When acquired from the Houston Astros at the Trade Deadline this season, Abraham Toro was considered a third baseman, however he played almost exclusively at second base due to Kyle Seager having third base on lock. He was quickly the hottest hitter in the Mariners lineup for weeks after he was acquired, and in August he slashed .296/.377/.398 with a 123 wRC+.
Toro cooled off dramatically in September and October (slashing .183/.259/.260 and posting a 50 wRC+), and he also did not play the best second base. He is noticeably slow when turning double plays, and it is unsure if he can play a good enough second base to warrant staying there next season. However, with infield guru Perry Hill having a full Spring Training with him, it should become more clear if his future position is at second, third, or both.
No matter what happens during Toro’s potential workouts with Hill next spring, Toro does not have a firm lock on second or third base going into the offseason, especially with his underwhelming offensive month of September. Depending on how the Mariners fill their other spots in the infield during the offseason, there are a couple of scenarios that we could see for Toro in 2022.
Scenario 1 – Abraham Toro Continues to Play Second Base
Even though second base isn’t his natural position, the Mariners could acquire a third baseman this offseason and trust that Toro can improve his defensive ability at second. Seattle could sign Kris Bryant or pull off a trade for Jose Ramirez, as both would fit into the heart of the Mariners lineup. If they decide to go either of those routes, we would likely see Abraham Toro continue getting reps at second, and hopefully improving his craft with a full Spring Training of working with Perry Hill and experiencing his first full year in the big leagues.
Scenario 2 – Abraham Toro Reverts Back to Third Base
There are more opportunities for the Mariners to get a second baseman this offseason, compared to a third baseman, and move Abraham Toro back to his original position of third base. In free agency, the Mariners could sign Marcus Semien or Javier Baez to play second; Semien had a monster year in Toronto, and even though Baez is polarizing, he would fit well as a second baseman in Seattle’s lineup and would be a huge boost offensively.
On the trade front, the Mariners could try to bring back former Mariner Ketel Marte, who is currently with the rebuilding Diamondbacks. Another trade candidate could be Gleyber Torres, who has underperformed for the Yankees and could be a buy-low candidate for the Mariners. Acquiring either of these players would also give Toro the opportunity to move back to third base, where he should be more comfortable, and give the Mariners a more consistent offensive output.
Abraham Toro is only going into his age 25 season next year and should keep getting better. He gives the organization flexibility going forward to be able to acquire either a second baseman or a third baseman this offseason, whichever or whoever Jerry Dipoto and company decides is best to help the team win in 2022 and beyond.