The Mariners have had a black hole of second baseman since Robinson Cano left. They have had guys like Dylan Moore, Adam Frazier, Dee Strange-Gordon and even Shed Long Jr. Their have big name options like Marcus Semien, Trevor Story, Trea Turner etc. All guys that the Mariners either couldn't afford, or preferred to play elsewhere. Well, the Mariners acquired Josh Rojas at the trade deadline and though he may not be an all-star caliber second baseman, he was solid in the half a season. So why are their rumors around the Mariners and Whit Merrifield, well thats a good question, and one that should be squashed relatively quickly.
Whit Merrifield, in 2023, was a 1.5 win player according to fWAR, and most of that value comes from his abilitiy to steal bases and play defense. His bat is severely overrated, and actually, below average. In 2023 he slashed .272/.318/.382 with 11 HR, 26 stolen bases, a 6.1% BB%, 17% K% and a 93 wRC+. He split his time between 2B and LF and he might prove as an average bat at second base, but surely you can do better offensively for a left fielder. For a guy with an $18 million-dollar mutual option, there is no way that I would pick that up if I were the Blue Jays, nor would I come anywhere close to that should he hit free agency. I think the Mariners should add someone that can rotate through the infield spots and provide more at the plate than, say, Caballero, Haggerty, or Moore, but Whit Merrifield is not that guy and Dipoto should stay far away from him.