avail for the 2022 season with an option for 2023. Flexen- a 26 yr old SP who was one of the best in the KBO last year.
Keep in mind the Mariners are only 2 years and 60 games into a TOTAL rebuild. Smart baseball teams don’t spend a ton of cash only 2 years into a rebuild during a global pandemic.
Mariners a minor league team.
With baseball’s youngest Opening Day roster, last year Seattle finished with the ninth-best record in a 15-team league that sent eight clubs to the postseason.
James Paxton (and Chris Flexen) join a Seattle rotation headed by Marco Gonzales, Justus Sheffield and Yusei Kikuchi, who last year combined for 4.7 fWAR in 30 starts. The Mariners have added Rafael Montero and Keynan Middleton to a bullpen that welcomes the conversion of former starter Kendall Graveman.
The Seattle roster has potential amid questions marks. A possible lineup with cherry-picked recent OPS+:
C Tom Murphy 128 (2019)
1B Evan Wnite 67* (2020)
2B Shed Long Jr. 111 ((2019)
SS J.P. Crawford 92* (2020)
3B Kyle Seager 122 (2020)
RF Mitch Haniger 139 (2018)
CF Kyle Lewis 126 (2020)
LF Dylan Moore 139 (2020)
DH Ty France 133 (2020)
* Evan White and J.P. Crawford collected Gold Gloves while posting sub-100 OPS+
Last year the Mariners graduated four former Top 100 prospect but still have seven prospects included on at least one current Top 100 list. Outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez have cracked the Top 5 overall at MLB Pipeline.
The future is bright for the Mariners.
You don’t know what a bright future means if that’s the lineup youre touting LOL
Seattle has to play 60 games a year against the wildly superior A’s, Angels and Astros – you listed a 100 loss team as “future is bright” – lol no its not, not until Rodriguez and Kelenic are in that lineup.
2023 they will be pretty good though, I’ll give you that. Also White didn’t deserve that gold glove, Matt Olson did.
You lost me at “wildly superior” Angels, a team the Mariners were better than last season and have more potential than given each’s offseason additions and likely performance increases for talented youngsters adjusting to the bigs. Also, White absolutely deserved that gold glove over Olson.
Last year the young Mariners finished ahead of the “wildly superior” Angels. Even the 94-loss Seattle club in 2019 managed to go 9-10 against the Angels and Athletics. The M’s have struggled against the Astros, who may be taking a step back.
Not until Julio and Kelenic are up? You mean like in the future? Smart guy. If he said in the future, then obviously he doesn’t mean the lineup that we have right now. Are you that thickheaded or do you have that much of an issue with concrete reading?
We’ve spotted the A’s fan.
Even the 94 loss Mariners went 9-10 against the division?
I’ve been saying for a long time now that the Mariners and their fans have embraced losing for so long it’s like a warm fire on a cold night, very comforting.
You’re probably the only one who suggests the Angels are ‘wildly surperior’ to any team.
But he specifically suggested the future was bright. The future will obviously include Kelenic and Rodriguez (and Gilbert, Hancock, Munoz, Giles, etc.) and some players currently on the roster will be a part of that (France, Lewis, Moore, etc.), some are still being assessed (Crawford, White, Torrens, etc.) and others likely won’t be around much longer (Seager, Haniger, etc.).
Then there’s the roughly 20m in future commitments, leaving virtually enormous room for spending to address any holes that remain.
So, yes, the future does look bright for Seattle and your ‘lol’ was as ridiculous as it was misplaced.
MMcRae- M Olson is a good 1B but Defensive metrics don’t lie: not only was White was worth more Runs (5) in Total Zone Runs and (5) DRS he had more range than Olson. Evan White had a (7.44) Range Factor (putouts+assists per game) and turned more (36) double plays.
Last year’s line up, then adding 2 power bats in Haniger and Murphy, who missed 20′.
2021 line will be a surprise(in a good way).
Gonzo, paxton, Sheff, …that’s 3 good SP at front of rotation (not elite)
I don’t know what to expect from Paxton. Even when he is healthy he hasn’t had consistent seasons.
