3 aces & 2 sluggers the Mariners should pursue this offseason

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The Mariners are ambitious and optimistic heading in 2022. Photo from Visit Seattle.

One of the most intriguing mysteries of the MLB offseason will be the Mariners’ free agent targets in 2022. Seattle surprised a lot of people this past season by staying in the playoff picture for nearly the entire season. Clearly, the Mariners are close, setting up a fascinating winter for the franchise.

Of course, while they were close to the playoffs, the Mariners have offseason needs to address if they expect to get to the next level.

After all, they play in the same division as the AL champion Astros. That could limit the Seattle Mariners’ title odds in 2022 unless they can make a big splash this winter.

Mariners free agent targets in 2022

But what are Seattle’s biggest offseason needs? The list is rather substantial because one could argue that the Mariners won a lot of games with smoke and mirrors last season.

Let’s take a look at some reasonable Mariners’ free agent targets in 2022 if the club hopes to be a serious contender next season.

Kevin Gausman

The Mariners are likely going to need to find two starters on the free agent market this winter. If they’re shopping at the top of the market, Kevin Gausman should be a target. He’s finally come into his own over the past two seasons, going 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA with the Giants in 2021.

He’ll only be 30 at the start of next season and could give the Seattle rotation a bonafide ace for many years to come.

Jon Gray

Jon Gray is another starting pitcher who makes sense of the Mariners.


While his career has been a little up and down, pitching at Coors Field can explain that. He should also favor a move away from Colorado, so his free agency should be wide open, making Seattle a contender.

Like Gausman, he’s young enough to have plenty of good years in front of him and can be a frontline pitcher. That makes him someone who could be a leader of Seattle’s rotation for the long term if the Mariners are willing to make the investment.

Read more: 10 most underrated MLB free agents this offseason

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon is another pitcher who will require a sizable investment, but the Mariners are going to need to spend money to get to the next level.

Just like Gausman and Gray, Rodon was once a top-5 overall pick, so the upside is undoubtedly there, especially after an outstanding 2021 campaign. He’s even younger than Gausman and Gray and also fits the mold of the ace that the Seattle rotation needs.

Kris Bryant

The Mariners are going to need either a third baseman or a second baseman, which should put Kris Bryant on their radar as an obvious replacement for Kyle Seager at the hot corner.

Bryant is the type of power hitter who could pair well with Mitch Haniger in the middle of the order and send the signal that the Mariners are serious about contending. He also offers the flexibility to play the corner outfield just in case, so the Mariners shouldn’t hesitate about giving him a long-term deal.

Check out our MLB free agency tracker and grades

Nelson Cruz

One thing Seattle’s lineup is missing right now is a bonafide DH. Signing Nelson Cruz would immediately fill that vacancy.

Even as he gets deeper into his 40s, there is no question that Cruz can still hit. Seager and Haniger were Seattle’s only players with more than 20 home runs in 2021. But signing Cruz would all but guarantee the Mariners have another power threat who’s capable of hitting at least 20 or 30 homers.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 240 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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