The Seattle Mariners were one of the biggest surprises in the majors last season. They have no intention of fading away in the coming years.
At best, the Mariners were projected to finish a distant third in the AL West. Their future appeared to be bright, but they were still clearly in the rebuilding process. Once the youngsters got to the majors and found their footing, then it would be time for the Mariners to contend. Instead, they won 90 games and were in contention for a playoff berth until literally the final day of the regular season.
Three moves for the Seattle Mariners this offseason
Now the Mariners are ready to make their move. General manager Jerry Dipoto has indicated that ownership is giving him the financial resources needed to upgrade the roster and end the longest playoff drought in the majors. There is every expectation that the Mariners will be a major player in free agency and on the trade market as they seek to build off of their success.
The Seattle Mariners are in a great spot heading into the offseason. Let’s look at three moves they should make to return to the playoffs.
A trade with the Oakland A’s
The Oakland A’s are looking to part with any player that is making a respectable salary. The Seattle Mariners should be picking up the phones about Matt Chapman to fill their opening at third base.
Chapman had a disappointing season with the bat in 2021. While he did hit 27 homers and draw 80 walks, he also struck out 202 times in his 622 plate appearances while posting an OPS+ of exactly 100. On the positive side, his defense was back to its usual level as he won his third Gold Glove award.
He does fit what the Mariners need at third. They could use another middle of the order bat, and having his defense at the hot corner will only help their pitching staff. He will also be another year removed from surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, meaning that he may be healthier and more productive next season.
As it is, Chapman is a perfect buy-low candidate. While his defense did not slip last season, his elevated strikeout rates have to be a concern. For a team such as the Mariners, and a GM who is not afraid to take a risk, Chapman is worth looking into.
The Seattle Mariners need a third baseman and the Oakland A’s are selling everything. It’s time for Trader Jerry to pick up the phone and hammer out a deal.