Reason #2: The Lineup/Offense looks a lot better
Is there really any doubt that the Mariners offense is looking better, on paper at least, than it was in 2022? I love me some Mitch Haniger and am sad to see him go, but the guy has had issues staying healthy. He has only played 277 out of 546 possible games over the last four seasons. 51% is just not a number you can bet on when you are trying to build a contender who's window seems to be opening.
Compare that to his "replacement" in Teoscar Hernandez, who has played 449 of 546 games, and you go from an issue to a consistent player, especially since 37 of those missed games were from 2019. Teoscar seems to be a guy who can be out there most days, and he will be a great addition to the lineup. Think healthy Mitch, and that's what we should be getting. It's a big upgrade because he's rarely missed games, and should be out there for 140 or so.
Then, second base. I liked Adam Frazier, but his stats were a bit skewed by the great start in 2021 in Pittsburgh. He was a decent defender, but a below average hitter without much speed. When he's on, he is a decent piece to have in the lineup. If not, it's rough watching him out there.
Replace him with Kolten Wong, and you get a guy who has multiple Gold Gloves. He also has a bunch of 3+ WAR seasons, and looks to be healthy coming into 2023. With a nice mix of power/speed, he's capable of some type of 15/15 season with a .270/.350/.420 slash and a 110 OPS+. Throwing him in at second, possibly giving him days off against some lefties to let Dylan Moore play, and we have a great looking setup at second.
While the lineup could definitely still use another bat (Bryan Reynolds, anyone?), it still looks a lot better than last year. While this likely isn't exactly it, I think something like this would be fun to watch.
1. Kolten Wong
2. Ty France
3. Julio Rodriguez
4. Teoscar Hernandez
5. Eugenio Suarez
6. Cal Raleigh
7. Dylan Moore/Sam Haggerty
8. Jarred Kelenic
9. JP Crawford