Jorge Soler to Seattle?
The Seattle Mariners seem to be a team that doesn't know if they want to contend or not. Their front office head Jerry Dipoto is notoriously trigger happy when it comes to wanting to constantly shuffle rosters and make moves and this offseason is no different. Seattle traded away talented outfielder Jarred Kelenic to get some of their worst contracts off their payroll and sent Eugenio Suarez to the Diamondbacks earlier in the offseason. Declining to try to keep Teoscar Hernandez also sent a signal that changes were coming.
For some, it was thought that the Mariners were making room for a big signing such as a play for Shohei Ohtani or to try and snag Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, with the Mariners' own TV rights issues, it seemed just as likely that Seattle was trying to trim payroll altogether despite narrowly missing the playoffs last season and having an exciting young roster.
The picture is a bit cloudier now, though, as rumor has it that Seattle is targeting Jorge Soler on the free agent market. While Soler isn't going to get a huge contract in comparison to what some guys are going to get this offseason, he isn't going to be cheap as he declined a $9 million option with the Marlins for 2024. Given that the market doesn't have a lot of power bats available, Soler stands out as both being available and having a ton of upside.
For the Astros, Seattle still looking to improve their inconsistent offense presents yet another challenge in the division. The Mariners' pitching is already quite strong and they have trimmed some fat there this offseason as well. If they can continue to pitch well AND land a 30+ home run guy like Soler, the AL West could be very, very tough in 2024 and Houston won't have much wiggle room to answer such a challenge given their own limitations.