After acquiring two outfielders will Mariners pursue third baseman Justin Turner?

With the acquisitions of Mitch Haniger and Luke Raley, will the Mariners address a need at third base? They could go after Justin Turner to do just that
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The Mariners have addressed concerns with their outfield, having added Luke Raley and Mitch Haniger via trades with the Giants and Rays. The Mariners did already acquire a third baseman from the Red Sox in Luis Urias. However, it should be noted Luis Urias only played about 50 games last season, which is concerning since Eugenio Suarez played in every single game in 2023.

Justin Turner could be the next free agent the Mariners target. The Mariners do not have a ton of alternatives to Turner in free agency or through trade at third base. They could make a trade with teams who have a surplus of third basemen. Such as the Cardinals who have Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan, or the Reds who have Noelvi Marte and Jonathan India at third. However, these moves seem less likely given the Mariners hesitancy to want to give up young starting pitching.

Gio Urshela is also a possibility in free agency, although he did miss most of 2023 due to injury. Matt Chapman is still the best free agent option available, but would likely be out of the Mariners price range and has bad offensive splits at T-Mobile Park. Which is why Turner appears to be the Mariners best option in free agency if they do decide to go after another third baseman.

Turner is a savvy veteran, who has played on many great Dodgers teams, and has always been a productive hitter. Turner showed in 2023 he can still rake, batting .276, with 23 HR and 96 RBI. His ability as a defender has declined a bit, but he proved to be durable in 2023 as he played 146 games. Although he did only start seven games at third base for the Red Sox in 2023, due in part to Boston already having Rafael Devers as their starting third baseman.

Should the Mariners decide to sign Turner, he probably would not demand as much as other free agents due to his age and questions about his ability to still play third. He would be a nice buy low get considering how well he can still hit and he would likely sign a short-term contract. His experience and his clubhouse presence would also pay dividends with the younger players on the roster. Also, since the Mariners already have Luis Urias and Dylan Moore who can play third, they can come in for him if necessary for defense in the later innings of games.

The Mariners could certainly use another productive bat in their lineup. Justin Turner appears to be a reasonable fit given his ability to drive in runs and hit for average. Turner could provide the Mariners with much needed infield depth and help lengthen their lineup.