Could Cody Bellinger signing push Mariners closer to signing the top hitter remaining on the market?

Recently Cody Bellinger signed a 3 year 80m deal to return to the Chicago Cubs. This was way under the projected 10 year deal that many believed he would get this off-season. Does this contract open the door for the Mariners to fill a need in their infield?

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

As we all know the Mariners front office and John Stanton are hesitant to give out long contracts to aging players. The largest contract they gave to a free-agent hitter was Mitch Garver this year at 2YR/$24M. In the 9 years with the Seattle Mariners, that is not only the biggest contract Jerry Dipoto has given out to a hitter, but the only multi-year deal one. It's insane. Does Cody Bellinger's signing with the Cubs open the door for the Mariners to add a position of need for them for a shorter contract with player opt-outs?

The Mariners should offer Matt Chapman 3YR/$75M

The Mariners have been linked to Matt Chapman and it sounds like the interest may be there if the price is right. I don't see Matt Chapman getting the contract he hoped for at the beginning of the off-season. So, I would suspect that he would take a shorter deal with player opt-outs after the first and second year of the contract just like Cody Bellinger just did with the Cubs.

Is Matt Chapman a good fit for the Mariners? This is where I am torn on Matt Chapman. Adding that Gold Glove to our defense would be such a boost for this Mariners defense. But, his inconsistency at the plate scares me. Last April, Chapman was one of the hottest players in the MLB. His slash line in April was .384/.465/.687, with 5 home runs and 21 RBI. After April Chapman struggled mightily at the plate. From May to October he had a slash line of .203/.294/.364. Chapman also struck out 165 times in 2023. He did have a top 10 Barrel rate and Exit Velo rate, which are good signs.

As you can tell I am not the biggest fan of signing Matt Chapman. I do think he is better than any option we have, especially with Luis Urias most likely starting the season on the IL. It does make sense to sign Chapman if the price is right for the Mariners. But the questions the Mariners have to be asking themselves is whether the inconsistency at the plate injury related or is something new that Offensive Coordinator Brant Brown can fix. Chapman is still only 30, and that makes me believe there is still hope for him at the plate. Time is ticking and I believe Chapman will sign somewhere soon.