Free Agent Target: Mariners should look to Rhys Hoskins to improve their lineup

Can the Mariners afford to take a flier on Rhys Hoskins? What would his role look like on this team?
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Elsa/GettyImages

The Mariners have some serious holes in the lineup, one of the biggest holes in 2023 was at first base. I think one of the more overlooked needs for this team going into next year is insurance at first base. Ty France had some really good years in 2021 and 2022 but really regressed in 2023. In my opinion, he should not be guaranteed an opening day roster spot. Now, I do think that France is going to bounce back and by no means, should they just non-tender him. But if a team like the Twins calls, you should entertain it. If something like this were to happen, the Mariners should turn their attention to Rhys Hoskins.

Hoskins was one of the better first baseman in baseball before tearing his ACL before the 2023 season. Haskins has produced a career slash line of .242/.353/.492 with about a major league average strikeout rate of 23.9% K% and a really good 13.5% BB%. He has a career wRC+ of 126 and was a perennial 2+ win player. He would improve this lineup dramatically if he could return to the pre-injury Hoskins.

I think Rhys Hoskins is the type of bat the Mariners should be aggressive with this offseason.

Depending on how the rest of this offseason shakes out, Hoskins is most likely your everyday DH right now. If you go out and sign or trade for a corner outfielder, that could potentially give you 2 really good bats in the middle of the lineup. Hoskins gives you an above average bat at DH and his power will play anywhere, while also giving you insurance if Ty France doesn't perform.

The hard part to figure out with Hoskins is the contract that he will take. He is coming off an injury season, so it's not like he had bad years where you are worried if he is in a decline. Spotrac has his market value of 4 years and $84 million dollars. I am sorry, but no way. I think to get Hoskins to come to Seattle it might take a deal similar to what Haniger but maybe a little higher AAV. I think a 3-year deal worth $45-$50 million would get him. To entice him, maybe you give him an opt-out after the first year, so if he really blows up, he can test the market again.