Mariners Offer out the biggest free agent contract in Dipoto Era
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The largest contract handed out to a free agent in the Jerry Dipoto era was last year when they gave AJ Pollock a 1 year $7M deal. They haven't been shy about extending players they have identified like Julio and Luis Castillo, but it would be amazing to see them sign a free agent to a relatively large deal this offseason, especially after they have completed multiple moves to shed salary.
The last few years the Mariners have been hesitant to sign the bigger name free agents because of the lengths of the contracts. I think this is why they could show some interest in former Diamondback, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Spotrac estimates Gurriel will get a 5-year deal worth about $14 million per year and I think that is a pretty solid number. It's similar to the deal Andrew Benintendi signed last offseason for 5 years and $75 million. I think this is a pretty solid number and one that isn't a huge risk for Dipoto and the Mariners.
Gurriel fits the mold of what the Mariners are trying to do, limit strikeouts, with a 19.6% career strikeout rate. He has a career slash of .279/.324/.466 with a 113 wRC+, so he doesn't walk much, but he makes a lot of contact and doesn't strike out. He has 3 seasons of 20+ home runs and was worth 2.1 wins in 2023. He would be a solid addition to left field and give the Mariners a solid middle-of-the-lineup hitter that will hit 30+ doubles and 15-20 home runs while limiting strikeouts. I really like Gurriel's fit, if he is the 2nd or 3rd best bat that you add this offseason, and with the salary space they have added, I think that could be possible.