5 Intriguing Outfield Free Agent Targets For The Mariners





By buying and selling for Teoscar Hernández, the Seattle Mariners made the primary of a number of strikes wanted to enhance an offense, which struggled to persistently rating runs in 2022. Subsequent up for the Mariners’ entrance workplace, purchase two extra established bats. Ideally, a nook outfielder with positional versatility and a middle-infielder.

This offseason, we’ve already coated outfield trade targets, plus free agent shortstops and middle-infielders conceivably obtainable by way of commerce. So, let’s shift our focus to 5 intriguing free agent outfielders probably able to serving to Seattle’s lineup in 2023 and maybe past.

Notes to think about earlier than starting.

+ Two of the gamers we’ll focus on acquired the qualifying provide (QO) from their former workforce. If the Mariners signal a participant tagged with a QO this offseason, the workforce loses its third-round choose within the 2023 draft.

+ There will probably be no speak about contract phrases, solely on-field worth.

+ Except famous, rankings are in opposition to certified hitters.

+ The age illustrated in tables displays how previous a participant will probably be on July 1, 2023.


Age
HH%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
xwOBA
wRC+
30
39.5%
.232
.344
.384
.322
.350
106
MLB
38.7
.263
.341
.443
.337
.317
100
Stats and MLB averages are from 2021

Conforto didn’t play this yr because of a proper shoulder harm suffered final offseason so extreme that it required season-ending surgical procedure. Now reportedly wholesome, he re-enters the free agent market.

Promoting factors: A balky hamstring restricted Conforto’s 2021 season to 125 video games, though his 106 wRC+ suggests a better-than-average run producer. It’s price noting he rebounded to clobber 13 doubles and 14 residence runs with a .445 SLG in his last 72 video games. Moreover, the left-handed hitter’s 133 wRC+ from 2017 to 2020 was twenty fifth greatest in MLB.

Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) portions how a hitter’s whole offensive worth compares with the league common after adjusting for park results. League-average is at all times 100. Due to this fact, a wRC+ of 150 means a hitter was 50-percent extra productive than the common participant. An 80 wRC+ can be 20-percent beneath common.

Conforto’s possesses a robust command of the strike zone, a trait the Mariners group values. His 12.6% stroll price was twenty fifth greatest amongst 198 hitters with 1,500-plus plate appearances since 2018.

Potential issues: Clearly, Conforto’s well being is a degree of emphasis. There’s the shoulder costing him this yr. Plus, the hamstring concern he handled in 2021 additionally affected his availability and productiveness the season prior. Lastly, the Oregon State product underwent surgical procedure for a separated left shoulder and a torn posterior capsule in 2017.

On the defensive entrance, Conforto’s -4 DRS in proper discipline in 2021 ranked 13 of 19 amongst gamers with 750-plus innings on the place. Maybe the Seattle, Washington native’s recurring hamstring concern contributed to the subpar protection.

Defensive runs saved (DRS) quantifies a participant’s whole defensive efficiency by trying to measure what number of runs a defender saved. It takes into consideration errors, vary, outfield arm and double-play capacity. – MLB.com


Age
HH%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
xwOBA
wRC+
31
61.8%
.311
.425
.686
.458
.463
207
MLB
38.4
.243
.312
.395
.310
.309
100

Promoting factors: Choose was baseball’s most potent offensive weapon in 2022. He paced MLB in residence runs, hard-hit price, OBP, SLG, wOBA, xwOBA, wRC+, and fWAR. The correct-handed slugger additionally boasted the fifth-highest AVG and second-best stroll price.

Hitting 62 residence runs in 2022 could have been a profession spotlight. However Choose has delivered superior offense numbers all through his seven big-league seasons. Extra just lately, the 2017 AL Rookie of the 12 months leads the majors in a number of stats and is close to the highest of the heap in lots of others for the reason that starting of the 2020 season.

Choose’s Numbers (and MLB Rankings) since 2020
110 HR (1st in MLB)
13.6 BB% (seventh)
.296 AVG (ninth)
.395 OBP (4th)
.611 SLG (1st)
.420 wOBA (1st)
.436 xwOBA (1st)
176 wRC+ (1st)
18 fWAR (1st)

During the last three seasons, Choose’s 16 DRS in proper discipline ties for sixth-best amongst 56 gamers with 500-plus innings on the place. It’s price noting he made a career-high 74 begins in middle discipline this yr. His above-average arm power was additionally top-six among right fielders in 2022.

