The Mariners swung some interesting trades to bolster their lineup, but took a very modest dip into the free agent market. Will it be enough to push this roster from playoff team to World Series contender?
Major League Signings
- AJ Pollock, OF: One year, $7MM
- Trevor Gott, RP: One year, $1.2MM
- Tommy La Stella, IF: One year, $720K (Mariners paying minimum MLB salary, Giants responsible for remaining $10.78MM owed to La Stella through 2023 season)
2023 spending: $8.92MM
Total spending: $8.92MM
Trades and Claims
- Acquired OF Teoscar Hernandez from Blue Jays for RP Erik Swanson and minor league pitcher Adam Macko
- Acquired IF Kolten Wong and $1.75MM from Brewers for OF Jesse Winker and IF Abraham Toro
- Acquired C/OF Cooper Hummel from Diamondbacks for OF/DH Kyle Lewis
- Acquired RP Justin Topa from Brewers for minor league SP Joseph Hernandez
- Acquired SP Easton McGee from Red Sox for cash considerations
- Claimed RP Gabe Speier off waivers from Royals
- Claimed RP Tayler Saucedo off waivers from Mets
- Claimed RP J.B. Bukauskas off waivers from Diamondbacks
Notable Minor League Signings
- Casey Sadler, Delino DeShields, Tommy Milone, Colin Moran, Mike Ford, Kean Wong, Carson Fulmer, Taylor Williams, Jacob Nottingham, Jose Rodriguez, Brian O’Keefe (Kole Calhoun and Leonys Martin also signed minors deals but were released in Spring Training)
- Dylan Moore, IF/OF: Three years, $8.875MM
- Winker, Lewis, Swanson, Toro, Mitch Haniger, Carlos Santana, Adam Frazier, Luis Torrens, Matt Boyd, Curt Casali, Luke Weaver, Luis Torrens, Ryan Borucki, Nick Margevicius, Drew Ellis
It wasn’t surprising that “Trader Jerry” Dipoto swung one of the offseason’s first big trades, as the Mariners president of baseball operations made a quick move in November to land Teoscar Hernandez from the Blue Jays. Erik Swanson was a huge part of Seattle’s bullpen in 2022 and he carries three years of arbitration control, but the M’s are betting their deep and talented relief corps can pick up the slack of Swanson’s departure, while the lineup was in need of a big bat.
Despite a pair of Silver Slugger Awards on his resume, Hernandez was still perhaps a bit overlooked in Toronto, given the presence of such higher-profile homegrown names as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. The 30-year-old has a 132 wRC+ over the last three seasons, batting .283/.333/.519 with 73 home runs over his last 1337 plate appearances with consistently sky-high hard-contact rates. The tradeoff to this production is a lack of walks and a lot of strikeouts, and public defensive metrics haven’t been impressed with Hernandez’s work as a corner outfielder.
Still, having Julio Rodriguez in center field will help cover some of Hernandez’s defensive shortcomings, and adding a reliable slugger as an everyday player immediately answered one of several questions the Mariners faced about their outfield heading into the winter. While the M’s had several options to flank Rodriguez in the corner outfield positions, it was a list of players either short on proven MLB experience, or coming off underwhelming performances in 2022.
With Hernandez in place, the Mariners could pivot to unloading some of these other outfielders. Kyle Lewis has played in only 54 games since winning AL Rookie Of The Year honors in 2020, due to both a concussion and recurring knee problems that might make him close to a DH-only player sooner rather than later. While Lewis still hit well at Triple-A last season and has plenty of upside if he’s healthy, the Mariners instead opted to trade him to the Diamondbacks for a more versatile outfield option in Cooper Hummel.
In fact, this versatility extends behind the plate, as Hummel is a rare catcher/outfielder hybrid who can serve as depth at both positions. Cal Raleigh is Seattle’s top catching option, and since backup Tom Murphy is coming back from a 2022 season cut short by shoulder surgery, Hummel gives the M’s extra flexibility with their catching mix.
