15. David Freese
Similar to Schoop. More of a first base platoon partner with Vogelbach if that’s a route they want to go. Would the veteran be interested? Maybe.
14. Justin Smoak
Can we just be rational for a minute? Let’s clear up the concerns I know you are quickly trying to come up with to make this a bad idea. First, Daniel Vogelbach is not an everyday first baseman. You can upgrade at first base and DH by moving Vogey to his real future home and add a solid bat and glove to your lineup.
Second, yes, Justin Smoak is now a solid bat. Has been for a while. Yes, he has struggled this season but still has an elite walk rate, an above-average K rate, 18 home runs, and a .348 OBP in a down year.
Third, he isn’t blocking Evan White. First and foremost, we don’t even know if Evan White will survive the winter(Daniel Vogelbach too for that matter). If he does, the odds of him breaking camp with the Mariners is slim to none. White has been good in AA but isn’t blowing the doors off the league and there are still very real issues he needs to address at the plate.
If White, who will likely start 2019 in AAA Tacoma, can fix these issues, 33-year-old Justin Smoak isn’t going to block him, especially since the going rate for his services will likely be a 1-year deal.
Smoak has the same barrel percentage as Vogelbach this season, ranks in the Top 100 in average exit velocity, and his xBA (expected batting average) and his xSLG both point to a lot of bad luck in 2019.
Complaints can be filed on Twitter @sodomojoFS or you can save us both some time and just drop them in the trash can. Thanks.
13. Jhoulys Chacin
He is going to be 32-years-old, with a durable arm that has provided #4 results in 3 of the last 4 seasons. He will be cheap, eat innings, and provide stability until the likes of Justin Dunn and Logan Gilbert are ready to assume their spots in the rotation. Just a solid arm to have.
12. Derek Dietrich
There is some confusion as to whether or not Dietrich is a free agent after this season. MLB Trade Rumors has him listed as one, but Dietrich has not gotten his 6-years of service time yet, so should be arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. For now, let’s call him a free agent.
Either way, somebody is going to give him a chance to show whether or not he is for real. In May, Dietrich was the best hitter on the planet. For the rest of the season, he has been mostly mediocre. But his age (30), versatility, and newfound power are still real positives for him, so somebody will bite. Why not the Mariners?
He has significant experience at first, second, third, and left field. He isn’t great at any one spot, but the bat could play at any of those spots. He has been an above-average bat for all 6 of his MLB seasons (based on wRC+). Could be worth a look.
11. Alex Wood
I’m fascinated by Alex Wood. When he pitches, he’s good. And in 2017 and 2018, he logged a total of 300+ innings with an 8.5 K/9, a 2.30 BB/9, and an over 50% groundball rate. That was all good for 5.4 fWAR and a FIP in the 3.40 range.
Of course, the keyword is “when”. He has missed most of 2019, as he did in 2016. The lefty turns 29 in January and has the upside of a #2 starter. There is a little James Paxton here, but with the lack of options available, signing an arm like Alex Wood could be the best bang for the buck signing in the off-season.
Even as I write this, I want to move Wood into the Top 5 targets. Perhaps next time.