We are just about 2 weeks away from the Mariners officially transitioning into off-season mode and so are we. But before we begin to talk specifics, we need to know who is available.
In addition to needing to know who is available, we also need to know where the Mariners need to focus their attention entering the off-season. We have already covered catchers and first base. Today, we jump over to second base and take a look at who is the in house options and who could be available.
Unlike catcher and first base, there is a bit more clarity about the second base situation. So long as Dee Gordon is on the roster, he is going to be the starter. Surely, Seattle will attempt to trade Gordon this off-season and they may actually be able to do it.
Overall, Gordon’s numbers don’t jump off the page. He is slashing just .278/.303/.366 with 22 steals in104 games. However, a few things skew these numbers including a wrist injury in mid-May. Prior to the injury, Gordon was slashing .304/.336/.406.
When he returned, Gordon fell off a cliff, slashing .192/.229/.269 in his next 23 games. Gordon turned things around and appeared to be back on track, slashing .327/.345/.385 in the 18 games that followed, before landing on the IL once again.
Gordon was unable to pick up where he left off, but after struggling for 2 weeks, he appears healthy and his slash line reflects it, hitting .323/.323/.419 in Septemeber. Gordon has just one year left on his contract at $13.8 Million and a $1 million buyout of his 2021 option.
The acquiring team would be taking on just under $15 million for one year of Dee Gordon. Of course, the Mariners will eat a large portion of that, giving them a good chance of moving on from Gordon this winter.
Despite the likelihood Gordon won’t survive the winter in a Mariners uniform, there still doesn’t appear to be many questions about his replacement. The team is still high on Shed Long and he would likely slide into the starting lineup, with utility options like Dylan Moore and Tim Lopes picking up any slack.
The quality options at second help a lot, as the free-agent class for second baseman this winter is pretty weak. The headliner of the group may be Mike Moustakas who will likely be viewed primarily as a third baseman.
Aside from Moustakas, there are a few bounce-back candidates at the position, like Starlin Castro, Brian Dozier, and Jason Kipnis. In addition, there are some upside plays like Scotter Gennett and Jonathan Schoop available as well.
But none of these names scream “potential starter in 2021 and beyond”, limiting the likelihood of the Mariners interest. Of course, things can change. If Long is part of a trade or gets hurt, then second base likely becomes a bigger need. But there aren’t any options worth more than a one-year, stopgap option, meaning Seattle is highly unlikely to go swimming in these waters.