As fans from all over Mariners Nation open their gifts and play with their new toys, they anxiously wait for the newest addition to their beloved team. As we dream for Santa Dipoto’s next delivery, here is a one possible gift for him to give.
The Mariners need to add an impact arm, but none appears to be headed to Seattle any time soon. If Seattle cannot attract that arm in free agency or acquire one via trade, they must get better somewhere else. So why not build the best offense you can?
The Miami Marlins are in the midst of a fire sale, and the Mariners have already gone to the well once, acquiring Dee Gordon in early December. Now, they should go back to the well, and put on the full court press for Christian Yelich.
Yelich is perhaps the best player available on the Marlins, and would not be cheap to acquire. He is signed through 2021, with a reasonable $15 million option for 2022. At 26 years old, the $33.5 million left on his 4 guaranteed years is outstanding value.
Yelich’s 16 fWAR over the past 4 seasons is outstanding as his career .369 OBP and 121 wRC+. A solid base-runner, Yelich earns high marks for, what scouts call, “being a baseball player.” That is, solid at every single aspect of the game.
Acquiring Yelich would not be easy. There are an endless amount of bidders, many of whom could easily outbid you. The Mariners acquisition of Yelich would hurt fans.
However; for the perennial all-star, the price might be worth it. Of course, any deal for Yelich would have to include top prospect Kyle Lewis. With the farm system barren, this could be a tough pill to swallow, but so would missing the playoffs for the 17th straight year.
In addition to Lewis, the Mariners would likely need to part with a young MLB contributor, and both Edwin Diaz and Mitch Haniger fit that mold. The rest of the package likely would include a young reliever such as Tony Zych or Dan Altivilla, as well as an upside prospect like Julio Rodriguez.
The price is high, but Yelich could net you the same package 2 years down the line. Sliding Yelich into left field gives the Mariners a fantastic young core. The lineup with Yelich would look similar to this:
- Dee Gordon CF
- Jean Segura SS
- Robinson Cano 2B
- Nelson Cruz DH
- Christian Yelich LF
- Kyle Seager 3B
- Ryon Healy 1B
- Ben Gamel/Mitch Haniger RF
- Mike Zunino C
Tell me that is not one of, if not the deepest lineups in the American League. The lineup above is filled with players younger than 30 with lots of club control.
Adding to the offense might seem foolish. After all, the gaping hole in the rotation should not be a mystery. However, if you cannot fill that hole, it is Jerry Dipoto’s job to make the team better elsewhere.
The Mariners need to get better. They need to give their fan base something to get excited about. A 26-year-old All-Star outfielder with years of control and superstar potential should do the trick. So let’s go Jerry. We have been good, and deserve a lovely gift from you and this franchise.