Had the Mariners decided they were done making moves this off-season, there would have been serious questions about the depth of their infield going into 2024. They needed to add another infielder either through trade or free agency. The Mariners found a good one in second baseman Jorge Polanco, who they just acquired from the Twins.
The M's did pay a heavy price to acquire Polanco. Sending major league pitchers Justin Topa and Anthony DeSclafani (who they recently picked up in a trade with the Giants), plus two prospects in pitcher Darren Bowen and OF Gabriel Gonzalez one of their top prospects. However, considering the lack of the depth the Mariners had in the infield going into this upcoming season, Polanco is worth the price Seattle paid.
Polanco now slots in as the Mariners starting second baseman for 2024. There were questions about if the Mariners would start Rojas at second and have Urias at third the way Seattle's roster was set up prior to this trade. With this trade, Urias and Rojas should expect to platoon at third base, unless the Mariners were to make another trade or sign a third baseman.
In 2023, Polanco's slash line was .255/.335/.454 in 80 games last year for the Twins. There is a bit of concern about Polanco's health given he has played in just 184 games the past two seasons. When he has been healthy, Polanco can be an incredibly productive second baseman. Back in 2021, Polanco played almost an entire season (152 games), hit 33 HR, had 98 RBI, and produced a slash line of .269/.323/.503.
Given the lack of available infield talent in free agency, the trade for Polanco was worth the risk. The Mariners also did not give up their best prospects to make this move. Seattle still has their top prospect in Middle Infielder Cole Young, top catching prospect Harry Ford, and rising star infielder Colt Emerson in their farm system. Another important part of this trade is they did not give up any of their young starting pitchers Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo.
Though the Mariners are probably going to need to add more depth to their bullpen after this move, their starting lineup appears to be set for 2024. Mariners GM Justin Hollander and President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto found a talented second baseman without giving up too much prospect capital or spending big money. Jorge Polanco should be a nice addition to the Mariners infield in 2024.