Morosi: How Mariners must address bullpen, lineup this offseason

Oct 13, 2023, 3:33 PM

Seattle Mariners Matt Brash...

Matt Brash of the Seattle Mariners reacts on Sept. 13, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the playoffs in full swing and the Seattle Mariners failing to make the postseason, it’s only natural to take a look ahead at the offseason and what the M’s may or may not do.

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That was certainly a big focus during MLB Network’s Jon Morosi‘s weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“I think the Mariners, to be honest, when you look at the journey of being 100% there of being a World Series team, I would put the Mariners at about 70% of the way, and maybe even 75,” he said. “Because they have – again, as long as it’s healthy – they have the starting pitching.”

Note that Morosi didn’t mention the bullpen there and focused on the rotation. That’s because even after another good year for Seattle’s ‘pen, Morosi thinks there’s plenty of work to be done this offseason.

“The bullpen, I think you really have to address this offseason,” he said. “I know you might say well, ‘Why? The bullpen was pretty good when you think about the way that (Matt) Brash and (Justin) Topa had pitched and (Andrés) Muñoz.’ But I think you cannot count on that level of consistency from the same relievers year after year. History says that is not likely to happen.

If I’m the Mariners I approached the bullpen additions this offseason almost as if I had an average to below-average bullpen instead of a really good one. That’s how I would look at it. I would go in there and address it and put some different looks in there, probably get one more left-hander. Really address that bullpen.”

Most of the Mariners’ offseason focus will likely be on the hitting side as the lineup was inconsistent and struggled with strikeouts this year. Morosi shared what the Mariners should be looking for in their next hitting additions.

“They need to find their version of the Astros’ Michael Brantley and the at-bats that Brantley put forward,” Morosi said. “Whether that person is (Baltimore’s) Anthony Santander, whether it’s Pete Alonso, whether it’s in free agency a Cody Bellinger, you need one more guy who has been in the postseason before, who doesn’t swing and miss a bunch — I mentioned before José Ramirez as being the guy that I think is the ultimate target for them this offseason and he’s to me the dream acquisition if they can pull that off — that to me is where they need to go with this.”

In terms of adding veteran leaders, Morosi thinks that would be a nice plus, but that the Mariners have leadership in place with J.P. Crawford, Cal Raleigh and Julio Rodríguez.

“I think now, if I’m a Mariners fan, I would not care how much this new acquisition talked as long as he didn’t strike out a lot,” Morosi said. “That’s what I would care about the most from this new acquisition.”

Listen to Morosi’s full conversation with Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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