Mariners Depth Takes Big Hit with Dylan Moore Setback

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners
Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Dylan Moore has been an underrated member of the Seattle Mariners since the team claimed him on waivers in 2019. He's a Swiss Army-type player who ended up playing seven positions last season. 2023 was supposed to be less moving around and more of a platoon for Kolton Wong and built-in rest for J.P. Crawford. Unfortunately, the thirty-year-old suffered a setback in his core recovery yesterday.

Opening day is less than two weeks away, which means there is a good chance Moore starts the year on the injured list. What does that mean for the depth of the roster? Who spells the speedy utility man for a few weeks? How far is the gap between Moore and the possible replacement? Let's peruse the Mariner's system and trade market for a few options.

Dylan Moore Replacement #1...

The next player in line for the job is Mason McCoy. The former Oriole had a breakout year in Tacoma, flashing a speed and power combination from a premium position (21 HR/22 SB). The twenty-seven-year-old is handling shortstop and second base this spring and continuing to hit (.320/.346/.706). There is no telling if his 2022 will translate to success with the big-league club, but McCoy could fill in for Moore for a few weeks.

Dylan Moore Replacement #2...

Some might believe fan favorite Sam Haggerty should be the first man up. However, Scott Servais probably learned his lesson last year when he played the speedy sparkplug more than he wanted. More playing time for average players usually ends up in overexposure, which was the case with Haggerty in 2022. He can play second in a pinch, but metrics show a drop-off at shortstop. Additionally, Haggerty is displaying solid defense at second base, third base, and centerfield with Julio Rodriguez at the World Baseball Classic, which harkens to how Servais wants to utilize him this season.

Dylan Moore Replacement(s) #3...

Dylan Moore is getting imaging today, likely determining how long he'll be out of the lineup. However, if it is over a month, Jerry Dipoto could swing an end-of-spring training trade to capitalize on players who might not make their current team's roster. A few to watch are AL Gold Glover, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Scott Kingery.

You'd think the Yankees are looking for a way to clear space for their young middle infielders (Volpe, Peraza), especially since reports have surfaced that Manager Aaron Boone is willing to slide Kiner-Falefa to centerfield. In Kingery's case, he is a man without a position right now, as Bryson Stott has locked down the shortstop position. Kingery has floated around the diamond (like Moore) and is in his prime (28). He is also raking in the Grapefruit League (.462/.533/.1.148).

You are either from the camp of "Spring Training stats mean something or they don't." They mean a lot for Kingery, considering he ended 2022 off the playoff roster. If I had to choose, I'd gravitate toward Kingery because he can play all the infield positions and leftfield in a pinch and has something to prove.

Here's to hoping Dylan Moore is back with the big-league team by the end of April. If not, there are options; it depends on how much Dipoto and Justin Hollander want to give up.