The Mariners Opportunity to Fix the Offense
The Mariners are currently weak or hurt in the entire outfield, as well as second base and the bullpen. These are the guys I think that can help Seattle, without breaking the bank.
Ian Happ– the versatile outfielder and second baseman is an all-star that has put up a 3.0 WAR this year for the lowly Cubs. Jerry Dipoto has always dreamed of a Ben Zobrist type player, this is the 2022 version of him. Happ could force players like Winker, Frazier, Moore and Toro to step up, see the bench, or see Tacoma. Staying in Chicago, David Robertson could be a tremendous addition to the bullpen. This deal would be huge, likely costing Emerson Hancock and two other pieces. A heavy price, but 1.5 seasons of Happ and a proven reliever in Robertson is tempting.
Brandon Drury– another first time all-star, Drury could be the 4th trade between the Mariners and the Reds. The power hitting second baseman has a hot market, but the Mariners are on the chase. His 19 home runs would lead the team.
Joc Pederson– the good luck charm. A postseason hero for the last two world series champions, Pederson and his magical pearls could bring the right amount of swagger and power to a team needing more big swings. With questions about Winker’s play and Haniger’s ability to stay healthy, Joc could be this year for Seattle what Atlanta got from him last year. It’s highly unlikely after the Castillo trade, but if Seattle wants to empty their prospect chamber, they could possibly go after both Joc and Carlos Rodon. Who likes the idea of a Castillo, Rodon, Ray, Gilbert core four rotation in October?
J.D. Martinez and Kike Hernandez– other than Juan Soto, Martinez could be the biggest bat available. Martinez may not be having his best season, but he’s still posting an OPS+ of 121 in his age 34 contract year. Martinez has a history of big second halves, carrying Arizona to the playoffs in 2017, and being a main player in the Red Sox 2018 world title.
The Sox are free falling, and it makes sense to get something for assets that could be on the move this winter. Martinez would instantly bring a third elite bat to the lineup. Hernandez has had an awful season, but he has a history of postseason success and the versatility Seattle needs to get through their current predicament.
Andrew Chafin– I still don’t know why Chafin signed with the Detroit Tigers this winter, but I don’t expect him to be there after Tuesday. The fantastic left-handed reliever has had another great season for the lowly Tigers. The Mariners are currently throwing out Borucki as the lone left handed reliever on the ball club. A guy like Chafin could be had for a moderate package, and become the final weapon needed to complete the best bullpen in baseball.
These are the most realistic options available to Seattle. Jerry Dipoto can’t stand by and hope that below replacement players can get them through the first few weeks of August. The Mariners are a half game up on Tampa for the 5th seed in the playoffs and two up on the Guardians for the final playoff spot with 59 games to go. Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners showed they are going for it. Let’s see them go all in.