Mariners Reportedly Renewing Interest in Kolten Wong
By Trevor Pedro
President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto, ignited the hot stove with a massive move for a power bat this lineup craves. Enter two-time Silver Slugger Teoscar Hernandez. But according to MLB insider JP Morosi, there are other possible moves as the team is renewing interest in veteran Kolten Wong.
Mariners Offseason Plan Coming into Focus with Kolten Wong
Mariner fans, including myself, have clamored for one of the top four shortstops to add power and defense to shore up the void in the middle infield. While Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts would all fit nicely, the team is taking a lineup depth approach this offseason.
Naturally, there might be an initial disappointment if Kolten Wong is the team’s preferred target. But a deeper dive into the Steamer Projections expect the 32-year-old to produce a .255/.327/.405 slash line while amassing 2.5 WAR. That looks like what we expected from Adam Frazier (who struggled for most of 2022).
A few interesting pieces to this possible move include Wong’s fit in the lineup. As we’ve stated this offseason in multiple articles, this team needs a leadoff hitter to maximize Julio Rodriguez and Teoscar Hernandez’s RBI opportunities. Additionally, Kolten Wong is a longtime subscriber to the “Control the Zone” mantra, annually drawing walks at rates and striking out below the league average (7.7 BB% – 15.4 K%).
Under Dipoto and manager Scott Servais, the Mariners have always been a pitching and run-prevention team. Wong is a two-time NL Gold Glove winner who would thrive under fielding guru Perry Hill’s tutelage (see Crawford, JP). With shift restrictions in place next season there is a need for an above-average to elite defender at second base. This is where Wong’s impact and, subsequently, his WAR could skyrocket.
This isn’t the big splash move we all dreamed about when the offseason started, but in typical “Trader Jerry” fashion, he always makes a move we never saw coming.