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MLB: Seattle Mariners Essential Season Preview

Updated: Feb 26

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Index

We will preview all thirty MLB teams. Please use the MLB 2024 Spring Training and Season Preview Index to access all of the team season previews indexed for you all in one spot.

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Season Preview

All of the Essential Team Season Previews build off of data that is presented in the "MLB League Season Preview Data." In this article I give the grading scale, the WAR data driving my season projections including the MLB heatmap, prospect source info, and payroll info.


In the MLB League Season Preview, I will provide you with the league wide data that will be referenced in the Essential Team Season Previews. You might find yourself referencing both as you look at these team previews.


Click the link above or the picture to the left above.

Get excited Spring Training is HERE! MLB's message for all of us- Baseball is calling.


With all of that out of the way, here is the next of the Essential Team Season Previews- the Seattle Mariners.


Can Seattle get into the postseason this year? We will break it down for you here.


Shoutout to Fangraphs.com for providing most of the data behind our essential previews.






Here is the outline for the content here.

  1. Batters

    1. Projected Lineup

    2. Bench

    3. Key Minor League Players

    4. Players on IL

    5. Critical Stats

    6. Player Grades

    7. Team Hitting Grades

  2. Pitchers

    1. Starters

    2. Relievers

    3. Key Minor League Players

    4. Players on IL

    5. Critical Stats

    6. Player Grades

    7. Team Pitching Grades

  3. Season Projection Data

    1. Projected team strengths and weaknesses

    2. Payroll Flexibility

    3. Season Projection




Park Effects- Bonus Section- Data Wonks Only


Park Effects

Per this data on Baseball Savant, the Seattle Mariners play in the most pitcher friendly ballpark in the MLB.


This tends to make their batter statistics appear worse than true talent. If you dive deep into the numbers, you will see OPS metrics that are average have higher than average wRC+ numbers that reflects this home park effect. For my 2024 team OPS to wRC+ model, I project overridden data in these cases.


This is also a reason to use wRC+ type metrics for the grades I assign. wRC+ statistics have a ballpark effect adjustment.


This also tends to make the Mariners pitchers appear better than true talent. This is evident when comparing ERA/ FIP which are not park adjusted to ERA-/ FIP- which are. Unfortunately, Fangraphs does not provide FIP- in the 2024 projections. I have a league wide FIP to FIP- correlation which cannot be used here. I regressed a model for 2024 Mariners based on the 2023 FIP to FIP-. I also moved the grades to be based on FIP-.


Grades based on wRC+ and FIP- make them more accurate to the league for comparisons.


Batters

  1. Projected Lineup

  2. Bench

  3. Key Minor League Players

  4. Players on IL

  5. Critical Stats

  6. Player Grades

  7. Team Hitting Grades


2024 Season Projections

I have put the batters in this table per what I expect the projected lineup to be. I then included who I think will be on the bench on opening day. Lastly, I included key players I expect will start in the minor leagues, but they project to get at least get some PAs.

2024 Seattle Hitting

The overall Hitting Grade for the 2024 Mariners is B which the same as in 2023. The WAR projected is down 1.3 from last year.


What is remarkable about the Mariners is the significant turnover. In the table above the players in yellow were acquired via trade this offseason. Garver being shaded in green signifies he was signed as a free agent.


Polanco is the big addition for the Mariners in the offseason.


The 2024 Mariners project to be an above average to potentially good hitting team as we will even show more later. The lineup is fairly balanced one through eight. Julio Rodriquez is the star that leads the hitting.


To further see the Mariners' turnover, see the 2023 data below.


2023 Season Data

2023 Seattle Hitting

Overall, the Mariners offense in 2023 is very similar in results than to what is projected in 2024 despite the turnover.


As shown, the players in blue were traded out in 2023 (dark blue) or after 2023 (light blue). The players in yellow were traded for during 2023. The players in orange left as free agents after 2023.


J.P. Crawford likely had a career year in 2023.


Pitchers

  1. Starters

  2. Relievers

  3. Key Minor League Players

  4. Players on IL

  5. Critical Stats

  6. Player Grades

  7. Team Pitching Grades

2024 Season Projections

Similarly to the batters, I have put the pitcher in this table per what I expect their projected roles to be. I added the injured pitchers. Lastly, I included key players I expect will start in the minor leagues, but they project to get at least get some IPs.

