Morosi: After Mariners’ Suárez trade, ‘there has to be something next’
Nov 28, 2023, 2:53 PM
(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
The Seattle Mariners’ biggest move of the offseason so far came last week with the trade of Eugenio Suárez the Arizona Diamondbacks for backup catcher Seby Zavala and hard-throwing reliever Carlos Vargas.
Suárez spent the last two seasons as Seattle’s everyday third baseman, and he was an especially crucial part of the playoff team in 2022. But after Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto stated earlier this month that the team wants to cut down on strikeouts, Suárez’s days seemed numbered considering he had the second-most strikeouts in MLB each of the past two years.
MLB Network insider Jon Morosi joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob for his weekly conversation on Monday, and he shared what the Mariners’ trade of Suárez signals to him.
“I liked it a lot for the Mariners perspective,” Morosi said of the trade. “… Obviously, (Suárez) has been there for two seasons and they were very, very strong in both those years, almost made the playoffs again this year. Certainly he played in all 162 (games) this year, which I’ve always said matters a ton in terms of the reliability piece. But also what happened in those two years was he struck out more than (almost) anybody else in Major League Baseball. That’s the reality of what his skill set is.”
Not long before trading Suárez, the M’s made a deal with the Boston Red Sox for infielder Luis Urías. Does he become the new everyday third baseman? While some reports suggest that’s the plan in Seattle, Morosi thinks differently.
“I’m a big Luis Urías fan, I’ve liked this game for a long time, but he to me is a utility guy,” Morosi said.
To Morosi, that means Seattle should have interest in available corner infield players, namely Justin Turner, Rhys Hoskins and Jeimer Candelario.
“I think that was a good trade in a lot of ways, but it’s a means to an end. There has to be a something next, and if that’s something next is Justin Turner, who I really love for the Mariners because of his professionalism, the contact, I think he would be a phenomenal pickup if Turner is the guy who replaces Suárez,” he said. “… It is not a complete picture. This is one of those things where, in isolation, I look at the return here as being as much (about) the money as it is (anything) else. I do not believe Luis Urías is their everyday third baseman, I just don’t. And this is what allows you to go out in the marketplace and say, Listen, we’ve saved a bunch of money on Geno so we can now play in the marketplace for Turner, play in the marketplace for Candelario.”
Adding to Morosi’s speculation is the fact that the Mariners have available playing time at designated hitter. Dipoto has also indicated this offseason the team may use DH differently than last year, when Mike Ford received the most at-bats at the position with just 182.
“The DH piece, for me, the fact that that spot is open is a very strong indication that they are looking at some of these veteran free-agent corner bats like Turner and Hoskins, because… they’re a little bit up there in years – generally speaking. You might want to give them the ability to rotate through that spot… to get the most out of those players, especially Hoskins coming back from knee surgery. So the fact that these are the available options that they’re presenting right now, a bunch of at-bats available at the corner spots and DH, tells me and really telegraphs for me that that Turner and Hoskins, and Candelario to an extent, are in play for the Seattle Mariners.”
Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with MLB Network’s Jon Morosi in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.
More on the Seattle Mariners
• Drayer: What to know after Seattle Mariners trade Eugenio Suárez to Arizona
• Why Mariners could find ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto interesting
• Drayer: Details on Seattle Mariners’ trade for Luis Urías, non-tender deadline