Step 3: Sign Jorge Soler (4yr/$60)
Former Mariners legend Nelson Cruz recently announced his retirement from MLB in a bittersweet interview on Adam Jones's podcast. The slugger had quite the up and down career, but after a massive 1 year run in Baltimore at age 33, Cruz was in the beginning stages of a hall of fame worthy seven year run into his late 30's. I believe the next great DH slugger is on the market in Jorge Soler.
After wasting away for years in Kansas City, Soler shined on the biggest stage, as he won WS MVP honors in 2021 for the Atlanta Braves. Parlaying his rebirth in Atlanta to a two year deal in Miami, Soler had a fantastic 2023 that should net him one last big contract. What the Seattle Mariners thought they were going to get from Teoscar Hernandez in 2023, they'll get with Jorge Soler.
In 2023, Soler slashed .250/.341/.512 with 24 doubles and 36 home runs and a 128 OPS+. Considering LoanDepot Park is a pitcher friendly park in the same realm as T-Mobile Park (minus the weather), there's reason to believe that Soler’s bad luck in 2023, combined with his elite barrel and hard hit percentiles, he's just now entering his prime.
Jerry Dipoto recently stated that he was open to a full-time DH, something that we haven't seen since Cruz, which could turn a weakness in the Mariners lineup into a potential cornerstone bat. And for those that are nervous about strikeouts after a season of watching Hernandez, Soler had a 24.3% K rate in 2023 compared to Teo’s 31.1%. That is a massive upgrade.