The Seattle Mariners broke the longest active postseason drought in baseball last season, as the M’s made the MLB Playoffs for their first time in 21 seasons. Armed with a young and impressive core, the Mariners will look to improve after an impressive campaign in 2022. Here’s what Seattle has done this winter to improve its chances of making the playoffs for a second straight season.
Seattle made two notable trades this winter, one of which which yielded veteran infielder Kolten Wong. The M’s were in need of a second baseman, after Seattle received subpar production from now-Orioles infielder Adam Frazier last season. Wong belted a career-high 15 home runs for the Brewers last season, and hit .251/.339/.430 for Milwaukee. The new Mariners infielder possesses good plate discipline, and draws not just a fair amount of walks, but also HBPs. Wong has been hit by pitches at least nine times in every full season since 2015.
The Mariners also beefed up its outfield core with the addition of slugging outfielder Teoscar Hernández from the Toronto Blue Jays. Hernández should fit quite nicely in the middle of the M’s lineup next season, thanks to his above-average hitting ability. The 30-year-old cracked 57 home runs over the last two seasons, and his 53.3% Hard Hit% rate last season ranked as the fourth-best in all of MLB among qualified hitters last season.
Hernández was not the only addition made to the Mariners outfield this winter. Seattle also inked former Dodger and White Sox AJ Pollock to a one-year deal.
- LHP Matthew Boyd
- C Curt Casali
- 2B Adam Frazier
- OF Mitch Haniger
- OF Kyle Lewis
- 1B/DH Carlos Santana
- RHP Erik Swanson
- C Luis Torrens
- INF Abraham Toro
- RHP Luke Weaver
- OF Jesse Winker
Seattle traded a number of players off its MLB roster, in order to re-align for 2023. Seattle shipped 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis to Arizona, while Abraham Toro and Jesse Winker headed to Milwaukee to complete the Kolten Wong deal.
Arguably the most notable name not to return to the Pacific Northwest come 2023 is right fielder Mitch Haniger. The fan-favorite missed most of last season due to an injury, one year after the 32-year-old hit 39 home runs for the Mariners. Haniger signed with the San Francisco Giants earlier in the offseason.
It’s hard to argue that the M’s are not better now, as opposed to late in 2022. Seattle picked up two solid veteran outfielders to team with superstar center fielder Julio Rodríguez, and filled its hole at second with a steady presence in Kolten Wong. The Mariners also return a strong bullpen and rotation, headlined by Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, and young right-handers George Kirby and Logan Gilbert. The Mariners seem ready to take another step forward this season.