So fun to be discussing the top free agents as possibilities for the Mariners. According toMLB.com's Anthony Castrovice (I had to use somebody's list), these are free agents 6 through 10 on the market. But the predictions are MY own personal beliefs as to where everyone's heading and how much interest the Mariners would have in each...
6. 2B/SSMARCUS SEMIEN
- The career SS moved to 2B in 2021 and experienced a career year, winning a Gold Glove and finishing in the top 3 in voting for AL MVP. Surely, he enjoyed life at the keystone and wants to stay there, right? After all, the Mariners have a hole at 2B (not SS) and I've been saying for months that Semien should be the player that fills it. And now, it seems everyone in the country is saying the same thing, with several national analysts predicting Semien to sign with Seattle.
Chances Semien becomes a Mariner: High.
Where I think he'll sign: Mariners.
Runner up: Blue Jays
Don't rule out: Anyone. Semien took a 1-year deal as a 2020 Free Agent. He now gets to capitalize financially on the gamble he made on himself.
7. SPROBBIE RAY
- Like Semien, Ray put together a career-year during his lone full-season with the Blue Jays. He's always had the talent. But to the chagrin of his former club in Arizona, Ray didn't put it all together until he donned a Jays uni. Ray is likely going to win the AL Cy Young Award and then be paid an "Ace's Ransom" at the marketplace.
Chances Ray becomes a Mariner: Low
Where I think he'll sign: Toronto
Runner Up: Dodgers (who I don't expect to bring back Kershaw)
Don't rule out: Angels (who are just that desperate for starting pitching)
8. 2B/SSJAVIER BAEZ
- The Magician. The highs and lows of Javier Baez are the game's most extreme. A dynamic defender and baserunner with a penchant for bonehead plays. A game-changing bat with a monster hole in the barrel (man strikes out a lot). An electrifying personality that can rub teammates and fans the wrong way. All of that said, if Semien's asking price proves too high for the Mariners, I wouldn't hesitate to chase Baez and sign him while his price remains low by comparison to other elite middle infielders hitting the market this winter.
Chances Baez becomes a Mariner: Existent.
Where I think he'll sign: Houston
Runner up: Mets (as long as he's okay with playing 2nd)
Don't rule out: Cubs (A fanbase that loves even your warts is a difficult one to leave)
9. 1BFREDDIE FREEMAN
- The lovable Freddie and his gigantic false teeth aren't going anywhere.
Chances Freeman becomes a Mariner: A hard none.
Where I think he'll sign: Braves
Runner up: Braves
Don't rule out: Red Sox (Okay, I could have said Braves again. But there's a chance Freeman could price Atlanta out of his market. If he goes for top dollar over the romantic notion of playing for one team his entire career, then Boston is a tremendous fit for his talents.)
10. SPKEVIN GAUSMAN
- He's done it. He's finally lived up to the expectations that greeted him as a rookie in Baltimore. Unfortunately for the Orioles, Gausman waited years to find his groove, and he found it in another city. The Giants may or might not give him the best offer on the market, but I don't think he's going to risk finding out that he'd found the perfect ballpark/organization to pitch in/for and left for a little extra cash.
Where I think he'll sign: Giants
Runner up: Red Sox
Don't rule out: Mariners
Chances Gausman becomes a Mariner: On the radar. (Personally, I don't think pitching will be Jerry's priority in free agency, but I don't rule out interest in the right-hander.)