Taking a look at some under the radar outfield additions for the Mariners
The Mariners' roster is still a bit short, but there are several available players who could fill this role. Could an old friend return home?
The Seattle Mariners’ current roster is incomplete.
This roster has significantly improved since their elimination at the hands of the Houston Astros, but they still have work to do. They need another bat in this lineup because the current roster construction leads them to a lineup hole.
President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto has said the team is active and trade talks and trying to add to this roster. The number one way Seattle can improve is by adding another above-average bat. There are no options on the free agent market that fit this bill, meaning this player will be acquired through trade.
However, if the Mariners cannot find a trade partner or the cost becomes too much for the players they are looking for, Seattle should not stand pat. There are plenty of everyday players on the free agent market that would be nice fits on this team. These options won’t be huge names, but they could help this team in a specific role.
But what type of player? A corner infielder or an outfielder fits best on this roster. Preferably the next player the Mariners acquire needs to be a left-handed hitter or a switch hitter.
Adding another outfielder who hits right-handed pitching well means adding a player who can nearly play every day, and helps out your roster by providing depth and protecting AJ Pollock and Jarred Kelenic from being overexposed. Here are three players I really like for Seattle from this perspective.
Ben Gamel is a former Mariner who was a fun player during his time in Seattle but had some obvious flaws as a player. He was never a great defender despite having good speed and offered nothing in the power department.
Gamel has spent the last few years in the National League and has changed some things in his profile since his days in Seattle.
He has added more power, hitting 8 and 9 home runs in his last two seasons respectively. This isn’t a ton, but it is much more than what he offered in his stint in the Pacific Northwest. He also played a few games at first base last season, an interesting development for a team looking to add a player who could spell Ty France.
The Florida native doesn’t add much defensively or hit the ball exceedingly hard. However, the 30 year old is excellent at controlling the strike zone and getting on base.
Gamel ranked in the 86th percentile of chase rate last season and walked over three percent more than the league average. He is essentially a league-average hitter in every regard but was overexposed in Pittsburgh last season.
Bringing Pollock, Kelenic, and Gamel in the same outfield room creates players who can all work together to not get overexposed. Gamel owned a 112 WRC+ against right-handed pitching in 2022, but was forced to play too much against lefties.
Bringing a player like Gamel in gives Seattle much-needed depth and another proven bat. While I understand this move isn’t sexy, it could be very impactful for the Mariners.
David Peralta is another player that fits this mold, even at 35 years old. Peralta has basically been a 1 WAR player or better in every year of his career playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He would be a solid addition to this team as a left-handed bat that adds balance and can handle right-handed pitching. He owns a career 121 WRC+ against right-handers while struggling against lefties.
He has a much different profile than a player like Gamel, as he doesn’t possess the same type of on-base skills. Peralta does hit the ball hard, ranking in the 75th percentile of average exit velocity.
Part of Peralta’s value is that he can play defense at a much higher level than Gamel. This is a big reason why he is on the list because offering run prevention could be attractive to Seattle.
Even at 35 years old, David Peralta ranked 88th in outs above average according to Baseball Savant. Add this in with his average to slightly above-average bat and you have a valuable depth piece on this roster. Peralta was worth 1.7 fWAR in 2022.
Robbie Grossman is a name that is familiar to the Mariners and could be an excellent fit on this roster. He had a down year last season with the Tigers but started to piece things together once he was moved to Atlanta.
Grossman has always been a player who can get on base at a high rate, posting a career OBP of .346.
The 33-year-old was awful last season but raised his OPS by over 100 points after joining Atlanta. He is a switch hitter who will be very cheap and could be an excellent bounceback candidate if Seattle was interested.
He is just one year removed from a WRC+ of 116 and offers average outfield defense at the corner spots. I like him as a low-risk signing for this roster if Seattle cannot pull off a deal for a better outfielder.