For the Seattle Mariners, the 2021-22 MLB free agency class may come with a lot of intrigue. If the Mariners’ progress goes as planned, next year could be the one in which they prepare to step into a legitimate playoff push. And if they want to do that, they may need to add an elite piece or two to push them towards breaking their 21-year playoff drought.
The Mariners have a large pond to fish from
And if the team does indeed want to pursue a big-name free agent, they will have plenty to choose from. Stars galore will be available after the 2021 regular season, with the likes of Carlos Correa, Javy Baez, Corey Seager, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Trevor Story, Michael Conforto, and Starling Marte all slated to be available as far as position players are concerned. On the pitching side of things, Clayton Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, Max Scherzer, Noah Syndergaard, and a boatload of relievers may be available as well.
In a lot of places, the Mariners are set. It’s unlikely they actively pursue a star outfielder with Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammell, Julio Rodriguez, and Mitch Haniger all in the mix in the outfield. The team is probably set at first base as well, as it’s unlikely they divert any plan away from Evan White, regardless of what the offense looks like this year. And Kyle Seager is proving how important he is still is to the franchise, meaning he may indeed be back at the hot corner.
If the Mariners do make a big splash, the middle infield or pitching staff is where they will likely look. Ty France will likely end up DH’ing long term, and J.P. Crawford still has much to prove with the bat, his recent stretch notwithstanding. The immediate eye goes to Corey Seager as a potential splash, considering his abilities and the possibility of a Seager left side of the infield. But Story and Baez also would be options if the Mariners do choose to go that path.
The Mariners are 25th in MLB total payroll thanks to the Jerry Dipoto rebuild, so a big signing is almost inevitable this offseason.