The next outfield-related move also saw the Mariners address their need at second base. The club’s explorations into keystone help included interest in a Gleyber Torres trade with the Yankees, and at least some interest in Trea Turner and the other top shortstops on the market, with the idea that one of them could be open to moving to second base (since the M’s preferred to keep J.P. Crawford at short).
Instead, the Mariners landed one of their other second-base targets for a player who seemed to have worn out his welcome in Seattle. Jesse Winker was one of the Mariners’ prize pickups from the 2021-22 offseason, but lingering knee and neck problems seemed to sap his power — Winker had only a .344 slugging percentage in 2022, far below the .504 SLG he posted over his five previous seasons with the Reds. There was also reportedly some behind-the-scenes discord regarding Winker within Seattle’s clubhouse, and so the M’s decided to move on by trading him and Abraham Toro (who was also expendable due to the Mariners’ other infield depth options) to Milwaukee for Kolten Wong.
2022 was also an uncharacteristic season for Wong, as while he had arguably his strongest year at the plate, his vaunted defense cratered. Injuries were a factor in this situation as well, as Wong battled some leg problems that turned the three-time Fielding Bible Award winner into a subpar defender at second base. Assuming Wong is now healthy, there’s plenty of potential for a bounce-back in Seattle, and perhaps even an opportunity for a career year if Wong can regain his defensive form and continued his improved hitting.
Wong isn’t expected to be an everyday contributor, as he’ll be spelled against left-handed pitching by platoon partner Dylan Moore. While Sam Haggerty might fill this role while Moore recovers from an oblique strain, the M’s certainly consider Moore to be a key piece going forward, as the utilityman was signed to a three-year extension that gives the Mariners additional control over what would have been Moore’s first free agent year.
The last piece of the outfield puzzle was completed when AJ Pollock was signed to a one-year, $7MM deal. Pollock’s signing sets up another platoon, as the veteran outfielder will be paired with Jarred Kelenic in left field. This timeshare reflects Pollock’s reduced numbers against right-handed pitching in 2022, while also giving Kelenic regular (yet not full-time) work as he tries to establish himself in the majors. The former top prospect hasn’t hit at all over his 558 PA as a big leaguer, but a big Spring Training performance has Kelenic and the Mariners hoping he just needed some extra time to adjust.
Between all these moves and the Mariners’ addition of another bounce-back candidate in Tommy La Stella, Dipoto took a measured approach to his lineup additions. Hernandez, Wong, Pollock, and La Stella are short-term adds, all slated to hit free agency next winter. Compared to some of the other names to whom the M’s were linked (i.e. Brandon Nimmo, Masataka Yoshida, Andrew Benintendi, and old friend Mitch Haniger), the club clearly opted against making any sort of big splash of a move.
In terms of spending, the Mariners finished 2022 with roughly a $116MM payroll, and Roster Resource now pegs their 2023 payroll at approximately $140.5MM. That’s not a small increase, but also not a big one either, considering that last fall, RR had Seattle projected for around $131.5MM in spending based on estimated arbitration raises alone. Hernandez’s $14MM salary for 2023 basically accounts for the rise to $140.5MM, as the Mariners saved a few extra dollars by parting ways with such arb-eligibles as Swanson, Lewis, Toro, Luis Torrens, and Ryan Borucki.
To this end, Dipoto noted during a radio interview in December that the payroll increase is, naturally, a sign the organization isn’t afraid to spend. Dipoto also pointed to the pricey contract extensions the team reached with Rodriguez and Luis Castillo prior to the end of the 2022 season as further evidence to his point that “raising payroll is doing smart things that evenly balance a team.” However, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times wrote in December that “multiple MLB sources have indicated that [Dipoto] isn’t operating with the payroll flexibility that was widely anticipated” heading into the offseason.
