Mariners: Shed Long’s Departure Means an Infielder Is Coming

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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 02: Shed Long Jr. #4 of the Seattle Mariners stands on the field during the game against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on July 02, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-4 in 10 innings. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 02: Shed Long Jr. #4 of the Seattle Mariners stands on the field during the game against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on July 02, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-4 in 10 innings. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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On Friday morning, Seattle Mariners utility player Shed Long Jr. was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma, as President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto made a flurry of moves to open up space on the 40-man roster before the World Series concludes early next month.

Long, a 26-year old second baseman/left fielder, has struggled with injuries and hitting woes since arriving on the scene in late 2019. There were moments where Mariners fans were hopeful Long could be the long-term answer at second base in Seattle, but a reoccurring shin injury kept him on the shelf for too long while contending for the starting spot.

After being outrighted to Tacoma, Long declined the option, so he will officially become a free agent at season’s end. Here is a statement from Long’s agent on his decision, as provided by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times:

With Shed Long Jr. off of the roster, the Mariners are now fully committed to finding an infielder through free agency or trade.

The Mariners love their young players who can play multiple positions, hit for power, and run the bases well, so moving on from Long was an important decision. He’s shown potential to be a 20 home run/20 stolen base player if able to play a full season, but it’s clear the Mariners have given up on that hope, and are ready to move in a new direction.

Several big-name free agent middle infielders are available in this year’s class, and it’s all but guaranteed that Dipoto will make a serious run at a couple of them. As we all know, Dipoto also loves to make a deal via trade, so utility players such as Ketel Marte and Tommy Edman could be scouted to perform better in the role than Long was ever able to do.

All the best to Shed in his future endeavors, and thanks for the memories; that walk-off grand slam against the Rays this summer was one to remember.

dark. Next. Free Agent Targets: Trevor Story

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