Mariners #1 Potential Candidate: Ty France
The most obvious position to upgrade, and arguably the easiest position to upgrade and get more offense is first base. The first base position for the Mariners in 2023 was absolutely terrible. Don't be fooled by Ty France's 104 wRC+, which says he was 4% above league average in 2023, he was nowhere near that for a first baseman. France slashed .250/.337/.366. No, I did not type that incorrectly, he slugged .366! For a first baseman! The only reason France had any sort of positive wRC+ was because of his .337 OBP, which isn't even that impressive, it was largely carried by his major league-leading, 34 hit by pitches. I think France can get back to his 2021 and 2022 years, but I truly think that he needs to quit getting hit by so many pitches. The body can only take a 98-mph fastball to the arm or hand so many times before it just takes its toll on your body.
The Mariners can definitely do better this winter. They could also add a very productive bat to the middle of the order at an easy position. Now all of this trashing on Ty France, I think he can be a productive hitter. In 2021 and 2022 his slugging percentage was in the mid 400's, which is very acceptable for a first baseman. He was 29% and 25% above league average in those 2 years. I just think that the Mariners need to explore all of their options this offseason. They need to create competition for Ty France and not guarantee him a spot at first base.
In either bringing in competition for Ty France, or just fully replacing him this offseason, the Mariners have plenty of options. As I said, it is a relatively easy position to fill. There are free agents like Brandon Belt, Jeimer Candelario, Rhys Hoskins, Justin Turner, Mark Canha, or Adam Duvall. They could also explore the trade market for guys like Anthony Santander, Christian Walker, Pete Alonso, Spencer Steer, and Lamonte Wade Jr. See what I mean? There are plenty of options, that won't be very expensive, whether it be by trade or free agency.