Since the Mariners’ payroll was in the $160MM range as recently as 2018, it isn’t clear why ownership might have limited spending. It could be due to lingering after-effects from the pandemic, uncertainty over the Root Sports Seattle regional network even though the Mariners are still the majority (60%) owners, or perhaps just that stretching up to $160MM was something of an outlier for the franchise. That said, it could be that the front office might be given funds during the season to pick up a needed trade deadline piece, or maybe the M’s are saving room in the budget for a larger pursuit down the road. Since the Mariners were finalists for Shohei Ohtani when the two-way star first came to North America, it stands to reason the M’s would again have interest when Ohtani enters free agency next offseason, even if his contract demands approach or exceed the $500MM mark.
Speaking of pitching, the Mariners at least checked in on Kodai Senga before he signed with the Mets. This might have been more of a due-diligence pursuit on Seattle’s part, as adding Senga would’ve given the M’s seven rotation candidates, and maybe forced the team’s hand in subsequently trading one of Marco Gonzales or Chris Flexen. As Opening Day nears, Gonzales and Flexen are still on the roster despite months of trade rumors, as there has been plenty of speculation the Mariners might deal from their rotation surplus.
It could be Dipoto simply never received an offer to his liking for Gonzales or Flexen, and it is fair to assume the M’s wanted a quality return in exchange for a starting pitcher (especially during an offseason that saw so many free agent starters land huge contracts). After all, the Mariners were under no particular pressure to swing a trade, considering the obvious benefit of simply keeping both Gonzales and Flexen in the fold. A rotation “surplus” can quickly diminish in the event of an injury or two, and while Seattle has an intriguing wave of pitching prospects on the verge of the big leagues, the club probably prefers having a veteran arm as the top depth option. The M’s also dealt from their prospect depth in sending Adam Macko to Toronto as part of the Hernandez trade, even if Macko wasn’t expected to reach the majors in 2023.
As noted earlier, the Mariners will be mostly counting on their existing bullpen mix to account for Swanson’s departure. Some more relief depth was added in the form of minor league signings and lower-profile trades and waiver claims, but the M’s did sign a reliever to a guaranteed deal by adding Trevor Gott for $1.2MM. Gott posted decent numbers over 45 2/3 innings out of the Brewers’ bullpen in 2022, and while he won’t get the high-leverage assignments that Swanson drew, Gott will bring some experience to the back of the pen.
Seattle’s chances of a deeper run into October might hinge on how much of a step forward their lineup can take, given how the pitching staff still looks like a strength. The first step for the Mariners is just getting out of the AL West, since the Astros will still be a powerhouse and the Angels and Rangers each made several moves to upgrade themselves over the winter.
How would you grade the Mariners’ offseason? (poll link for app users)
Everything about spending that could be said, has been said, so there’s no real need to go there again.
But it is worth noting that the pitching depth will only get stronger as young arms, such as Berroa, Miller, Hancock, Dollard, etc. complete their development.
Teams in need of pitching at the deadline that can spare young bats will have potential answers with the Mariners.
I just hope Seattle doesn’t end up as traditional sellers.
So… if Castillo and Julio’s contracts are now considered part of this year’s improvements along with Wong, Teo, Ott, Pollack and maybe one or two more… when do the Mariners start spending to improve next year’s team?
I just need a point of reference.
Can we extend Cal NOW!!!???????
How about Teo???
Or do we have to wait until after the All-Star break for it to be considered next year???
Julio is making less than Pollock this season and Luis is making what would be expected for a second-year arbitration-eligible pitcher (and he would have been in his third year!). Neither are restrictive now, nor moving forward. It’s funny how their extensions were spun by Seattle as if they have spent to get better.
Extensions aren’t likely, though. Raleigh is a Boras client, and those on one-year deals, or came with just one year of control, will probably want to test the weak free agent market next offseason. if they’re productive. And if they aren’t, well, Seattle would want to move on.
I anticipate the Mariners being active at the deadline, but not necessarily chasing a big name like they did last year. I think there’s a good chance they make moves for 2024 and beyond, regardless of their status. If Jerry & Justin have a restrictive payroll, meaning Stanton flat out lied and threw Jerry under the bus–which appears to be the case–then we might see pitching swapped for bats.. Worth noting, there are pitchers that could fill a hole via free agency, or international posting., and Seattle hasn’t had trouble attracting pitchers, So, it would kind of make sense if we see arms moved; trades from an area of strength to address areas of need.
