5 Players The Seattle Mariners Should Sign Soon

Before entering the Winter Meetings, the Seattle Mariners went to work via trades, dealing Kyle Lewis, Jesse Winker, and Abraham Toro. In return, The Mariners received perennial .300 hitter Teoscar Hernandez and defensive stud second baseman Kolten Wong. In free agency, the Mariners have yet to dip their toe in. There are still several great free agents, even after signings, such as Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge, and Trea Turner. Looking at the Mariners’ needs, I see a necessity for another outfielder next to Julio Rodriguez and, of course, starting pitching. Let’s look at some recommendations for the Mariners.

Carlos Rodón – SP

Last Year: 14-8, 2.88 ERA, 178.0 IP, 237 SO, 140 ERA+, 2.25 FIP (League Leader)

Notable Statcast: 95th percentile in K%, 92nd percentile in xERA/xwOBA

Projected Average Annual Value: $32.4 million per year

Rodón is the prized pitcher left in this year’s free agency. The lefty barely missed out on a Cy Young award this year, even though he led the league in FIP. Since the 2021 season, Rodón has been striking out most of his batters, throwing 310.2 IP, and striking out 422 batters. You can attribute this to the tunneling of his four-seam fastball and wipeout slider. His fastball was the most effective in the league, amassing a -22 run value. Given that he’s a lefty, Rodón is knocking on the door to be a top-five highest-paid player in the league. Of course, the Mariners would like to add him, but the cost may be too high.

Nate Eovaldi – SP

Last Year: 6-3, 3.87 ERA, 109.1 IP, 103 SO, 109 ERA+, 4.30 FIP

Notable Statcast: 95th percentile in BB %, 81st percentile in Chase Rate

Projected Average Annual Value: $16.7 million per year

The 2021 season for Nate Eovaldi was his best, amassing 182.1 innings and striking out 195 batters while only allowing 35 walks. This masterclass of control and strikeouts is a lethal combination, especially for a pitcher that averages between 96-98 mph on his fastball. In the 2022 season, Eovaldi battled injuries but remained “in control,” being in the top 5% of the league in walk rate. A healthy Eovaldi can be a borderline #1 pitcher in your rotation.

Andrew Benintendi – OF

Last Year: .304 BA /.373 OBP /.399 SLG /.772 OPS 120 OPS+

Notable Statcast: 88th percentile in K%, 86th percentile in xBA

Projected Average Annual Value: $17.3 million per year

The Yankees acquired Benintendi to provide them with more offensive firepower but promptly injured himself. His Statcast page is interesting because his traditional statistics don’t stand out. Peeling back the batting average and you’ll find Benintendi doesn’t strike out at all and hits the ball hard enough that it lands between the infielders and outfielders. Without the shift, I can see him improving his batting average and making a wonderful leadoff hitter for the Mariners.

Adam Duvall – OF

Last Year: .213 BA / .276 OBP / .401 SLG / .677 OPS, 87 OPS+

Notable Statcast: 88th percentile in Outs Above Average, 74th percentile in Arm Strength

Projected Average Annual Value: $6.9 million per year

Duvall was hurt for a majority of the 2022 season but flash back to only a couple of seasons ago, where Duvall was a pivotal part of the World Series run, batting his way to a 30 homer, 100 RBI season. While he didn’t have enough at-bats to qualify for any Statcast stats this year, he can still hit for power. He did not lose the ability to field, either, given Duvall still ranked in the top twelve percent for defensive outfielders.

Joey Gallo – OF

Last Year: .160 AVG / .280 OBP/ .357 SLG / .638 OPS, 79 OPS+

Notable Statcast: 98th percentile in Barrel %, 95th percentile in BB%

Projected Average Annual Value: $8.9 million per year

Yes, I know that by batting average, Joey Gallo had the worst batting average of any modern-era Yankees player with over 500 at-bats. Yes, it was hard to watch his strikeouts. Do you know what he didn’t lose, though? His power and his plate discipline. Top that with his Gold

Glove-caliber defense, AND the ban of the shift, the Mariners could hit the biggest jackpot in signing Gallo this offseason. He hits the ball with as much exit velocity as Giancarlo Stanton when he makes contact. Seattle isn’t as big of a market as Los Angeles or New York, so I can anticipate a bounce-back year if he finds himself in Seattle.