The Seattle Mariners have been rumored to be interested in several big-name players this offseason. They have been linked to the likes of Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, and Matt Chapman for their infield needs. The same ideas of them trying to acquire veteran players to fill their holes and win now have been tossed around for months. What if the Mariners targeted young players with small amounts of big-league time or prospects ready to impact their club now and in the future?
The Mariners are just coming out of their rebuild, but here are some players they could target to be around for the long haul with the team.
Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins RHP
Sixto Sanchez has widely been regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball for some time now. He was traded from the Phillies to the Marlins as part of the J.T. Realmuto trade package and made his debut for the Marlins in 2020. He was added to the roster to help with their playoff push in the shortened season, and he did not disappoint. He made seven starts, reaching 39 innings.
In those 39 innings, he showed off his 70 grade fastball, as well as his plus changeup. Those two pitches are great for him, and he used them for quality pitches against big league hitters at age 21. He also used his cutter and curveball/slider that are around average. He has two quality pitches to go along with two more average pitches to make hitters be constantly guessing. He also has at least average control and command, but those should only continue to get better.
To go along with his good stuff, he put up really good numbers. He gave up 15 runs, giving him a 3.46 ERA. He struck out 33 batters compared to 11 walks. He also made a really strong start in the playoffs against the Cubs. He went 5 innings, gave up no runs, walked two, and struck out six. He showed he was ready for a big game environment. He then had a rough outing in the NLDS against the Braves, but he did this at 21, so he can only get better.
There is a certain similarity that connects Sanchez and arguably the best Mariners pitcher of all time. He looks physically comparable to The King. Now, it is not fair to compare anyone to him, but he may be able to be a top half of the rotation arm that flashes dominance. Both are slightly larger right-handers with big style. If Sanchez is anywhere near as good King Felix, he would be one of the best pitchers in baseball, even though there isn’t much of a stuff comparison.
The concern with Sixto Sanchez is his injury history. He missed all of 2018 with elbow issues, and he did not pitch in 2021 due to a shoulder injury. This could be where the Mariners swoop in. If they could get him for Kyle Lewis they absolutely should, but the Marlins might not want to part with him for that. He could be brought in to immediately fill the last spot in the rotation and he has the upside to be a #3 starter or better. The 23-year-old could be a fixture of the future rotation.