The Seattle Mariners were unable to build off of a respectable 2018 (89-73 record) and disappointed this past season, finishing 2019 in the AL West cellar with a 68-94 record.
It's evident now that the Mariners are a team in transition and with plenty of talent - both Major League-ready and otherwise - waiting in the minors, the future looks bright. However, in order to stay relatively competitive in 2020, the club will need to sign a couple of seat warmers or one or two franchise-changing players to speed up the rebuild in the Pacific Northwest.
With that in mind, here are three free agents that Seattle should consider signing in the offseason.
3. Michael Pineda, Starting Pitcher
The Mariners starting staff struggled in 2019 (5.21 ERA, No. 21 in MLB), but the future looks bright for 2020 with top prospects Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield expected to replace the departing Tommy Milone and Wade LeBlanc. However, if either of the above-mentioned prospects need a little more seasoning in the minors, signing someone like Michael Pineda to keep the seat warm would be a savvy move. The 30-year-old righty has been a solid back-of-the-rotation starter throughout his career (4.04 ERA). Pineda will miss the first 39 games of 2020 due to to PED suspension, but he's a good innings eater (196-innings, 162-game average) and could function as a solid swingman once either Dunn or Sheffield are ready to take their place in the rotation.
2. Julio Teheran, Starting Pitcher
As I mentioned above, Seattle's pitching situation is one to watch going forward and adding a second starter could set the club back a bit. However, Julio Teheran may be worth taking a flier on this offseason. A two-time All-Star, Teheran had a respectable bounce back year with the Atlanta Braves, going 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 33 starts (174 2/3 innings). At just 28 years old, Teheran still has enough upside to warrant taking a chance on, and if a change of scenery does him good, the Mariners can flip him for prospects at the trade deadline or make him a long-term fixture in their rotation.
1. Will Smith, Relief Pitcher
The Mariners utilized a closer-by-committee approach in the ninth inning last season to minimal effect, as their relievers combined for an unacceptable 53.97 save percentage (No. 27 in MLB) in 2019. Clearly, adding a bonafide closer like Will Smith to its mediocre bullpen (4.76 ERA, No. 22 in MLB) would go a long way in accelerating Seattle's pending rebuild. The 30-year-old lefty was one of the most dominant closers in baseball last season, going 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA and 96 strikeouts while converting 34 of his 38 save opportunities on the year (65 1/3 innings). He won't come cheap, as many expect, but Smith would easily provide the Mariners with a reliable closer to build their bullpen around going forward.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.