Seattle Mariners Prepare for Active Offseason
November 14th, 2023
SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners have been relatively quiet on the transaction front this offseason, but that may soon change as the team’s front office is known for making early moves. While there have been a few minor roster changes and a trade for Minor League catcher Blake Hunt, the Mariners are expected to be more active in the coming weeks.
Last year, most of Seattle’s major moves were made before the Winter Meetings, including trades for Teoscar Hernández and Kolten Wong. This year, the team has been active behind the scenes in the free-agent and trade markets, with President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto keeping a low profile during the recent GM Meetings.
One area the Mariners are considering is the designated hitter (DH) position. In the past two seasons, the team has used a rotation of DHs to provide rest and play matchups. However, this strategy has not yielded the desired results, with the Mariners’ DHs posting underwhelming numbers. Dipoto expressed openness to the idea of having a full-time DH, stating, “We’d love to have a full-time DH, a banger who just goes out and bangs. But at the same time, we’re open to the notion of rolling guys around.”
The team recognizes the need for a more well-distributed offense and will make a decision based on the market and available options.
Hope for Ty France
Despite a challenging season, it seems the Mariners will retain first baseman Ty France. France is due for a pay raise, and his performance in the previous season fell below his career marks. However, Dipoto remains optimistic about France’s potential, stating, “He’s a good player. We saw that in streaks. My guess is that next year, you’ll see something wildly different because Ty’s focused and he’s too good of a player to not go home and focus on it.”
The Mariners may still seek offensive impact at first base, but Dipoto believes France has the potential for a bounceback season, considering his previous All-Star performance.
Ryan Bliss: A Rising Prospect
Second baseman Ryan Bliss has caught the attention of the Mariners’ front office with his impressive performance in the Arizona Fall League. Bliss earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, started in the Fall Stars Game, and played a crucial role in his team’s championship win with a grand slam.
Dipoto praised Bliss’s athleticism and bat speed, stating, “He’s a double-plus runner. He’s got sneaky power that you’re stunned when you see him really lay into a ball because he’s not a big, strapping guy. We’re thrilled to have him.”
Bliss, ranked as the Mariners’ No. 14 prospect, will be closely watched during Spring Training. While he faces competition from experienced players, Dipoto emphasized Bliss’s youth, athleticism, and potential for a bright future.
The Mariners’ offseason is expected to pick up pace soon, with potential moves in the DH position and continued development of promising prospects like Ryan Bliss. Fans eagerly await the team’s next moves as they aim to strengthen their roster for the upcoming season.