Last Updated on December 12, 2020 by Jason A. Churchill

As the Seattle Mariners build their 2021 roster it’s important to keep in mind not every piece is going to fit neatly like a jigsaw puzzle, and that everything is fluid.

Along the way it can be helpful to take a snapshot of how things look, so let’s do that right here and now.

Earlier this week, GM Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners signed right-hander Chris Flexen to a two-year. $4.75 million deal with an option for a third season.

Thursday, the club selected two players in the Rule 5 Draft, including right-hander Will Vest in the big-league portion.

As a result, the depth chart looks a little different than it did last weekend.

Below is a depth chart of sorts, including all 40-man options in each position group, plus any relevant prospects that may see time next season.

Starting Rotation

Marco Gonzales
Yusei Kikuchi
Justus Sheffield
Justin Dunn
Chris Flexen
Nick Margevicius
Ljay Newsome
Robert Dugger
Logan Gilbert
Ian McKinney
Alejandro Requena

Margevicius, Newsome, Dugger and McKinney could see time in a relief role, as could Dunn if the club deems it time to pull the plug on him as a starter sometime between now and the end of the 2021 season. Requena, 24, was just signed and finished 2019 in Double-A.

If Seattle wants to win 80-85 games in 2021, they’ll need a proven veteran in the middle of the rotation or it’s going to get ugly no matter what they’re able to do in the bullpen.

Jake Odorizzi, Jose Quintana, Rick Porcello, Matt Shoemaker, Michael Wacha, Taijuan Walker, and Anthony DeSclafani are among the free agent options.


Bullpen

Kendall Graveman
Anthony Misiewicz
Casey Sadler
Brandon Brennan
Erik Swanson
Aaron Fletcher
Joey Gerber
Wyatt Mills
Sam Delaplane
Will Vest
Yohan Ramirez
Domingo Tapia
Penn Murfee
Andres Munoz
Raymond Kerr
Logan Rinehart
Jack Anderson
Darren McCaughan
Gerson Bautista
Drew Steckenrider
Brady Lail
Matt Magill
Moises Gomez
Cody Anderson
Nick Duron
Vinny Nittoli
Matt Festa

Murfee and McCaughan have been starters in the minors but project as relievers in the big leagues. Gomez was signed last month, is up to 98 mph and has a slider that flashes average but is very inconsistent. Steckenrider was league average with the Marlins in 2017 and 2018 before struggling in 2019. He lives in the mid-90s, touching 98 with a power curveball. He had a triceps injury in 2020 that kept him out all year, but if healthy he has a shot to win a role and help in 2021.

Pedro Baez, Alex Colome, Steve Cishek, Archie Bradley, Shane Greene, Greg Holland, Keone Kela, Mark Melancon, David Phelps, Joakim Soria, Justin Wilson, Jake McGee, Brandon Workman, and Kirby Yates are legitimate possibilities to fill middle relief and high-leverage roles.


Catchers

Tom Murphy
Luis Torrens
Jose Godoy
Brian O’Keefe
Cal Raleigh
Josh Morgan

The Mariners inked Godoy in November to add to the depth at the position. The club also inked Morgan, an infielder with some catching experience, to a minor league deal.

While all clubs are always looking for additional catching, the Mariners are in pretty good shape, both in terms of likely production, but in terms of club control and long-term outlook.


Infielders

Evan White
Dylan Moore
J.P. Crawford
Ty France
Shed Long Jr.
Sam Haggerty
Tim Lopes
Jose Marmolejos
Kyle Seager
Donovan Walton
Sam Travis
Amador Arias

Travis was signed in December, and Arias was a Rule 5 pick in the Triple-A phase. Lopes, Moore, Haggerty, and Marmolejos also played outfield in 2020. Long has limited outfield experience but projects passable there.

Seattle could use a multi-position infield veteran that can handle the outfield a bit, too. While Jurickson Profar is probably too rich an idea, Brock Holt and Jonathan Villar may not be.


Outfielders

Kyle Lewis
Mitch Haniger
Jake Fraley
Phillip Ervin
Taylor Trammell
Braden Bishop
Jarred Kelenic
Dom Thompson-Williams
Luis Liberato

It might be a stretch to think Liberato or even Thompson-Williams could see the majors in 2021, but worst-case scenario for injuries could push the envelope, and both can manage left field defensively and offer baserunning value.

Seattle should look for a veteran lefty stick that can play the outfield to pair with Ervin in left field until Kelenic is ready to take over, and to serve as a safety net in case the club contends and Kelenic struggles once he does arrive.

Free agent candidates include Robbie Grossman, Nick Markakis, Joc Pederson, Brian Goodwin, and Tyler Naquin.

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