It’s easy for me to be thinking about next year, especially with 5 key players due to hit free agency after this season (Wong, Teoscar, Pollock, La Stella, and Murphy). But this is still a good team despite the lack of fielding depth and questions surrounding players like Kelenic and La Stella. Not a real World Series contender as is, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Jerry, it’s to expect the unexpected.
Thanks for the response to my “emotionally charged” question.
You make good points, but I really hope you are wrong regarding going after a major addition or a major extension.
But if you are correct, I hope it is because this M’s team does not need any more players to be a division winner.
As you probably realized when you were responding to me… while most spending questions / discussions have been had… I do not want the casual fan to forget the responses to those spending questions.
I feel it is important to remember that M’s management made the decision not to spend money on depth / better talented players.
I’m trying to be objective, so I’ll say C. As long as Stanton keeps the wallet closed, it’s tough for me to be fully on board with the offseason.
Giving up assets to acquire talent when you can go sign guys for free is a move I’d prefer only about 25% of the time. I’m happy with the trade for Teoscar, but it’s not the route I would have gone.
Teo is a nice bat but 1 year for 3 and a prospect. Unless Swanson is going to regress to a 4 era I don’t like it. SS was expensive and wasn’t much for 2b so I am fine with wong.
We clearly lost faith in Swanson down the stretch, so it doesn’t bother me that much. He performed worse once he moved into a higher leverage role (.281 opp. BA, 5 ER in 8.2 IP), then when Servais refused to pitch him in the playoffs it became clear that he was never going to be more than 4th in line. I’m always fine with trading non-elite relievers for impact bats.
I like that trade a lot better knowing that. I thought of him as a 7th inning arm. If he isn’t that for the M’s he has little value. Only thing that matters is playoffs so if he can’t pitch then no big lose.
Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I liked him a lot. I think being the first guy out of the pen to get out of a mid-innings jam is an underrated role to fill. But for a big bat, I thought he was expendable. Especially once it became clear Castillo was preferred. I hope he does well in Toronto, though.
I’m with ya, myaccount2. I gave them a D for the same reasons, plus the fact that they could have been a legitimate WS contender if they had landed just a couple of elite bats. I didn’t hate the Teoscar trade at the time (and still don’t), but I hate that he was the biggest bat they got.
To come so close and hit the brakes is maddening. It doesn’t even make sense. They made a huge trade for Castillo, extended him & Julio, and then….halfassery.
As I suggested to Tacoma, I’m curious how we might see pitching used to address needs, if not for this season, for next.
100%, Stevil. You hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. The Teoscar trade is a very solid trade, but I’m with ya–it shouldn’t have been our biggest move for a bat, given all the great ones that were on the market and our MLB-leading profit in 2022.
I’m hoping the thought is to run it back with the team who had an absurd record from June on (I can’t recall what it was, but I think it was the best in baseball), then make another big splash pre-deadline… maybe Bryan Reynolds if Pollock/Kelenic isn’t working out? So, TBD, I guess!
The Mariners seem to covet hitters that can barrel the ball. There are a couple of established hitters who do that and may be available at the deadline, if their respective teams aren’t in contention, but Seattle might be more interested in prospects/young players who show that kind of potential.
I have my targets & ideas, but once that opening day roster is set, and barring a last minute surprise, it is, it will be a while before we can (or should) speculate much.
This is a challenge for me.
Yep! No one knows how everything will play out just yet. I’m very hopeful Kelenic works out anyway. He controls the zone and, when he makes contact, we know he has no issues barreling the ball. We’ll just have to wait and see–it’s a long season and the Mariners should be a contender, regardless. GOMS!
He’s one of the Mariners that was up there with an enormous barrel% (albeit SSS).
Health is going to be vital for the Mariners this season on the fielding side. I’m skeptical, but I’m still eager to see how everything plays out.
