This offseason you will see numerous big-time bats linked to the Mariners, rightfully so. John Stanton and ownership really needs to be aggressive in upgrading their offense this winter. If you look back at the last couple of years, the Mariners have acquired some pretty big bats in Jesse Winker and Teoscar Hernandez, they just haven't worked out as well as all Mariners fans would have hoped. If you look at the secondary moves that they made, those didn't work out that well either. Guys like Adam Frazier, Kolten Wong and AJ Pollock really struggled in their time in the Pacific Northwest.
With that being said, if you can go out and sign or trade for a big time, middle of the order bat, that would go a long way to help the middle of the lineup, so long as that guy lives up to expectations unlike Teo and Winker. Following a similar map of the last 2 off-seasons, the Mariners would be wise to look to recent World Series participant, Tommy Pham.
Tommy Pham started the season with the New York Mets and during their fire sale, Seattle was rumored to be a potential landing spot. He ended up in Arizona and played pretty well for them down the stretch. Tommy Pham ended the 2023 regular season slashing .256/.328/.446 with 16 home runs and 22 stolen bases. That was good for 1.9 wins according to Fangraphs as well as a 110 wRC+. Pham is also pretty solid when it comes to controlling the zone as he ran a strikeout rate of 22% as well as a walk rate of 9.8%.
Pham's career numbers are really solid numbers when you look at it. He owns a career slash line of .259/.351/.435, with really impressive 11.6% walk rate and 23.6% strikeout rate. In his career, he has been at least an average bat, according to wRC+, in all but 2 of his seasons. He owns a career 116 wRC+, and there are no platoon concerns here as he owns a career 129 wRC+ versus lefties and a 111 wRC+ versus righties. Pham is a very athletic outfielder, and he will probably give you average to slightly above average defense in the corners.
Where would Pham fit on this team?
I think Pham would be a really good corner outfielder that rotated at DH sometimes. This gives the Mariners the ability to give some DH days to Kelenic, Julio and the hypothetical "big bat corner outfielder" the Mariners would acquire this offseason. He would get around 450-550 plate appearances and give you a lot more quality at bats than guys like Dylan Moore, Sam Hagerty, Mike Ford etc. When you have Pham in the lineup with the hypothetical "big bat corner outfielder", Pham is probably right in the middle of the lineup. He could realistically hit anywhere from 1 through 9, hitting leadoff on the days when JP has a day off, or hitting 9th to be the catalyst at the bottom of the order if guys like Kelenic and Rojas force Pham further down the lineup.
How much would it cost to sign Tommy Pham?
Tommy Pham signed a 1-year deal with the Mets worth $6 millon dollars and I think that is a pretty good expectation for him this winter. The Mariners signed AJ Pollock for 1 year $7 million, and that extra million bucks, might be what it took to keep Pollock from going to the Dodgers or another team. That might be a similar contract to get this winter. Pham to the Mariners on a 1-year deal worth about $7 or $8 million dollars is all it would take for a very underrated, and solid corner outfielder.