Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto was among a handful of executives to speak to reporters during the GM meetings Tuesday. He addressed some of the club’s offseason goals—particularly the desire to improve the offense’s ball skills.
“Adding some contact to our lineup,” Dipoto said They replied When asked by MLB.com’s John Morosi about the club’s biggest interest. The front office is happy with the group of young left-handed batsmen and said more right-handed batsmen will be selected.
That desire to improve the amount of communication associated with Seattle is surprisingly to some degree not to offer a qualified discount Teoscar Hernandez. “We want to make sure that we can solve some of the shortcomings in our team” Dipoto told reporters (via Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times ). “Despite his lackluster start to the season, he put up numbers and contributed as much as any player. But we felt this was an opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we build our team. We felt that if there was a reason we were sitting in the postseason, it was probably the inability to meet consistently.“
Seattle poets have indeed struggled with swing-and-wife. Only the Twins struck out more often, and MS finished 22nd with a batting average of 242. He was 15th in on-base percentage and 16th in slugging. Hernandez finished second on the team with 211 goals, though that should come as no surprise. He’s always been a power-first player whose center plate discipline profile is offset by extra base impact.
It looks like the Mariners are planning to switch from this pattern. Hernandez’s departure leaves a hole in the corner outfield. Ironically, Hernandez’s former Toronto teammate Lourdes Gurriel Jr He could fit the mold of what Seattle is aiming for. Despite Gurriel’s offensive approach, he is a right-handed bat with strong clean contact skills and 20+ homer pop.
Gurriel is only a left fielder, so hypothetical pursuit could push him. Jared Kellenic to the right field. KBO star Jung Hoo Lee He hits from the left side but brings a strike-first approach and can profile in right field. Alex Verdugo And Max Kepler They are among the most commercially available foreign players. Second base, which stands out as another area the M’s can try to improve, has few hitting skills. Whit Merrifield, Ash Rosario And Tim Anderson All are right-handed hitting free agents in the 2023 season, though none will finish well.
Seattle’s leadoff hitter was the third baseman. Eugenio SuarezDriven by a 30.8% clip. Suarez led the American League in hitting in consecutive seasons. He hit .232/.323/.391 overall in 2023, roughly league-average offense when factoring in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly home park.
While Dipoto didn’t mention Suarez, it doesn’t seem out of the question for the Mariners to buy him out before the final guaranteed season of his contract. To that end, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported this evening that the Blue Jays are looking at Suarez as a third base option if they lose. Matt Chapman In free agency. If Seattle does move Suarez, they may need to fill in via trade or free agency. Jamer Candelario He is a top option from Chapman on the open market.
In other news, Diapoto confirmed that the team is interested in re-signing Tom Murphy (via Divish). With the longtime #2 catcher hitting free agency, Seattle was left with a minor league trade Blake Hunt On the list of 40 people behind him Cal Raleigh. The M’s are likely to bring in a veteran catcher this summer. Murphy, who hit .290/.335/.538 in 47 games before a season-ending thumb fracture, took a shot at a two-year deal.