D0M a minor league poster.
I wonder if Eddie Rosario or David Dahl were on their radar for LF.
Rosario would rather play on a contender and Dahl would rather reg ABs – Kelenic is pretty much MLB-ready right now, so he’s going to be the everyday LF or RF by this summer.
Then why did Rosario choose the Indians?
Because he doesn’t care because the Indians are going to be complete trash this year
lol why would the Indians be complete trash? Team likely finishes above .500 if 81-84 win teams are complete trash in fans minds now even more reason for owners to slash payrolls.
I doubt it. They can’t play infield. Dipoto was looking for versatile left handed hitters. Not left handed outfielders.
Rosario has terrible plate discipline. They were likely looking for a better defender than Dahl.
The M’s need to find their next face of the franchise. I grew up with the likes of Griffey and Edgar beating the Yanks with Arod being the best in baseball to Ichiro showing up on highlight reels every night and then King Felix dominating. It doesn’t seem the same without a huge superstar personality in Seattle.
I think that Kyle Lewis is going to be fun to watch over the next couple of years. And you left Randy Johnson off your M’s superstar list.
They definitely have some potential budding superstars. I try to forget the big unit, he is the one player that haunted me as a yankee fan everywhere he went. Even when he came to us lol.
Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez both have a chance at being just that
Joe: Very good point.
Lewis, Kelenic, Julio, Gilbert, Hancock… take your pick.
I’m rooting for Kelenic personally just to stick it to Mets fans lol
Wait until Jarred Kelenic arrives.
I can’t wait
We don’t need a superstar. We need a team that can make it to the playoffs.
Ken Griffey Jr. was with the team 11 years the first time. During that time they only made the playoffs twice. They made the playoffs Ichiro’s first year, and then nothing after that. They didn’t make the playoffs once during Felix’s 14+ years. They only made it 4 times during Edgar’s 18 years.
I’m not denigrating these men’s performances—the team wouldn’t have made any playoffs, probably, and would’ve lost even more games without these guys! But really, they need more than one big superstar.
They need 26 players, including stars, that can be leaned on, plus 10-14 that can serve as depth.
A lot of people worry about lineups 1-9 and rotations 1-5, but the best teams in baseball approach each game one at a time accordingly.
Seattle should do the same.
Mike Freeman resigned with the Indians.
Mike Freeman is a non-roster invitee to the Cleveland Indians spring training camp, not the Mariners.
Lou, I remember when you played for the Tribe back in the 60’s!
I would guess that Profar or Holt was the third player Seattle made an offer (Jerry said there were 3). Pederson would have made sense as well.
But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a corner infielder, like Lamb, on a minor-league deal, or even a trade.
They’re set to start the season with 2 LHHs in regular role and perhaps Marmolejos in LF til Kelenic debuts.
Not the end of the world, but fans shouldn’t anticipate a contender.
Moore will probably see the bulk of time at 2b. LF will be split between Marmolejos, Fraley, and Long. Moore may be out there too if Long is at 2b. Based on that they will likely have 3 lefties in their starting 9.
I don’t think they know where Moore will play before Kelenic arrives. Easy to think 2B, but what if Fraley or Marmolejos look bad in spring?
There won’t be room for all three of Marmo/Long/Fraley, either. As of now, just one of them. Seattle will have a 3-man bench and right now that is likely composed of Bishop, Haggerty, and Torrens.
Divish speculated Profar as the third bat to go along with other two confirmed bats so Profar would be my guess. However Holt also would have made sense, even though he would have had the lowest upside imo.
Profar wanted to re-up in San Diego. Can’t say that I blame him, since the Padres are a strong contender that is throwing money around like confetti.
No Pederson would not have made sense. He plays one position. Maybe to you he would have, but not for the GM and this franchise. The M’s organization is very thin on MLB infielders. We don’t need anymore outfielders.
Pederson absolutely would have made sense.
Fraley and Bishop are already likely out of the picture for the long term. Rodriguez is still probably two years out and Haniger could be traded at the deadline. There could be a gap between Haniger’s departure and Rodriguez’s arrival. Worth noting, Pederson is able to cover 1B in a pinch as well.
