One of the first things Mark mentioned was Seattle’s outfield of question marks.
This is correct, but I would add that Haniger is a question mark as well. He missed most of 2022 and struggled heavily between a couple of hot streaks this year. I would be a little surprised if Seattle made the qualifying offer, but I’d be flat-out shocked if they brought him back and did nothing else to boost the outfield. The options they had this season wasn’t enough to get past Houston. There’s a clear need for a corner outfielder in addition to Haniger (two, if they don’t bring him back).
There is an abundance of RHPs and AAA/AA outfielders, so it’s easy to see them pulling a trade to address a need, or even for a hyped lower-level prospect, but if Seattle’s serious about getting to the World Series–and winning it–they really have to splurge a little, and free agency has some elite bats that could help them get there. I’m not sure trade gets them an elite bat.
Lot of speculation over DH in the chat. Reading between the lines from what Dipoto and Hollander said at the press conference, it seems likely that Lewis is the favorite for a good portion of PAs at DH. I really wonder how much of the praise for Winker was about believing in him as a fit. Easy to see that as a salesman speech, but I suppose they may be preparing themselves for a decision they’ll make after they learn more about his recovery from the surgery and procedure. If they do add a bat that can DH with Lewis or Torrens, someone who could handle the outfield in a pinch would seem more likely than a pure DH or first baseman.
Regarding the starting pitching depth and a possible trade of Flexen or Gonzales….
It remains to be seen what they intend to do with Weaver, but if they aren’t confident enough in the readiness of guys like Hancock or Dollard, they could always bring in a rehabbing starter, like Ross, for a fraction of the 8 million Flexen will earn, for example. They have an entire offseason and spring to find veteran depth if they feel they need it.
This was a great chat. I wish I could’ve participated, but work had other ideas.
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