The Seattle Mariners 2019 Offseason Primer
From the 40-man roster, the Mariners will lose Nelson Cruz, Adam Warren, Zach Duke, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Romine, and Gordon Beckham to free agency.
Denard Span is not likely to return.
Erasmo Ramirez, Chris Herrmann, Justin Grimm, and Ryan Cook are non-tender candidates, and if Nick Vincent is not in that group, he may well be traded.
Meanwhile, Juan Nicasio and Braden Bishop will be added to the 40-man roster and minor leaguer Joey Curletta and possibly others could find their way on as well.
In all, the Mariners are poised to lose 10-12 players off their 40-man roster and add at least 2 or 3 back, meaning we could expect 10 or so fresh faces brought in from elsewhere this offseason (not to mention minor league additions).
Likely 40-man to build from: 28 – 32
Assuming Denard Span’s option is bought out and the likely non-tender candidates are, in fact, non-tendered along with Nick Vincent finding a new home, the Mariners figure to have roughly $155 million committed to their Opening Day 25-man roster.
Considering the projected payroll, its recent trajectory, and the Mariners’ probable willingness to increase it, there figures to be at least a rough maintenance of 2018’s Opening Day 25-man payroll of $158 million and a looser year-end 40-man budget of at least $175 million.
Likely 25-man payroll: $160 – 170 million (Opening Day)
Likely 40-man budget: $175 – 190 million (Year-end)
The Mariners don’t have high-end talent in the minors, but their top guys do have value and could fetch a solid building block if leveraged properly.
Some talent currently on the major league roster should also draw interest this trade season if made available. Namely, Alex Colome could provide the Mariners their best bet to both shed salary and receive player capital in return while not massively downgrading their 2019 product.
A minor flurry of trades — possibly including one of Nick Vincent — should be expected from Jerry Dipoto at this point too.
Likely trade targets: Backup C, 1B, CF
Here is something I haven’t really touched on: free agents.
Although they will reach out to a bevy of free agents, the Mariners don’t seem like players to shell out big money this offseason, considering the budget and payroll I’ve estimated as well as Dipoto’s recent history. However, they could redefine what they consider “big money” in an attempt to compete, making mid-rotation starters like Nathan Eovaldi or Hyun-Jin Ryu not out of the question for instance.
Likely free agent targets: Mid-rotation SP, Nelson Cruz
And that’s all, folks.