Should the Mariners Pursue Donovan Solano in Free Agency?
The Seattle Mariners are in the market for an infielder this offseason, and most fans (rightfully) have their eyes on the likes of Marcus Semien, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager. However, several mid-tier infielders will also be available in free agency, and the Mariners could look in that direction if their pursuit of a superstar comes up empty. Donovan Solano, a utility infielder for the San Francisco Giants, could be a name to watch this winter.
Solano, 33, burst onto the scene in 2019 with the Giants after unsuccessful stints with the Marlins and Yankees. After a mid-season call-up that year, Solano went on to post a .330/.360/.456 slash line that year, and cemented his place as a key piece in San Francisco’s lineup going forward. He earned a Silver Slugger in the shortened 2020 season while putting up an OPS+ of 127, and he was an integral part of the Giants’ unexpected 107-win season this year.
Donovan Solano can play all infield positions and hit anywhere in the batting order, so he could be an attractive pick-up for the Mariners this offseason.
Apart from J.P. Crawford’s entrenchment at shortstop, the Mariners’ infield is far from set heading into next year. Stalwart third baseman Kyle Seager is headed out the door, while Abraham Toro and Ty France are expected starters who have the flexibility to move around the infield. France’s best position appears to be first base, but adding Solano to that group could give Toro the opportunity to settle into the one infield position he feels most comfortable with.
The Mariners have mentioned all offseason that they are looking to “lengthen their lineup”, and Solano has the toolset to do just that. He has the contact skills to hit at the top of the order, the slugging ability to drive in runs from the middle of the lineup, and the on-base prowess to put himself in position to score if positioned at the end of the order.
The offseason is a lengthy timeline with many variables in place; adding a Swiss Army knife-type player in Donovan Solano could give the Mariners much-needed flexibility as they pursue the rest of their options this winter.