Seattle Mariners: Power Ranking Top 20 Free Agent Options this Winter

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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20. Arodys Vizcaino

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 05: Arodys Vizcaino #38 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park on April 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 05: Arodys Vizcaino #38 of the Atlanta Braves pitches during the game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park on April 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

He’s actually in the Mariners organization right now as he was acquired to help “even out” the salaries of the Anthony Swarzak trade. But when he was acquired, the team knew he wouldn’t pitch in 2019 but Dipoto did say that we would probably look to target somebody “like Vizcaino” in free agency.

A likely target anyways, Vizcaino makes some sense as the Mariners may not be looking to compete in 2020 but do need to improve. The easiest place to improve is in the bullpen. Vizcaino could be similar to the Hunter Strickland signing from the last off-season; a veteran reliever who could be a stop-gap closer before ultimately being dealt in July.

He will be cheap, has a solid chance to be valuable in July, and can stabilize a pen early in the year, as can the next few names on this list.

 19. Sergio Romo 18. Tony Cingrani 17. Steve Cishek

See Vizcaino. Veteran relievers, some closing experience, probable trade chips in July.

16. Jonathan Schoop

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 13: Dylan Moore #25 of the Seattle Mariners slides into second base safely with a two-run double as Jonathan Schoop #16 of the Minnesota Twins fields the ball during the ninth inning of the game on June 13, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Mariners 10-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 13: Dylan Moore #25 of the Seattle Mariners slides into second base safely with a two-run double as Jonathan Schoop #16 of the Minnesota Twins fields the ball during the ninth inning of the game on June 13, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Mariners 10-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Nobody would be doing cartwheels over Johnathan Schoop. At least, I hope not. He doesn’t walk, helps on the basepaths, and is only a passable defender at second base. But he is going to be a cheap source of right-handed power, may be able to actually handle 3rd base, is in his physical prime, and has a 121 wRC+ against LHP.

While second base may seem crowded with Dee Gordon and Shed Long presumably on the roster entering the off-season, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility that that one or both are traded. Even if Long isn’t, he is far from a sure thing and the Mariners really seem to want to use him in as much of a Marwin Gonzales type of role as possible.

Signing Schoop gives you another option in the infield and one with a higher upside than Ryon Healy if the team decides to platoon Schoop against LHP.

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