MLB Network’s Morosi: The Mariners’ free agency bats can target

The World Series wraps up this weekend, which means the MLB offseason is only a few days away. And for seafarers, it is clearly key to organization as they find themselves in unfamiliar territory.

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Having missed the playoffs every year since 2001, the Mariners returned to the postseason in 2022, earning a spot on the card and winning the opening series against the Toronto Blue Jays before falling to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

Seattle has won 90 games each of the last two seasons and can be considered just a bat or two away from being a major World Series contender.

The person who thinks this way is an MLB Network insider John Morosi, who joins Wyman and Bob from Seattle Sports 710 AM each week to talk about the Mariners. On Friday, Morosi discussed in depth two of his biggest goals with the Mariners this season as well as a few other players he’s likely to consider.

Brandon Nemo

Outfielder Brandon Nemo is one of the people Morosi has discussed on the Seattle Sports airwaves before, and he once again shared why he thinks the 29-year-old would be a perfect fit for the Mariners.

“It’s (the ability) to be on base, it’s the ability to hit near the top of the lineup,” Morosi said. “You can also lower it if you have to.”

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Nemo is from Wyoming, so this could be close enough to Seattle to make a difference with Nemo, Morosi said, while some players like All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, from Florida, might not want to come to the Pacific Northwest. .

274/.367/.433 and doesn’t provide as much dazzling as some Mariners players would hope for, Morosi said, but he can play in all three outfield positions and significantly lengthen the lineup.

“He’s at bat comprehensively, he sees a lot of pitches… I think he gives them what they need,” he said, later adding, “It gives you that high (man) on base and that’s going to kind of have this ‘line-carrying’ mentality from the top.” down and really lengthen it and make this lineup more challenging.”

SS Xander Bogaerts

For the second consecutive season, there is a very strong quarterback class in free agency.

This year, that includes the aforementioned Trea Turner, former Astros star Carlos Correa, Atlanta native Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts, who played his entire career in Boston with the Red Sox.

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Morosi believes Bogaerts will be a major addition and a great helper to the Mariners lineup.

“The guy on the court who I think would really do the same in terms of being able to slow the game down in a big spot is Bogaerts because of all his playoff experience. He’s shown in the past a willingness to move and play different positions based on court conditions,” said Morosi. .allows you some flexibility.”

Bogaerts is a natural shortstop who made it to the Gold Glove final this season, but the Mariners have a shortstop in JP Crawford, a former Gold Glover who had a down year in 2022. Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said after the season that M would ideally add a point He stopped shortstop as he prepared to move to second base, but he didn’t close the door on Crawford and he moved to second either.

In addition to being a terrific hitter—a career slashing streak of .292/.356/.458 in 1,264 games over 10 seasons—the 30-year-old Bogaerts has been bringing two World Series rings to Seattle as well as a stellar mindset.

“He’s a great citizen of the club, A-1, A-class, and I think he’ll fit in really well,” said Morosi. “I could see Bogaerts and (Mariners star Julio Rodriguez) blending really well in terms of the leadership group at the club. I strongly believe in Zander as a person. I think he would be a really good fit for this team.”

Morosi said adding someone with such an extensive winning background would be a big deal for the Mariners. And it’s hard to find someone better than Bogart in this regard.

“He was about winning from day one,” he said. “The Red Sox won the World Series his first year in 2013.” “…when you’re a player who wins all the time…it’s the expectation you carry with you that winning is what’s expected, and that’s what you’ll do on the court every day. That gives a deep tone.”

Morosi said it would be easy for the Mariners to fall in love with “newspaper clippings” given their recent success, and he believes a man like Bogaerts will be key in leading the team to the next step.

“When you stand up to that pressure at Fenway Park 81 times a year over a decade, you’ve earned a few lines on your sleeve in this sport,” Morosi said. “And I think the Bogaerts walked into that club with a lot of respect, and also a lot of knowledge about what it takes to keep playing when kids are trick-or-treating on Halloween.”

Veteran DH bats

Right now, the Mariners don’t have a great option for a designated hitter every day because Carlos Santana is a pending free agent and outfielder Jesse Winker’s future with the club remains unclear.

“They have a place for a more seasoned DH-producing putter,” Morosi said. And luckily for them, the free agent class includes two of them in José Abreu and JD Martinez.

Abreu, 35, was the AL MVP in 2020 and has spent his entire career with the Chicago White Sox, while Martinez, 35, is a five-time All-Star most recently with the Red Sox, where He earned four of his All-Star nods and a World Series ring in 2018.

“They’re not in their prime anymore. They’re not MVP-type players right now,” Morosi said. “But they can do for the Mariners a little bit more than Michael Brantley did for the Astros, which became the veteran oracle of the lineup at a reasonable cost.. And you’re really picking up some RBIs in those key situations.”

When the Mariners fell to Houston in the decisive Game 3 of the ALDS, they did not score a run in 18 innings. Morosi felt there were too many hitters trying to win the game themselves with home runs rather than trying to string good batters together to make a run.

“I think if you have Abreu in your squad, if you have JD Martinez in your squad, things are going to look a little bit different in a good way,” he said.

The beneficiaries of the shift limit

Defense as we know it at the MLB level will change dramatically in 2023 as transformation will be significantly limited. Teams must have two defenders on each side of second base, and players cannot put their feet in the outfield grass when throwing a pitch.

With shifting severely restricted, Morosi said the Mariners and the rest of baseball will have some interesting decisions in terms of roster building with struggling lefties in the market who have seen their numbers dented by defensive shifts along with the draw.

“Is Joey Gallo suddenly an All-Star? I don’t know. Nobody knows,” Morosi said of the outfield hitter who turned hard against him and hit hard. “Is (outfielder) Jock Peterson going to win the Triple Crown because people won’t turn to him anymore? He’s a free agent too… All of a sudden, (maybe) Gallo and Peterson become different players. That to me is going to be the secret sauce for this whole season.”

“You might look at a guy and say ‘Wait a minute, his numbers don’t make sense.’ And imagine what? He’s going to be a better player next year because the shift is out of play, including someone like (outfielder) Michael Conforto, who, you know, has some northern roots.” West is bouncing back from injury,” Morosi added, referring to the Redmond product who was out in 2022 while recovering from shoulder surgery. “So some value can be found in places we haven’t thought of yet, which is why I like outdoor baseball.”

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