As it stands, the Mariners lineup currently will feature JP Crawford, Ty France, Jorge Polanco, Josh Rojas, and Luis Urias in the infield. Mitch Haniger, Luke Raley, and Julio Rodriguez will be in the outfield. Cal Raleigh will be the starting catcher, and Mitch Garver will be the DH. That leaves three open roster spots, but two of those roster spots will presumably be occupied by a backup catcher (likely Seby Zavala) and Dylan Moore, who is under contract for two more years.
This leaves one roster spot up for grabs. Barring a dream signing of Cody Bellinger, this spot will likely be decided in spring training. Here’s who is most likely to win the job.
The favorite: Dominic Canzone
Canzone, who the Mariners traded for last July at the trade deadline, is presumably the favorite to win the final roster spot. He would provide outfield depth, with the ability to play both LF and RF, and also has some exciting potential for power, with his 12.1% barrel rate and .470 xSLG% in 2023. He was a player the Mariners identified as a potential piece, so it would make the most sense to give him a chance out of opening day.
The fan favorite: Sam Haggerty
Sam Haggerty may not be an elite MLB player, but the affectionately nicknamed ‘Swaggerty’ sure has the love of the Mariners fandom. Haggerty is probably the odd man out on the roster, meaning he’d have to start the season in AAA Tacoma. Fortunately for the Mariners, he has MiLB options, so they can stash him in Tacoma and call him up at the first sign of need. Haggerty does come with some upside, especially on the basepaths.
He’s stolen 32 bases with the Mariners and has only been caught three times in his career. He ranked in the 93rd percentile in sprint speed in 2023 (via Baseball Savant), boasting a high BB% of 13.9, and a low K% of 15.7. He is also more versatile than Canzone, able to play essentially every position on the diamond outside of catcher. With a great spring, it’s possible Haggerty could steal the final roster spot from Canzone, but if not, look for him to play every day in the outfield of Cheney Stadium for the Rainiers.