We all sat there on Monday, refreshing Twitter constantly. With news of a potential deal in the works, we were forced to wait until later in the day to find out. The Mariners got their infielder in Jorge Polanco. He is someone I brought up multiple times this offseason as a potential fit. They have been open about needing to add another infielder to this team and Polanco may be the best potential option they had. The lineup that the Mariners will most likely trot out there for opening day is starting to look pretty solid from top to bottom.
With the money remaining pretty equal after the trade the Mariners should have a decent amount of flexibility remaining. With a number of the moves this offseason being additions to the offense, it is time to address the pitching. With losing Anthony Desclafani and Justin Topa the Mariners will need to add some pitching depth. The Mariners should look at adding these pitchers as solid replacement options.
Maton is one of the best relievers left on the market and arguably the most underrated arms coming into this offseason. Maton has thrown at least 65 innings in the last three years and has had a strikeout rate of over 10% each year. He will be 31 years old at the beginning of the year and has been around for a while giving the Mariners a mature, dependable, and high-leverage arm to partner with Matt Brash and Andres Munoz. Maton could fill Justin Topa's shoes and probably cost something similar to Robert Stephenson. They might be able to get him (and hurt the Astros in the process) with a two- or three-year deal worth about $9-$10 million a year.
Another Astros reliever that the Mariners could take away while hurting the division opponent is former first-round draft pick, Ryne Stanek. Another overlooked reliever, Stanek put together one of the best seasons from a reliever in 2022. He threw 54.2 innings with a 1.15 ERA while striking out 10.21 per nine. He has a bit of a walk issue at 4.54 per nine, but with a career 10.53 strikeout rate, he could give the Mariners another mid to high leverage option. He will be a little cheaper than Maton, they might be able to get him on a one-year (rebuild his value type deal) for around $4-$6 million.
Add starting pitching depth to replace Anthony Desclafani
While the Mariners lost a reliever and a potential starter, a number six starter might be harder to find. They did add a few lesser-known options that could provide that depth. If the Mariners are looking for someone to provide that depth (and possibly be a bullpen option) that has pitched in the major leagues, they could look at someone like Matthew Boyd (50.2 innings with a 4.09 ERA in 2023), Brad Keller (who was awful in 2023, but threw 130+ innings in 2021 and 2022 with an ERA around five and is just 28 years old), or Eric Lauer (who only made nine starts in 2023, but was really good in 2021 and 2022 compiling a 2.8 fWAR between those two years.