With Spring Training underway, the most interesting position battle in the Mariners’ camp resides at first base. With at least four names jockeying for playing time, it’ll be intriguing to see how it plays out.
First base has been a problem for the Mariners over the years. It’s been 10 years since Seattle last had a first baseman eclipse an fWAR of 2.0 or more, when Russell Branyan did it in 2009. But Branyan only played one full season for the M’s, who haven’t had a consistent producer from the first base position since the days of John Olerud.
The solution to this problem may still be on the way, in the form of Evan White. But the Mariners certainly wouldn’t be opposed to another, unexpected name to make the next step in 2019. The current group of players on Seattle’s 40-man roster capable of handling first base – a total of seven – certainly gives them plenty of options to choose from, though only three provide the attractive combination of youth and club control.
Others could serve a different role for the Mariners, while some are early trade candidates and may never enter the equation. Today, we’ll highlight each one and see how this could all shake out.