The Mariners have made their first big move of the 2023/24 offseason. No I don't mean the trade that they did with the Rays (we will write about that, just haven't got there yet). I mean the decision on whether or not to offer a Qualifying offer to Teoscar Hernandez. It was a big decision, as they would have had to commit just over $20M to Teo to keep him around for a year.
He could either accept the deal, or test Free Agency with the Mariners receiving a comp pick in return for him leaving the team. The big question was whether or not the Mariners thought it was worth keeping Teo around for that $20M mark.
The Mariners did not offer Teoscar Hernandez the Qualifying Offer
Honestly, I think this is a good sign. There are a handful of players that the Mariners could try and go after for a similar amount of money, and I think most of them would be a better get than Teo. Yes, Teo has a wonderful bat (when it's on), but he is quite streaky at the plate and bad in the field. Can you afford to pay someone $20M for one season, when you aren't guaranteed All-Star level results?
Of course, this will end up looking like a mistake if the Mariners don't go out and sign anyone to improve the offense. However, if they do give that money to someone else (Lee or Gurriel, perhaps) then it is the right move.
It's tough seeing the Mariners lose Teo already after him essentially coming over as a one-year rental, knowing that Swanson is still on the Blue Jays, but it's still a move that I think the Mariners were right to make. They needed to improve their offense, and Teo had been a darn good hitter.
Best of luck wherever you go as long as it isn't the AL West, Teo!
If we've learned anything about the Mariners recently, they're not done making moves to better their roster, and you can already start preparing for next season NOW with $200 in instant bonus bets at DraftKings Sportsbook. All you have to do is sign up, deposit $10 or more and bet $5 or more on ANY wager. You'll instantly win $200 in bonus bets you can use to back your Mariners (or anything else) plus daily no-sweat same-game parlays.