Then there’s DH. France will likely inherit 3B next year and it’s possible he’ll be needed to cover 1B this year if White needs more time in the minors–and he probably will.
The infield is a greater area of need, but there’s room for an outfielder on a 1 or 2-year deal as well. There might be real interest in Conforto next offseason.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting they would try to sign Conforto to a short-term deal. Seattle needs veterans, they need LHHs, and that could lead to a significant investment via free agency.
Thats a lot of “what-if’s” for an organization loaded with outfield talent.
Agree to disagree.
It’s not a lot of ‘what ifs’. It’s simply recognizing/assessing the timelines for each player currently in the organization and acknowledging that there is a hole for the short-term at the very least.
Seattle isn’t going to contend with a team full of inexperienced/limited experienced players, either. It isn’t a stretch at all to envision at least one veteran outfielder and one veteran infielder. Keep in mind, there’s also the issue of 40-man depth.
It will be fun to see how everything plays out, but Seattle can’t wait on every top prospect.
thats it fort pitt
LH 2B who can play OF is still available via trade. Just call up the Pirates. No reasonable offers refused.
Arizona has extras that fit the profile as well.
Could always try out Scooter on a NRI
That’s a name I hadn’t heard in a while n wouldn’t mind seeing maybe he can pull another 4 homer game
If I remember correctly, Scooter had some rather insane nad unrealistic salary demands that he would’ve had to receive “in order to make it worthwhile” to play in the MLB. You could go back and check previous MLB trade rumor articles, but I think he said he would require something like at least $5 million plus a guaranteed MLB contract to even consider playing. This was coming off an absolutely miserable season (.568 ops, 47 ops+), so obviously no one was even remotely interested and Scooter Gennett hasn’t played a single game since. He had “ego’d” his way out of the game at 29 years old. Kinda shows you a little bit about what kind of guy Scooter is and why he played in the first place….certainly not for the love of the game. Good riddance!
This is the first I’m hearing of the Strange-Gordon moniker, what a fun guy
If you actually did research on a thing that happened over a year ago instead of mouthing off, you wouldn’t call it “fun”.
Lighten up, Francis!
As if they ever started adding major pieces.
Trader Jerry is never done.
Jerry DiPoto is awesome LOL….he definitely gives MLBTR plenty of material to write about (and all of us stuff to read about). On an unrelated note, I used to work out with his future wife (a beautiful and sweet woman) at a gym in Colorado Springs and got to meet him once….he seemed like a real stand up guy. He was a struggling minor leaguer with the Rockies AAA team at the time, but he’s surely made his mark in the game!
Austin Nola, Tom Murphy, Austin Adams, and Dylan Moore were all small relatively unknown moves that proved to be solid players. So doesn’t mean they’re done adding talent to the team at all.
Torrens may be the next to break out and I wouldn’t be surprised if Haniger nets another swap like we saw with SD. I can think of a few teams that have near-ready or ready-now prospects they could afford to sacrifice for a RF/CF boost.
Dipoto missed on two of them and was like, this is too much work just gonna trade for one instead.
Sleep on the Mariners. That lineup and that pitching staff with no bullpen was only 4 games off the pace of the astricks last season. They have so much young depth, they simply don’t need much. I think they are better than anyone gives them credit for this season 72-74 wins. 2022 is win they officially arrive when top 50 guys are on the big league roster.
2022, or more likely it will be 2023 when they make some real noise. Gilbert and Kirby will have longer leashes in the rotation and Hancock may be up as well. Kelenic, Julio, Raleigh, and Trammell will be up with Noelvi Martwnkno knocking on the door.
Yes, we should sleep on the Mariners, they are arguably a 100 loss team with the roster as it currently stands in a loaded div with 3 contenders. They arent even remotely in the same class as the A’s, Astros and Angels. Sorry. Bring Kelenic up earlier and that might change though….
The Angels get a ton of respects despite five straight losing seasons (a feat the Mariners have not accomplished in the past 30 years).