A lot could certainly go wrong, but the M’s did finish the season with a 61-33 stretch, so I’m hopeful. I’m sure they won’t have the same level of health luck as last season, but I’m also feeling good about not having a disastrous start that sees them 10 games under .500 in late May. More TBD, I suppose!
It should be an interesting season! Here’s to hoping…
That’s funny, because I’m more worried about the opposite!
My fear is that they could fall behind early if Kelenic doesn’t hit the ground running and La Stella doesn’t produce. Mix in a little regression from a player or three…
I’m not really worried about pitching health, but the fielding definitely does.
The Mariners ARE World Series contenders.
The Mariners ARE legitimate World Series contenders.
You spelled Wild Card wrong.
C. Thought the Jays received the most value but they added a good bat. Pollock could have a good year. Wong can’t do worse than Frazier can he? They didn’t do much but didn’t have too.
M’s is for maybe
Dipoto and company had to see what they have in these younger players. Kelenic, Trammel and even Raleigh are still developing, heck even Julio “could” take a step back while others step forward. So I understand not clogging up roster space until things are absolutely certain.
We better throw mad bags of cash at Ohtani, or the B grade I gave them would be an F-
They have seen what they needed. Julio, Raleigh, Gilbert, Kirby, those they picked up from other organizations who became regulars or key role players (France, Crawford, Moore, Haggerty, Murphy), plus a load of relievers…
With the window for contention open, the experiments and patience should be limited. I’m okay with them giving Kelenic another shot, but there should be legitimate alternatives. If he struggles, or one of Hernández/Pollock gets injured, Seattle will be dependent on more unproven players. Then there’s La Stella, who hasn’t been healthy & productive for two years and offers little defensively.
Nobody would have been blocked, they simply would have been deeper if they had gotten an extra regular bat or two.
I’m sure they’ll check-in with Ohtani. They went above & beyond to try to get him the first time around, but is a team that just cheaped out on an opportunity really going to go all-in for a single player that will make 40-50+m AAV?
They might be more likely to go after Yoshinobu Yamamoto (if he’s posted) or Blake Snell, and get a less expensive bat like Joc Pederson–if they look externally.
That said, of course I hope they do get Ohtani.
M’s is for maybe
Please explain how adding a veteran bat-or 2 would not block Kelenic or Trammel. Simply not that simple. Roster is only so big, so who goes, and for who? Make it make sense.
They do have a good idea of who they have, but you cannot add a regular or two and NOT block someone. So who? Someone is going to play less.
You don’t pay premium money to a player to sit.
Keywords: would have.
That means a regular player instead of a role player, like Pollock. Or a player who has been able to hit & field, rather than the question mark they have in La Stella.
If they had signed Nimmo, for example, he could’ve played LF, Kelenic could’ve had RF, and Teoscar could’ve been the DH/fourth outfielder.
Then another bat, say Brantley (yes, I know he’s currently injured), could’ve been used more situationally. Days off for the regulars would have also been more of a possibility without as much risk. Need an example of how a team would do that, take a good look at the Dodgers over the last 5 years or so.
And if Kelenic were to struggle, Teoscar would simply take RF, Brantley would take more DH PAs and someone like Hummel or Trammell would come up while Kelenic works on things in AAA.
If you think there’s a plan for Trammell to get regular playing time, you’re going to be disappointed. Even as the team sits right now, he’s going to be depth (when healthy).
The bench is supposed to be Moore, Haggerty, Murphy, and La Stella, with Pollock DHing part time and platooning LF with Kelenic.
There’s no room for Trammell. When Moore returns, Hummel will likely be optioned.
M’s is for maybe
Seriously doubt that they could’ve landed Nimmo, or Brantley with over paying big time. On paper, you make sense-but New York has serious money and we would never out bid them-Nimmo liked it there, so was easy choice for him. Brantley doesn’t want to go to a potential playoff team from a definite playoff team-without a HUGE bag of cash. Your argument sounds like good weed lol pass me some!
I think Dipoto sniffed the bag on all of these possibilities, but passed because they wanted a pound per ounce.