Potential issues: Because the starting of 2017, Choose has performed in additional than 120 video games simply thrice – 2017, 2021, and this yr. In 2020, he appeared in simply 28 of the Yankees’ 60 contests.

Accidents retaining Choose off the sector embody a number of indirect strains and decrease leg accidents. The Fresno State product has rebounded every time. However it’s affordable to surprise how for much longer he can maintain his excellent run.


Age
HH%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
xwOBA
wRC+
30
39.8%
.274
.367
.433
.353
.342
134
MLB
38.4
.243
.312
.395
.310
.309
100

Promoting factors: In comparison with 98 outfielders with 350-plus plate appearances this yr, Nimmo was top-20 in big range of classes.

Nimmo’s Offensive Numbers And MLB Rating vs OF’ers
30 Doubles (thirteenth in MLB)
7 Triples (t-1st)
.278 AVG (nineteenth)
.367 OBP (ninth)
.433 SLG (twenty ninth)
.352 wOBA (14th)
.342 xwOBA (seventeenth)
132 wRC+ (seventh)
5.4 fWAR (seventh)

The left-handed hitting Nimmo didn’t undergo a major decline in manufacturing when going through southpaws this yr (786 OPS). The one left-handed batters with 200-plus plate appearances in opposition to lefty hurlers and a better OPS than the Wyoming native had been Yordan Alvarez (.998), Nathaniel Lowe (.920), Freddie Freeman (.824), and Shohei Ohtani (.787). Spectacular firm.

Nimmo has demonstrated the flexibility to play every outfield place. In 2022, he was New York’s common middle fielder, though his -3 DRS displays a below-average glove on the place. Throughout his profession, the veteran has accrued -11 DRS in 2,988.2 middle discipline innings in comparison with 7 DRS in left discipline (870.1 innings) and a couple of DRS in proper discipline (616.1).

Nimmo’s legs have aged effectively. His above-average 28.7 ft/sec dash pace is similar to what he produced in his rookie season in 2016.

This may increasingly sound trivial, nevertheless it’s price declaring.  Nimmo hustles on a regular basis. He actually runs to first base each time he attracts a stroll.

Potential issues: Like T-Mobile Park, New York’s Citi Field has a status for being a pitcher-friendly venue. Nimmo’s residence/away splits are proof constructive of this actuality. Might this be a possible crimson flag for Mariners administration?

Nimmo’s Dwelling / Away Splits In 2022
PA – 309 / 364
HR – 4 / 12
AVG – .234 / .309
OBP – .321 / .406
SLG – .366 / .492
OPS – .688 / .898

As with Choose, issues have been raised concerning Nimmo’s availability. Because the begin of the 2018 season, he’s appeared in 83.4% of Mets video games. Furthermore, the 2022 season was simply the second time he’s performed 100-plus video games. That stated, the 29-year-old did seem in 55 of 60 contests throughout the COVID-shortened 2020 season.


Age
HH%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
xwOBA
wRC+
28
38.5%
.304
.373
.399
.342
.334
122
MLB
38.4
.243
.312
.395
.310
.309
100

Promoting factors: Since his rookie season in 2017, Benintendi’s .351 OBP is Twentieth-best amongst gamers with 3,000-plus plate appearances. The left-handed hitter additionally possesses excellent plate self-discipline with a Twenty second-ranked 14.8% strikeout price and a top-40 stroll price in 2022.

Benintendi has been an above-average left discipline defender with 25 profession DRS. The 2021 Gold Glover did play middle discipline on a restricted foundation (71 video games, 525 innings) with the Crimson Sox. Nonetheless, he hasn’t appeared on the place for the reason that 2019 season.

Benintendi is the youngest of our 5 outfielders. The Ohioan is 2 years away from his age-30 season.

Potential issues: Benintendi’s profession 36.6% hard-hit price is barely beneath common. In 2022, the Arkansas alum hit 5 residence runs in 2022 and has averaged 25 doubles during the last two seasons. It’s unclear whether or not this might work on a full-time foundation at T-Cellular Park, which depresses offense.

