Mariners Free Agent Target: Outfielder Corey Dickerson
The Seattle Mariners need to add to their outfield mix once the lockout ends. Kyle Lewis has started to put out Instagram stories of him swinging, which is a promising sign, but there is no guarantee that he is ready for opening day. Jarred Kelenic is still unproven, and may not be able to be relied upon every day. Jake Fraley is unproven, and Mitch Haniger is probably best suited for a DH role at this point. Corey Dickerson would be a great addition as a proven veteran bat.
Corey Dickerson is a very under-the-radar player, but he is a quality player. He is a left-handed hitting outfielder who has bounced around a lot in his career. He has played for the Rockies, Rays, Pirates, Marlins, and Blue Jays. He has not been a star or a traditional everyday player for most of his career, but he has had some very good years, as well as some standout years.
From 2014-2019, Corey Dickerson had a wRC+ of at least 114 every year except for one, where he had a 101 wRC+. He also only played less than 135 games one year out of that stretch. Those were certainly the best years of his career, during which he had three seasons of 24 home runs or more. Now he has turned into a solid average hitter with some upside. He could get back to some of the numbers he put up in his strong 5-year stretch, but if he doesn’t, he is still a solid player.
In 2021, Dickerson had a .271/.326/.408 slash line in 109 games with a 100 wRC+. That is pretty good last year, especially compared to what the Mariners got from Dylan Moore and Jake Fraley in left field last year. Having Dickerson as a stable presence in left field in 2022 on a one-year deal would be rather valuable. Having someone who can just be average is very overlooked.
Having Dickerson in left field instead of Fraley and Moore would give the Mariners a much more reliable bat in the lineup. Having someone in the second half of the lineup who isn’t an automatic out would be a welcome change from last year as well. Having a longer lineup means more runners on base, more runs, and more wins for the Mariners in 2022. It would be nice to avoid a one-run win every game… and a lot less stressful.
Defensively, the soon to be 33-year-old Corey Dickerson isn’t great in the outfield, but neither is Jake Fraley. He is probably pretty similar to Fraley, and the offensive upgrade would really be where the value is. Fraley might be a little better, but not by a significant margin.
Overall, signing Corey Dickerson would be a very cheap way to get production out of a corner outfielder/fourth outfielder. Having Dickerson come off the bench occasionally and getting a few starts a week in the outfield would be huge for the M’s in 2022. It would add depth to the roster, length to the lineup, and more balance since he is a lefty. The hope would be that he can return to his earlier offensive production, but even if he is league average, that is worth it for the Mariners.