During the off-season, general manager Jerry Dipoto has said Shed Long will be the Mariners regular second baseman. So what do the Mariners do with last year’s second baseman in Dee Gordon?
During the Winter Meetings, Seattle manager Scott Servais said again Shed Long will play the majority of time at second base. Dipoto has been shopping Dee Gordon, but no takers as of yet. Gordon has two years left on his contract; however, 2021 is an option year where the Mariners can pay him a small amount when releasing him. This coming season, he will be paid $13 million and Seattle will have to eat most of the contract and get little in return in a potential trade.
Gordon might be traded before the trading deadline when his contract will be much lower; however, to get any type of worth he will have to play. The Mariners may play Gordon once or twice a week at second or shortstop where J.P. Crawford can get an occasional day off, and Long may, on occasion, play in left field as well.
All this may happen depending on how Long plays during the season. In September he showed a lot, hitting .289 along with a .337 on-base percentage. Anything close to that and we won’t see a lot of Gordon at second base.
The Mariners do have Austin Nola, who can play second base, though he likely will spend most of his year as the Mariners back up catcher unless they acquire another catcher for the season. They also have Tim Lopes who they brought up from Triple-A Tacoma making his first time in the major league. In limited action, he hit .270 along with an excellent .359 on-base-percentage. Lopes played in the outfield while with the Mariners; however, he played second base a lot in the minor leagues.
Seattle also has Dylan Moore, who was the Mariners’ primary utility player who showed well in his first full season in the major leagues playing second base, third, and shortstop. Later in the year, he played some in the outfield as well.
With Moore and Lopes likely the two utility players this season along with Nola able to play in the infield well as catcher, why keep Gordon around? He would only serve in the event of injury or if Long failed to produce.
What a dilemma the Mariners have in regards to Gordon; however, sending him elsewhere is the best choice. The Mariners could put him on waivers to see who may look at snatching him up and make a deal.