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FanPost Friday: Mariners offseason vibe check

Spoiler alert: it continues to deteriorate

Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Hello and welcome back to FanPost Friday. I took a few weeks off with the holidays and to give the Mariners time to give us something to talk about. Thanks to the eternally cursed monkey paw that is Mariners fandom, we certainly do have some things to talk about. Let’s start with salary dump trades and the burning question of “How are the Mariners somehow f*cking broke?”

If you missed the trades somehow, you can read all about them here and here. Long story short, the Mariners have moved everyday third baseman Eugenio Suárez, former outfielder and slugger of the future Jarred Kelenic, a possibly still broken Marco Gonzales, and a definitely still broken Evan White. They replaced them borderline waiver wire players (sort of, “replaced” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there). They had to send cash to the Braves to balance out the remaining large contracts of Gonzales and White, but still it’s kind of amazing they were able to move those two players and get literally anything in return. Anyways, both trades are clear salary dumps that could give the team some flexibility for future signings, but it seems more likely that the org has suddenly had to change course on offseason plans in order to save money. Why does a team that snapped a postseason drought two seasons ago and just missed the playoffs in 2023 while rocking its highest attendance numbers since 2007 need to suddenly be frugal?

Ryan Divish pointed out right before the Winter Meetings that the current dusty wallet situation stems from concerns about ROOT Sports:

The Mariners took over their longtime regional sports network, ROOT Sports Northwest, in April of 2013. By holding that controlling interest, their situation seemed to be less fraught with financial failure.

With Xfinity as the largest distributor of ROOT Sports NW in the Puget Sound, there is a concern that the cost to move up a tier is simply too much for fans who were already considering cutting the cable cord.

It’s a concerning development for the Mariners. Less subscribers and less viewers means less revenue generated from broadcasts from all three teams. The television deals with the Blazers and Kraken are also based on subscriber projections at the previous level.

And that came out right before the Kelenic trade, which combined with the Suárez trade casts quite a pall over the remainder of the offseason for the Mariners. Without having access to front office’s books, we have no way of knowing how broke they are or how risk-avoidant they are being in reaction to the ROOT Sports/Xfinity instability. So that’s where the speculation starts and ends for us, pretty much. Is it all a smoke screen? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that it’s a baffling and immensely disappointing turn of events for a team who continues to trample over every bit of good will it earned the last three seasons. I hope something changes for the better before Spring Training.

But! I want to hear from y’all. The LL community has been noticeably, understandably, and vocally quite perturbed and restless these last few weeks. I haven’t seen the sun in like a week and the sidewalks around my home are under water, so I’m sure that doesn’t help the vibes around here either. Nevertheless, let’s hit them polls!


Grade the offseason as it stands today:

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    (22 votes)
  • 2%
    (48 votes)
  • 4%
    (78 votes)
  • 5%
    (109 votes)
  • 11%
    (216 votes)
  • 6%
    (132 votes)
  • 66%
    Big ol’ F
    (1270 votes)
1899 votes total Vote Now


Are you holding onto any hope whatsoever that the Mariners sign Shohei Ohtani?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Yes, just a smidge
    (354 votes)
  • 71%
    Absolutely not
    (1235 votes)
  • 8%
    (144 votes)
1733 votes total Vote Now


Considering the haul the Yankees gave up to land Juan Soto, would you have been willing to give up a similar return of Mariners players to get Soto?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    (469 votes)
  • 62%
    (1050 votes)
  • 9%
    Yes, but only if my favorite pet player (insert name here) was not included
    (160 votes)
1679 votes total Vote Now


What needs to happen for you to feel *decent* about this offseason for the Mariners?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Sign Ian Snell
    (50 votes)
  • 4%
    Sign Cody Bellinger
    (71 votes)
  • 31%
    Somehow trade with Rays for some combo of Randy Arozarena, Yandy Díaz, and Isaac Paredes
    (551 votes)
  • 6%
    Sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto from NPB
    (115 votes)
  • 51%
    For Mariners ownership to sell the team to someone willing and able to spend competitively
    (900 votes)
  • 3%
    Other, discuss in comments!
    (67 votes)
1754 votes total Vote Now

Okay folks, stay dry out there and have a good and safe weekend. I know things seem dire in Mariners fandom right now, but remember that we’re all going through it (and other things!), so it’s never a bad idea to be kind to each other.