Rebuilds are always fun and exciting, even if it means your team is likely heading to the cellar for the foreseeable future.
The Mariners are openly entering a rebuilding year in 2019, though they see a new window for contention opening relatively soon. The moves they make this offseason and next will determine whether or not they can reach this seemingly unrealistic goal.
Once Seattle’s season ended in late September, I’ve been of the belief that they could – and should – be active in this year’s free agent market. Jerry Dipoto has been reluctant to dip his toes too much in the free agent pool over the years, and seems to be sticking to his guns on a trade-first strategy, but there is plenty of value to be had as the Mariners look to fill out their roster.
Even in a self-proclaimed rebuilding year, Seattle will look to field a competitive team each and every night. Not only will they load their roster with young, controllable talent to see what they have for their future; they’ll also look to find value on one-year deals and aim to flip them at July’s trade deadline. In a year in which teams are competing for the services of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Mariners will seek to find themselves the next Rich Hill or Steve Pearce.
By that, I mean finding someone who’s serviceable in the constructs of a rebuild that have the potential to exceed expectations and become a valuable asset come July. That’s the type of player we’ll mostly profile throughout this list, though we’ll also look at help for 2019 and beyond. Any of these help the Mariners in attempting to fit through the small window they’ve given themselves for 2020 and 2021. How they get there is a complete mystery at this time, but the first steps in making it there have already begun.