Baseball rosters change a lot, arguably more than in any other major American sport. When it comes to clearing roster space in the middle of the season, teams that are seen as playoff contenders tend to make trades to acquire talent now, while teams that have thrown in the towel seek to invest in their future. Whether the Mariners decide to trade for present or future value, certain players are more likely to get left behind than others, so let's take a look at some of the names that might be sent away as soon as this season.
Josh Rojas came aboard following a blockbuster trade that sent Paul Sewald to the Diamondbacks and although he was mildly productive with his new team (103 OPS+ over 134 PAs), he saw a significant decline in performance towards the final months of 2023. After a .783 OPS in August, he slipped to a .652 OPS in September and returned to expectations.
Many of his Savant figures including his xwOBA, average exit velocity, and barrel-rate were in the bottom quartile among qualified hitters. His defensive capabilities and six outs above average were nifty but on a team with already incredible pitching, his offensive shortcomings simply overshadow any contributions he'd make with his glove. Furthermore, with ZiPS projecting him to post a similarly dismal .643 OPS and 83 OPS+, the Mariners might be better off playing Dylan Moore at second base while #1 ranked Cole Young continues to develop into a prolific middle infielder.
With an arbitration salary of $3.1 million, Rojas isn't breaking the bank but his salary can still be a considerable amount for a relatively frugal team like the Mariners. Without much foreseeable future value and with younger talent already on the rise, it might not make the most sense for him to stick around for much longer.