Of course they would have overpaid if the players were interested. But we’re not talking restrictive contracts even with an overpay for players like that and there were other options.
But you missed the point. I was giving you examples. You couldn’t understand how the type of players I described would fit (possibly because of that bag of weed you mentioned), and I explained it to you.
M’s is for maybe
Lol you’re high
If they land Ohtani, they get an A+ for 2022 AND 2023.
I really don’t get management’s infatuation with J.P. Crawford. He’s really nothing that special.
Who do you replace him with without spending 200 million? I can understand not paying 200 300 this year.
Hurry up Celesten
It’s just their way of excusing themselves from not bidding on all the elite middle infielders that have hit the market the last couple years. “We’ve got JP, what could we possibly want with Trea Turner or Carlos Correa?” It makes no sense, it’s just some words for them to say when they’re repeatedly asked why they didn’t upgrade the middle infield.
It’s my understanding that they were seriously interested in Semien and Story, made a legitimate effort to land Story, then pursued Turner this last offseason, but were never a consideration for Trea. And that would make sense, given the offer he rejected from San Diego and what he took to go to Philly.
I have no idea if they had interest in Correa, but his health issues killed would-be deals with two other teams, so I don’t fault them there. Swanson and Bogaerts weren’t great fits, and that pretty much wraps it up.
I wanted them to land Turner. I think he would have been a great fit. But I recognize that that wasn’t going to happen. The big mistake, in my opinion, wasn’t that they didn’t get an elite middle-infielder, it’s that they didn’t get any controllable elite bats at any position or to DH.
You either sign the guy or you don’t. “We tried really hard to sign this guy” means absolutely nothing. Either you beat the high offer or you don’t. And so far this front office’s largest position player free agent signing – despite years of assurances that the minuscule payrolls during the rebuild would lead to increased spending afterwards – is a one-year deal for AJ Pollock. So yeah, I could honestly care less how hard they “tried” to sign Semien or Story. Clearly they did not try hard enough.
Do we even have the prospect capital to land an “elite controllable bat” at this point? I feel like the moment to do that would’ve been with Soto but we chose Castillo instead. Which is fine, no regrets. We got to keep Kirby and Gilbert when we would’ve had to lose one of them for Soto. But it seems like that’s the only avenue remaining for landing someone like you describe.
You’re missing the point.
Those players they pursued didn’t want to play for Seattle.
It wasn’t just about money.
I’m sure the front office would like us to believe that, but I personally find it very hard to believe that Seattle made the high offer to either player. Especially Semien. We simply didn’t want to pay him as much as Texas was willing to.
3card- We made a run at a few. Turner simply didn’t want to play on the west coast, Story turned down more money to play for a historic franchise, Xander got way overpaid, etc. It’s hard because Seattle isn’t exactly a premier baseball destination for bats. We have the toughest stadium to hit in between the dimensions and marine layer, it’s cloudy and often drizzly, it takes until mid-June to start getting warm, has the worst travel schedule in all of baseball, and so on.
I get it. He’s an above average defender at a premium position, doesn’t strike out much (give them good PAs) and gives his teammates direction. That has value.
They can’t keep churning. They could always slide him over to second, but his presence in the lineup is part of their make-up.
I was hoping for another bat and a #5 starter not named Marco Gonzales, but other than that, pretty solid
Solid 91 win team
A lot was said about passing on big name FA. along with there large contracts. After all were not in a rebuild anymore are we? As modest as it may seem there were some upgrades mostly in pitching where you get the most bang for the buck this very well could be the quickest way to the promise land.
Man, expensive free agents are a crap shoot. Semien, Story, and Bryant come to mind. Glad the M’s didn’t sign any of those guys. Correa may not hold up. We’ll see about DeGrom too. If they do open up the wallet to a free agent, it will be fascinating as to who it might be. As it is, this is a really young team with a lot of controllable contracts, Trader Jerry has done a great job so far.
