Could the Eugenio Suarez Rumors lead to the Mariners signing Jeimer Candelario in Free Agency?

The Mariners need bats. They have openings already, but could the Eugenio Suarez rumors lead to the team trying to sign Jeimer Candelario in Free Agency?

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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

There were some rumors that came out the other day surrounding the Mariners, Blue Jays, and Eugenio Suarez. I don't know how legitimate they were, but it seems like when stuff comes out at those GM meetings in early November that there is usually some legitimacy to them. I'm guessing conversations were had, but I don't know how far along they got. Could that lead to the Mariners going even harder after a third baseman in Free Agency... say, Jeimer Candelario?

The Mariners should take a look at Jeimer Candelario in Free Agency

Even if Suarez sticks around, the Mariners could look to grab Candelario since he has experience at both corner infield spots. With the regression from Ty France last year, having someone already on the roster who could take over if France doesn't get back to his normal ways would be a good insurance piece. Then, heading into 2025, you could sign either a 1B or a 3B, and stick Candelario at the other spot.

He wasn't a great defender, but he was about average. As we have seen with plenty of other infielders that have come to Seattle, it seems like most of them make a step up once they get here and start working with Perry Hill for a while. If you take Candelario's offense and turn him into an above-average defender, then you are looking at a 4.0 WAR player.

He's hit .254/.329/.427 over the last four seasons, and that's with a down year in there where he hit .217/.272/.361. He's been league average in K rate (22.4%) and just above in walk rate (8.9%) over those same four seasons, which would be a significant drop in Ks from Geno.

The question, as it always comes down to and never more than it does when it surrounds the Mariners, is cost. Spotrac has just 3YR/$35M. MLBTR has twice that in value over one more year at 4YR/$70M. It does seem like there are going to be a lot of players this year signing somewhere around the 3-4 YR and $14-16 AAV, and I think that Canderlario is one of those players. If you can get him for that 3YR/$42M to 4YR/$64M, then I think you make it happen to get him on the team.

I have to mention it in every article because if I don't, people complain. No, I do not want this to be the biggest move that the Mariners make this offseason. They either need to sign an even bigger bat and have this be the second-best one that they add, or do the same thing but in the trade market and get a better hitter by going that way.