As the Seattle Mariners prepare for the 2021 season — Year 3 of the rebuild — let’s look three years ahead to what things might look like as a result of improved scouting and development under GM Jerry Dipoto.

A couple of notes first:

  • Contract length and team control years are taken into consideration. For example, Kendall Graveman‘s contract expires at season’s end and he will then qualify for free agency. Therefore, he will not be included in the following projections.
  • Contract Options will be exercised in reasonable situations, such as Marco Gonzales‘ $15 million option for 2024.
  • No additions will be made by any route except organic growth through the existing farm system. No trades, no free agents, no future draft picks or international signings.
  • Age listed below is on Opening Day 2024
  • ‘Contract’ reflects current contract length, full years of service, or arbitration status entering the season.
  • * denotes contract has further options
  • I chose 2024, three years out, rather than two, to demonstrate how strong the club’s organic growth could be, even that far down the road. Vast improvement without using up a lot of assets is often a precursor to deep playoff runs. Ask the Astros, Braves, Cubs, Cleveland, Twins and many others.

ROTATION

POS PLAYER AGE CONTRACT
SP1 Emerson Hancock 24 1.0
SP2 Logan Gilbert 26 2.0
SP3 Marco Gonzales 32 THRU ’24
SP4 George Kirby 26 1.0
SP5 Justus Sheffield 27 ARB2

Gilbert is going to be the first of the future crop of arms to get to the big leagues, but Hancock carries the biggest upside. Brandon Williamson, Levi Stoudt, Sam Carlson, Isaiah Campbell, Adam Macko, and Juan Then will be in consideration by 2024 and could unseat one of the above 5, or replace them if the club trades one or, in Marco Gonzales’ case, declines the option.

Sheffield could fit in a relief role if he’s unseated in the rotation.

POS PLAYER AGE CONTRACT
CL Andres Munoz 25 ARB2
SU Juan Then 24 2.0
SU Levi Stoudt 26 2.0
SU Isaiah Campbell 26 2.0

For this exercise today I am projecting Then, Stoudt, and Campbell to the bullpen. Connor Phillips could end up there and be a factor by ’24, too, and both Wyatt Mills and Sam Delaplane could remain factors.

POS PLAYER AGE CONTRACT
1B Evan White 27 *THRU ’25
2B Dylan Moore 31 ARB3
3B Noelvi Marte 22 R
SS J.P. Crawford 29 ARB4
 C Cal Raleigh 27 2.0
LF Jarred Kelenic 24 2.0
CF Kyle Lewis 28 ARB2
RF Julio Rodriguez 23 1.0
DH Ty France 29 ARB2

Neither Moore nor Crawford are the best bets to still be around. There remains an outside chance Marte sticks at shortstop, which could open third base for Austin Shenton or Ty France, the two best in-house bets to man the position in 2022 and 2023. Milkar Perez may be in the third-base picture  by 2024.

Shed Long could be a factor at second base, followed by Kaden Polcovich.

Taylor Trammell and Zach DeLoach will be in play in the outfield before 2024.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2021 by Jason A. Churchill

Image courtesy of Seattle Mariners
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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 and spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio. He now serves as the Executive Copy Editor at Data Skrive, a tech company that manipulates data to provide automated content to clients including the AP, BetMGM, USA Today, and ESPN. Find Jason's baseball podcast, Baseball Things, right here.