Now that the Mariners have moved on from Eugenio Suarez, the process of finding the Mariners' next third baseman has already begun. The Mariners added utility infielder Luis Urias this past off-season from the Red Sox for RHP Isaiah Campbell. He is expected to platoon third base with Josh Rojas, who the Mariners acquired last summer from the D-Backs in exchange for closer Paul Sewald.
Josh Rojas had a slash line of .272/.321/.400 for Seattle and Luis Urias had a slash line of .225/.361/.337 in Boston during the 2023 season. Both Urias and Rojas had better second halves in 2023 with new teams after dealing with injuries and offensive woes earlier in the season.
Looking at who the M's third baseman has been in recent memory, they typically have had a consistent starter at the hot corner. In fact, for the past 12 seasons, the Mariners have had Kyle Seager or Eugenio Suarez starting nearly every game for them at third base. Before Seager, the Mariners had a brief stopgap at the position where both Jose Lopez and Chone Figgins played the position in 2010 and 2011. Seager eventually took over at third full-time from the middle of the 2011 season until the end of 2021.
Before Figgins and Lopez, Adrian Beltre (who was just elected to the baseball hall of fame) made most of the starts at third for the M's from 2005-2009. This shows just how much consistency the Mariners have had at third base in recent memory. For the last 19 seasons, there was only a brief period between 2010 and 2011 where Seattle did not have a starter whose primary position was third base.
The Mariners have not ever platooned the position before, so what happens at the position this year will be all the more fascinating. Given the Mariners' current roster makeup, Rojas and Urias are expected to platoon third base. That is unless the Mariners decide to move newly acquired infielder Jorge Polanco from his primary position of second base to third base. However, Polanco has only started 20 games at third base in his career, making that move quite unlikely.
Outside of the Mariners' present options at the position, they do have two interesting prospects who could eventually play third. Tyler Locklear is the closest third base prospect to making the jump from the minor leagues to the pros. Although, Locklear has been spending most of his time at first base, he could receive more playing time at third base to get him to Seattle quicker. Since he currently is blocked by Ty France at first. Locklear raked in 2023, producing an impressive .288/.405/.502 slash line, making the leap from High-A Everett to AA Arkansas.
Tai Peete is another possible future third baseman for the Mariners. He is probably several years away from making his big league debut, but his future is bright. Last year, Peete's slash line was .283/.349/.404 playing in both Rookie League and Low-A Modesto. The Mariners selected Peete straight out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Peete's progression through minor league ball will be fun to watch for years to come.