Recent roster moves are bringing the Mariners' outfield picture into focus

As opening day approaches, the major-league squad is slowly taking shape as another Mariners outfield has been re-assigned as he was placed in AAA Tacoma

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

Opening Day is little more than a week away. Before then, the team will have to decide who will appear in the first game of the season and who will have to start 2024 in the minor leagues. Since the start of March, they've optioned C Blake Hunt, RHP Ty Adcock, RHP Levi Stoudt, OF Jonatan Clase, and most recently... LF Cade Marlowe.

Marlowe saw a decent amount of major-league action in 2023, posting a .750 OPS over 100 plate appearances, and put up similar numbers in spring training slashing .296/.296/.481 over 27 plate appearances. While his work in the offseason was good, it just wasn't enough to give him a starting spot in what seems to now be a finalized outfield.

Cade Marlowe has been sent to AAA Tacoma

In center field, you'll find Julio Rodriguez, a man after whom there's an entire group of fans (the "J-Rod Squad") named and who diligently patrols the "no-fly zone." After two record-breaking years, there was never any doubt as to whether he would return to claim his spot for a third year in a row barring a serious injury and he will continue to be the best player on this Seattle team.

In right field, the Mariners will have another familiar face in Mitch Haniger, who most recently spent a lackluster, injury-riddled season in San Francisco. All reports have demonstrated that he's elated to be back with the Mariners and he could return to form following a below-replacement-level year in 2023.

In left field, it seems that Marlowe will ultimately be ceding his spot on the roster to Dominic Canzone, who has been extremely impressive in spring training thus far. Over his 36 plate appearances, he's managed to hit for a .281/.333/.656 slash line with three doubles and three home runs. Canzone wasn't much of a contributor to the team after arriving from Arizona, but there are signs that he's been able to find his stride in the offseason.

It seems like the team will keep Luke Raley (probably platooning) and Sam Haggerty on the bench, at least for now, and the Mariners do have the benefit of corner outfield flexibility between their two starters. Marlowe will likely still get some major league reps this year and Jonatan Clase, who was optioned to the Tacoma Rainiers in Triple-A, is still estimated to make his debut this year. The future of the outfield isn't certain but it is bright for this young and hungry club.