Why ESPN’s Passan likes Mariners’ roster ‘better than last year’

Feb 7, 2024, 3:16 PM

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford...

J.P. Crawford of the Seattle Mariners celebrates a win with teammates on Sept. 2, 2023. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

(Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

It has been a busy, perhaps stressful but ultimately productive Seattle Mariners offseason.

Drayer: Mariners’ Bryce Miller armed with new ways to get lefties out

Though things got off to a rocky start before big moves were even allowed to be made, and while the first few trades caused concern with fan favorites and promising young players sent away, the state of the roster seems to be in a much better place now with spring training only a week away.

Did the Mariners truly find a way to get better over these winter months? Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk caught up with ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan on Wednesday morning to get his view on things, and in general he believes the M’s did.

“Yeah, I think ’24 is better than ’23 was,” Passan said, comparing the roster from last year’s Mariners team to the current one.

Passan didn’t necessarily go all-in in that response, though.

“It’s very easy to say that not just before the games start, but before I know starting pitching health,” he continued. “This whole thing hinges on the Mariners’ starting pitchers staying healthy, and they have managed to the last couple of years. That’s not the sort of thing that tends to be the case long-term. Listen, I hope every one of them stays healthy, I hope they go out and make the postseason, and I hope they bring Seattle what in the (darn) near 50 years we’ve seen baseball there they haven’t gotten at this point. But on paper, I like this team better than last year.”

Alright, point taken.

Aside from the team being built around a strong starting rotation, what about Passan’s read on the moves made this offseason by the front office led by general manager Justin Hollander and president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto? That’s where perhaps Passan seemed a bit more bullish on the M’s.

“If we’re just looking in the vacuum that the Mariners had ‘X’ amount of dollars and they needed to construct a roster within that framework, I think they’ve done a pretty good job,” he said. “I think that the individuals who they have brought in this offseason, the latest being Gregory Santos and Mitch Garver and Luke Raley and Jorge Polanco probably being the biggest of all, I think this is a good team, man.”

‘Value positive’ offseason for M’s

The M’s may have alarmed fans by trading Eugenio Suárez to Arizona and Jarred Kelenic to Atlanta in the early months of the offseason, but the moves since appear to have quieted the concern.

“I think the moves that they’ve made, even since trading Suárez and Kelenic, have been value positive,” Passan said.

An important point is that Seattle didn’t have to dip into its pitching strength or the highest levels of the farm system to make the moves it did.

“On the big league side, (the strength is starting) pitching, and they could have traded any of the four young guys – or five if you want to include Emerson Hancock – that they have and done well,” Passan said. “They similarly could have traded Colt Emerson, who’s their best prospect, or Harry Ford or Cole Young and gone out and gotten someone, but they haven’t done that either. I think the balance between 2024 and the coming years where these young players are going to ascend and join this core, I think they’ve done a really good job striking it, actually.”

Listen to the full Brock and Salk conversation with ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan in the podcast at this link or in either of the video or audio players near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners add the brother of notable Seahawks player
Rowland-Smith: What’s been ‘awesome’ about Mariners’ offseason
Did Seattle Mariners get MLB’s next breakout reliever in Gregory Santos?
Morosi: Trading for Polanco was move Mariners ‘had to make’
Garver has interesting insight on Seattle Mariners’ pitchers, trade additions

Brock and Salk podcast

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Mostly Cloudy
High 72° | Low 54°
Roof is open
Angels at Mariners today at 6:40pm

Brock and Salk


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Most Intriguing #Seahawks #16: LT Charles Cross

Is LT Charles Cross an elite left tackle? Salk seems to think he’s at a crossroads considering the high draft investment. #SeattleSports

2 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Top 25 Most Intriguing Seattle Seahawks (#16): LT Charles Cross

The Brock & Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM continues their annual Top 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks list heading into the 2024 season. Coming in at #16, left tackle Charles Cross. After being drafted with a top 10 pick two seasons ago, is Cross truly on his way to becoming an elite left tackle? […]

2 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Which bats should the Seattle Mariners pursue in the trade market?

ESPN’s Jeff Passan joined The Brock & Salk Show to analyze Salk’s list of potential bats the Seattle Mariners should pursue in the trade market. Passan listed one player who ‘is the right fit’ for the Mariners between Brent Rooker, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Lamont Wade, Johnathan India, Jazz Chisholm, and Charlie Blackmon. Listen to […]

3 days ago

Seattle Mariners trade deadline Isaac Paredes Andrés Muñoz Logan Gilbert...

Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Passan: One hitter makes most sense for a Mariners trade

The MLB trade deadline market may be squished, but the Seattle Mariners may still be able to make a run at Tampa Bay slugger Isaac Paredes, says ESPN's Jeff Passan.

3 days ago

Seattle Mariners Astros Luis Castillo Houston...

Brent Stecker

Why the Mariners ‘don’t look at the Astros’ how they used to

The Seattle Mariners hold just a one-game lead over the Astros in AL West ahead of a huge three-game series to open the second half this weekend.

3 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Top 25 Most Intriguing Seattle Seahawks (#17): DL Derrick Hall

The Brock & Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM continues their annual Top 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks list heading into the 2024 season. Coming in at #17, sophomore defensive lineman Derrick Hall. Despite being a second round pick, Hall struggled during his rookie season. Can he take a big step forward in Mike Macdonald’s […]

4 days ago

Why ESPN’s Passan likes Mariners’ roster ‘better than last year’