Not to beat a dead horse here, but the Mariners 2023 team lacked some real punch offensively. The offense has to improve and that is the focus of this team this offseason. Everyone knows it! There are some obvious holes in the field that you could add offense to, like a corner outfield spot and maybe 2, a second baseman is a possibility. However, what is the easiest way to improve the offense? How about one of the best hitters in baseball that plays a position that is literally called the "Designated Hitter". Seems simple enough right?
JD Martinez has been one of the best hitters in baseball, he put up some video game like numbers in his time in Boston. He dealt with some injuries in 2022 and had a really good bounce back season with the Dodgers in 2023. He slashed .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs in only 113 games. Those are some pretty impressive power numbers for only 113 games. He did account for 2.2 wins as pretty much a bat only, compiling only 12 innings in left field. He put up a 135 wRC+ as well, which is a really good hitter.
JD Martinez did strike out a bit more than his career norm at 31.1% but when you put up a .572 slugging percentage and hit 33 home runs in 113 games, you can deal with it. This would be a huge improvement from what the Mariners got in 2023, as their DH slashed .211/.288/.398 with a 91 wRC+.
This would be a huge addition to the Mariners lineup. I would love to see him every day in the middle of the lineup. Giving the Mariners a consistent presence at the DH spot that they haven't had since Nelson Cruz. Adding him to the middle of the lineup behind Julio gives a proven hitter with really good contact and power ability to protect Julio and move Cal, Geno and Ty down in the lineup. He is someone Scott Servais could just pencil in every day and not have to worry about who will be the DH that day. He doesn't give you any versatility as a DH only, but if you are looking for a bat, it's hard to do much better than JD Martinez.
Martinez is going to cost some money as he was really good in 2023. Spotrac has his market value at a 1-year deal with about $15.5 million. I think that is a no brainer for the Mariners if that's all it takes. We touched on this previously here, but MLB Trade Rumors predicts JD Martinez to the Mariners on a 2-year deal worth $40 million. I think that is probably an accurate value of what it would take to bring JD Martinez to Seattle. You might be able to do a 1 year with a higher AAV, which I am not opposed to. With the Dodgers focusing on Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and even Blake Snell, maybe the Mariners can swing in and snag him early on in the offseason and get a jump before the season starts.