In an article from The Athletic last week, Mariners writer Corey Brock published a column detailing the thought process behind some upcoming in-home free agent visits by Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto. Starved for offseason rumblings, Mariners fans were thrilled to hear the news.
With the window of contention opening in Seattle, and a (hopefully) busy offseason ahead, fans are now wondering which free agents around the country Jerry Dipoto could be meeting with this week.
Marcus Semien, one of the most watched free agents on the board this offseason, is a power-hitting second baseman coming off of an electric 45-home run, 102-RBI season in Toronto, and recently capped off his year with his first Gold Glove award. Semien signed with mega-agent Scott Boras earlier this offseason, so he’s clearly open for business, and he’s expressed a desire to return to the West Coast.
Another hot name on the free agent market this offseason, Kris Bryant has been commonly linked to the Mariners due to his positional versatility and championship pedigree. Bryant has the ability to play third, first, and any of the three outfield spots, so he could be an ideal fit in Seattle as the Mariners get a feel for which of their prospects and young major leaguers have a long-term future with the team.
Trevor Story has played shortstop throughout his 6-year career with the Rockies, but with Dipoto announcing recently that the Mariners are committed to JP Crawford at short, Story (and his rocket arm) would likely shift to third base if he were to come to Seattle. He has the offensive tools to hit at the top or middle of the order, but the question remains if he’s able to post solid numbers outside of Coors Field.
After an underwhelming performance in his final season in New York, Michael Conforto surprised many by turning down the $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Mets this offseason, and choosing to elect free agency. Making big money while proving himself after a down season would have seemed like a smart move for Conforto, but he and his agents must believe his market will be substantial. Could there be mutual interest between him and his hometown Mariners, who desperately need another left-handed impact bat?
Not many outside of Mariners brass know the exact nature of Jerry Dipoto’s exploits this week, but it’s safe to expect adding star power to one of MLB’s worst offenses is a top priority.