Two likely first-ballot future Hall of Famers haven’t lifted the Halos to a winning season since former Angel GM Jerry Dipoto landed in Seattle after the 2015 season.
The angels are not as good as the Mariners. Prove me wrong. The win/loss record sure seems to state it.
Whoever thinks the Mariners can’t win and are 3+ years away from the playoffs can go hibernate till then. I’m tired of people saying the Mariners making the playoffs now is impossible and wanna tell you what the team does/doesn’t need to do. Winning now does not automatically mean you sacrifice the future. In 2018 when the rebuild began I don’t think anyone thought “wow, in 6 years we’re gonna be awesome”
The Mariners future is definitely bright. The weather in Seattle, not so much LOL. Should be a fun team to watch over the next 5-10 years, especially with Jerry running the show!
You can do a lot better than Jerry, glad you’re satisfied.
Cots says 72.3m actual cash payroll, where does 85m come from ?
There is no way all 26 players on the Mariners opening day roster are on the team right now. Jerry will still do work. They opened up a 40-man roster spot yesterday so other moves are coming.
If the Mariners Opening Day OF isn’t Trammell-Lewis-Kelenic, then their front office are complete idiots.
Haniger is still there. Most teams will play it slower with top prospects during the beginning of 2021 given the lack of minor league games in 2020.
It won’t be.
If you knew baseball you’d know Trammell isn’t ready. He’s still trying to figure out AA pitching.
To be precise Taylor Trammell has never played an inning above Double A.
DiPoto is no idiot, I can promise you that. Can’t speak for the rest of the front office, but the guy running the show has his *hit together
Just like this poster. For one Haniger will be the starting RF. You don’t play prospects over a 6 WAR veteran, period. Two, Trammell isn’t even close to ready as the Mariners have retooled his swing. It’ll be some time before he’s ready for the call. Thirdly, DO NOT start Kelenic’s Super 2 status before late May. His contract will thank you in the end. This poster clearly does not know anything of our organization. Just flick him off you’re shoulder like the measly crumb he is.
The amount of dumb statements you’ve added to this comment section is truly astounding
I value any article that mentions Shed Long because it immediately makes me think of Monty Python’s Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson sketch, and that makes me very happy.
Shed Long is also an accurate description of the Pole Barn on my brother’s property. Sorry, bad joke LOL.
DiPoto spent too much time focusing on second base and should have done a better job of acquiring more pitching but I still feel that the Mariners have enough to make the playoffs this year. However I would not extend a contract to Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais
I’m not sure what offseason you are watching but it looks as if Dipoto has added a boatload of pitching!
Dipoto could have picked up Taijuan Walker and a few other high end relief pitchers. Giles isn’t even pitching this year and unless he’s lights out next year I don’t see him staying the final option year. Could have done better, wasted opportunities. The usual
I ain’t listenin’ if DiPoto says he’s done dealin’…….has he done anything with the Rays yet? Seems like that has to happen at least once a year.
I’m not sure it’s going to be this year (Astros are far from done, A’s are still the A’s), but the M’s are coming, and coming fast. There’s some HUGE talent in that organization.
It’s Dipoto with a lower-case “p.”
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has made only one trade in the last six months, sending 17-year-old pitching prospect Jose Corniell and a player to be named to Texas for presumptive 2021 closer Rafael Montero.
Attention Dipoto Bashers: Three years ago the Mariners had one of the worst farm systems and the oldest 25 man roster in MLB. They now have a top 5 farm system and were the youngest team in baseball last season.
Dipoto is doing an outstanding job of repairing the damage done by the previous GM and building a competitive team. He is the best person the Mariners front office has had since Pat Gillick.
Highly intelligent comment sir.
I agree. And he has done a great job of signing and trading players. The San Diego trade last season was a great trade that has staying power for the Mariners. I’m looking forward to the next couple of seasons. Younger guys getting more seasoning this year and signing some dudes next season.
Anyone else find it funny that they closed the comment section for what the team president or whomever it was saying those awful things? Dude has to be fired right?