With all the Mariners new additions, where does this 2023 trade acquisition fit in?

The Mariners have made a lot of moves and additions to their team. One of the overlooked ones is one of the players they acquired in the Paul Sewald trade

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

When the 2023 season ended, one of the players I was excited to watch in 2024 was Josh Rojas. The Mariners had acquired him at the deadline from the Diamondbacks, alongside Canzone and Bliss, for Sewald. He took over at second base, and between he and Cabby, they really solidified the position. Plenty of people were nervous at his time in Arizona in 2023, but he had an above-average OPS+ for Seattle, and totaled an impressive 0.8 WAR in just 46 games.

After Cabby was traded away, it really seemed like second base was going to solely belong to Rojas. Third was likely going to be manned by Luis Urias, with Rojas at second. Then the Mariners went out and made a move for Jorge Polanco, someone who has shown incredible success at second in the past for the Twins.

What is Josh Rojas's role going to be for the Mariners in 2024?

Rojas has played some third base in his career, but there has to be a wonder if his struggles in Arizona in 2023 were a correlation of playing out of position at third base. The Mariners played him exclusively at second base, with only three innings at third. Now, with Polanco in Seattle, second base is only an option for rest days or injury. Otherwise, he is going to be a UTIL looking to split time with Urias at third.

With three years of control left, the Mariners need to find some way to use him. Just an average defender, he does have a nice speed aspect with a touch of power. If Rojas plays around 130-135 games at the rate he did in 2023, then he is a low-to-mid 2 WAR player. Something like that is great to have... if the Mariners can find somewhere to play him.

There are a handful of players for the Mariners who can play a couple of defensive positions, and Rojas might turn into one of those bounce around UTIL guys. He's definitely going to be around, and is likely the #1 guy on the bench. It just remains to be seen what he is going to do for the Mariners in 2024. Personally, I think he still gets into a LOT of games for injury/rest coverage, but it just isn't going to be the same role that he had to finish 2023.