Benintendi hasn’t been a disruptive power on the bottom paths. His 27.5 ft/sec charges as barely above-average. However he’s been caught stealing in 12 of 28 stolen base makes an attempt during the last two seasons.


Age
HH%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
xwOBA
wRC+
36
45.1%
.288
.370
.416
.345
.374
127
MLB
38.4
.243
.312
.395
.310
.309
100

Promoting factors: Throughout Brantley’s 4 seasons as an Astro, he’s been an outstanding offensive performer. The left-handed hitter stacks up effectively in opposition to gamers with a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances for the reason that begin of the 2019 marketing campaign.

Brantley’s Numbers (And MLB Rankings) since 2019
98 Doubles (thirty fifth in MLB)
.306 AVG (fifth)
.368 OBP (fifteenth)
.464 SLG (sixtieth)
.356 wOBA (thirty sixth)
.358 xwOBA (54th)
128 wRC+ (twenty eighth)

Brantley has been an especially dependable performer whether or not taking part in at residence or away. At Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the Bellevue, Washington native had a .304 AVG/.366 OBP/.471 SLG slash-line in his 4 years as an Astro in comparison with a really comparable .308/.369/.457 on the highway.

Potential issues: Brantley appeared in simply 64 video games this yr because of a proper shoulder harm requiring surgical restore. He had surgical procedure on the identical shoulder in 2016. A troubling growth for a participant coming into his age-36 season in 2023.

Brantley was an average-ish left discipline defender. However left discipline at his residence park is way smaller than at T-Cellular Park. This issues contemplating his 25.6 ft/sec dash pace during the last two seasons ranked 162nd amongst 176 gamers with 250-plus aggressive runs.


Ideas

My order of choice can be Nimmo by a big margin adopted by Benintendi, Choose, Conforto, and Brantley.

Nimmo is strictly what the Mariners want. He’s a flexible outfielder able to serving as a table-setter forward of Hernández, Julio Rodríguez, Eugenio Suárez, and Ty France in Seattle’s lineup. Sure, his availability might be a difficulty. However even when Nimmo averaged 120-130 video games a season, he might nonetheless be invaluable contributor to the offense.

Maybe buying Hernández makes it extra palatable so as to add a hitter not recognized for an influence bat – like Benintendi. As with Nimmo, he’s demonstrated the flexibility to hit on the high of the batting order. Nonetheless, it’s affordable to wonder if he can ship outcomes at Seattle’s residence yard. I’m not out on Benintendi. Simply not sure of what to anticipate from him. Perhaps he’d show my hesitation to be unwarranted. That will be simply advantageous by me.

The historical past of enormous males sustaining success late into their thirties doesn’t encourage concerning the 6-foot-7 Choose’s outlook. Solely two gamers 6-foot-6 or taller have made 500-plus plate appearances at age-35 or older and delivered a bWAR of two.5 or higher. They’re Corridor of Famer Dave Winfield (twice) and Dave Kingman (as soon as).

As a result of his latest spate of accidents, Conforto is a dangerous acquisition for a contender. Particularly if he had been being relied upon to be a full-time contributor. Then once more, a wholesome Michael Conforto might lengthen any workforce’s lineup – together with the Mariners.

Brantley has been an outstanding hitter during the last 5 seasons able to producing at any MLB venue. Nonetheless, advancing age and a banged up shoulder are troublesome.


Lastly

Maybe including Hernández reduces the Mariners’ curiosity in a outstanding free agent outfielder. However I don’t see why the workforce wouldn’t a minimum of kick the tires on our 5 candidates.

Bear in mind, Hernández solely represents a substitute for the anticipated manufacturing of departed free agent Mitch Haniger. Extra is required to enhance an offense that was average-ish in 2022.

I believe the Mariners’ entrance workplace agrees, which implies the range is about to get hotter.

My Oh My..

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Luke Arkins

Luke is a local New Yorker, who grew up as a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he determined to make Seattle his residence.

In 2014, Luke joined the Prospect Insider workforce. Throughout baseball season, he can usually be discovered observing the native workforce at T-Cellular Park.

You may observe Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins

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