4 Free Agent Bats That May End Up In Seattle

With the exception of a relatively unknown player by the name of Shohei Ohtani, this year's free agent class isn't quite as alluring as last year's. Nonetheless, there are still some valuable position players that could significantly bolster the Mariners' relatively weak lineup.
Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The Seattle Mariners were right about league-average when it came to hitting this season. They posted a team OPS of .734 (16th in MLB) and the qualified player with the lowest OPS+ was Ty France, whose .703 OPS was equated to a 99 OPS+. Other than Julio Rodriguez and J.P. Crawford, the team's bats are satisfactory but in a competitive AL West division, Seattle will need all the help they can get to overtake the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros in 2024. Here are some names that could do just that.

1. J.D Martinez

The position that was the least stable for the Mariners all year was DH. Until the arrival of Mike Ford, it seemed like a revolving door that chewed up and spit out the likes of Tommy La Stella (.530 OPS), AJ Pollock (.547 OPS), and Taylor Trammell (.612 OPS). Even Ford saw his own offensive output regress steadily over the course of the season to gradually approach league-average.

J.D. Martinez is one possible answer to this problem. A pure DH for the past several years, he had a great 2023 run with the Los Angeles Dodgers, slashing .271/.321/.572, hitting 27 doubles and 33 home runs. He's a bit of a strikeout risk, punching out 31.1% of the time (9th percentile) and whiffing 34.4% of the time (7th percentile) but his average exit velocity of 93.4mph (98th percentile) is exceptional, especially given his age.

The Mariners are rumored to be interested in Martinez but given the fact that Robert Van Scoyoc, one of the men responsible for saving Martinez's career as a major-leaguer, will likely maintain his role as the hitting coach for the Dodgers, it might be hard to pry Martinez away. If the Dodgers end up giving Martinez an even slightly competitive offer, chances are he'll decide to stay in Los Angeles.