I agree that it has to be the right guy. Unfortunately, even when we think we’ve identified the right free agent, the bidding either gets to astronomical levels or they simply choose to go elsewhere. At least, that’s how it’s gone recently.
I gave them a C. The team is improved but had the flexibility to make higher impact moves. The free agent market was ridiculous and it didn’t seem like the guys we wanted were particularly interested in playing for us. That being said, at some point you have to bite the bullet and take a chance. We don’t have much in the way of talent in the farm system ready to contribute, especially when it comes to hitters. The M’s are in danger of stalling out without external reinforcements. Hopefully that comes within the next year as eventually the competitive window will start to close..
That is completely fair. You also brought up a great point…
Seattle has now graduated two waves of prospects. They didn’t get much from the first wave, but the second was significant, and there really aren’t any prospect-bats with real impact-potential in the upper-minors. One or two who might handle a specific role from the bench, but no clear-cut regulars. Cole Young is probably the closest and he’s still at least two years out.
They do have another wave of pitching coming, but that’s not a real area of need, and though it’s easy to see a few teams matching up in a potential trade, young bats may be more valuable–especially considering the weak 2024 free agent class.
The biggest needs were 2B and an OF upgrade. You have to give the M’s credit for sticking with their youth they developed vs signing aging free agents. For one, Jarred Kelenic seems poised to break out. I like how the catchers are DHing on off days. All they lost were four players who brought them down: Winker, Toro, Lewis and Swanson.
What more could you want?
A legitimate DH who could serve as the fourth outfielder and an elite corner outfielder who’s controllable beyond 2023.
We always hear people say you can never have too much pitching.
Well, I would argue the same can be said about hitting.
I would argue that great pitching beats great hitting MOST of the time. Dipoto has done a great job NOT spending $300 million in a bat they don’t need.
You still need bats and the goal isn’t to not spend, the goal is, and should always be, a World Series. There are no bonus points for being cheap.
You may think they’re set, but if you take an honest and rational look at what Seattle has, and what the competition has, it should be pretty clear that they could have a real problem with run production.
I think their pitching is underrated, but the offense is banking on rebounds, breakouts, and players not regressing. Every team deals with that to some extent, but the Mariners double-downed on it…intentionally.
They have that in Cooper Humel
I’d be thrilled if Cooper Hummel were to be a major contributor.
But the fact remains that he hasn’t broken out yet and there are concerns about the strike outs.
He was acquired for depth. He’s making the opening day roster in place of Dylan Moore. Hopefully, he’ll make the most of his opportunity and run with it. But that’s far from a guarantee.
This should go without saying, but I’d like to see Seattle acquire established, elite hitters, so they aren’t dependent on multiple breakouts and rebounds,
These so called improvements might be thought as keeping up with the Jones’s. Sure there were some improvements mainly pitching but the hitting remains speculative. I fully expect something later after it all shakes out that they will look harder at improving on it.
Should have re-signed Haniger (or brought in another middle of the order bat) and brought in another solid lefty reliever, but other than that they had a successful offseason. I loved the Teoscar trade for them, and getting Wong for Winker was a move that made sense for them. Would have been nice to have seen them make a run at Bogaerts.
They did bring in a middle-of-the-order bat instead of re-signing Haniger…Teoscar.
They like Speier and he looked good in spring. We’ll probably see him before too long.
I was a little surprised they didn’t end up with a LHRP on the active roster as well, especially given the shift restrictions that will benefit LHHs.
I think it was a need, but not necessarily a pressing need to start the season.
Regarding bats, I wanted to see a leadoff hitter and (another) middle-order bat. As Wayne pointed out, they got one with Teoscar.
I’m a huge fan of Haniger but he starts the season in the IL. It would have been foolish to match the Giants’ offer.
And if Jarred breaks out, talented enough to win 96 to 100+.
Seattle’s more than a Kelenic-breakout away from 96-100 wins.
Love what we’re seeing from him early, though.
I give them an A for the Teoscar and Wong acquisitions and getting rid of the hothead Winker. Still don’t care for the Seattle organization, though. Just don’t.
Buster Olney does!