Mariners Top Free Agent Targets

Xander Bogaerts declined the Red Sox’s $19.65 million qualifying offer Tuesday in a move that surprised no one. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Seattle Mariners are coming off their best season in 20 years, making a postseason birth and making it to the Divisional Round. Although the 2022 team made lots of history, there is still work to be done. The end goal is not for this team to just make the playoffs, it’s to win the whole thing. In order for them to do that, they need to compete with the team that eliminated them this year; the Houston Astros. Houston dominated throughout their World Series title run, with effective pitching and a juggernaut of an offense. The Mariners currently sit second fiddle to the Astros, but they have big plans to change that this next season. Seattle is looking to add talent and free agents to their young core in an attempt to get over the hump and take home the World Series trophy next year. But who exactly fits into what they need for a championship? Let’s take a look into who could be wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform for the first time coming into next season.

The first free agent that stands out is Xander Bogaerts from Boston. Bogaerts is a very talented shortstop, and he hits for a very good average every year. With a .292 career average, this is the exact type of player that the Mariners lacked in the middle of their lineup. J.P. Crawford was an excellent defensive shortstop last year, however, his bat began to regress near the end of the season and he ended up not providing as much production as the Mariners hoped for. Although Seattle intends to keep Crawford, sliding him over to second base could be an option if it meant Bogaerts would be willing to sign in Seattle. Xander also had a 5.8 WAR last year, which was 5th among all shortstops last year according to FanGraphs. Having Ty France and Julio Rodriguez at the top of the lineup with Bogaerts would be a nightmare for opposing pitchers as all three hit for average. An intriguing option if the Mariners wish to go the star shortstop route.

Another quality addition would be Brandan Nimmo. Nimmo played n 152 games last year which is a great sign of durability. Like Bogaerts, Nimmo hit for a high average of .274, with great on base ability and a career-high 64 RBIs. Adam Frazier was the Mariners second baseman last year, and although he had a nice postseason there was doubt that he would be able to sustain that success for another year with the starting role. A common theme has been middle infield help, and Nimmo would provide that instantly. If the Mariners miss out on one of the big free agent shortstops available on the market, Nimmo could be a great backup plan to help fill an offensive and defensive hole.