2024 Seattle Pitching

You might want to reread the data wonky section w.r.t. to pitching.


The overall Pitching Grade for the 2024 Mariners is B-. This is down slightly from their B grade in 2023.


The Mariners team strength is their top 3 SP and their top 4 RP. Beyond this group of pitchers, the rest of the staff is rather mediocre or worse. IF the Mariners make the post season, these seven could propel Seattle to go far.


I plan to write an article comparing the top of each staff. The Mariners will do well in that.


The Achilles heel for the Mariners could be their depth. Beyond the seven, the Mariners do not have apparent great options to fill in critical roles.


I am surprised that the park adjusted wRC+ and FIP- metrics actual lead one to conclude that in a neutral park environment the hitting is lightly better than the pitching. Of course, Seattle is NOT a neutral park environment. WAR has a park adjustment built in, but it does not seem to affect the WAR as much as wRC+ or FIP-.


Let's compare the 2024 Mariners pitching to the core pitching last year.


2023 Season Data

2023 Seattle Pitching

As with the hitters, there has been a lot of turnover on the Mariners pitching staff.


Ultimately, trading Topa, Gott, Sewald, and Campbell and adding Santos, Kowar, and Voth is a net minus to the bullpen.


Overall, I think the Mariners overall pitching will take a step back.


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Season Projection Data

  1. Projected team strengths and weaknesses

  2. Payroll Flexibility

  3. Season Projection


Projected team strengths and weaknesses

Seattle WARs

The projected heatmap reflects what we tend to think about the Mariners- a pitcher dominant team. This again is a little different than our wRC+/ FIP- analysis told us.


When looking forward and using this kind of data, it is the relative ranks that are the most important data.

The batters are good to great at C and CF. The SP is also WAR ranked as a strength. RF, LF, 2B, and 3B are relative weaknesses for the Mariners.


The Mariners project to have the thirteenth best offense in the league. They project to have the fifth best pitching. Overall, the Projected WAR says the Mariners have the ninth most talent in the MLB. As a reminder, the Mariners finished 2023 with the fifth most WAR. They would project to take a step back overall.


Payroll Flexibility

Seattle Payroll

The Mariners are decreasing their real payroll cost in 2024 to $135M from $140M in 2023. The Mariners are spending the 18th most in the MLB.


The Mariners’ full purchase of the ROOT Sports Northwest regional sports network has put some added expenses onto the organization’s books, and seemingly limited what the front office has had available to spend this offseason.  Roster Resource projects Seattle for a $135MM payroll in 2024, and though Dipoto said that the Mariners were able to spend beyond their $140MM payroll from last season, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of wiggle room available.


The Mariners do not seem poised to add a major FA piece. They are currently at a CBT Payroll of $156M per Roster Resource. Seattle has no one projected to be a free agent after this season.


Season Projection


Put all of this together and the Mariners project to be similar to the team they had last year (88-74).

Seattle Projection

The WAR projection shown in the "MLB League Season Preview Data" of about 85 wins seems about right. I think Seattle will once again battle the Rangers and Rays and perhaps the Orioles for a wild card spot. I think DiPoto will make moves at the trade deadline to get them in. I think the Mariners will finish with an 86-76 record.


I will also note that when I did the Who Won the MLB Offseason article, we noted that the Mariners lost the fourth most WAR this offseason. You can see this when you compare the tables above. In the hitting and pitching tables I don't even make the WAR adjustment; and yet, both the hitting and pitching project to lose WAR. Seattle (5th most WAR in MLB) significantly underperformed their WAR last year. I think if they will perform to their WAR, they end up close to the same level of wins.


It is my favorite time of the year. Let's get ready for opening day by checking out all of the MLB teams here. Hopefully, this Mariners Essential Season Preview will be a resource for you all year long. Use this to remind you what we expected and to see how the team progresses this season.


You can see the kind of work we do for you at the site. Maybe you don't see is that I NEED your support to make it happen. The work I do is not easy because I strive to give you good content. To do that I need more support.


I think the Mariners Mojo did a great job breaking down some key opportunities for the Mariners and giving us the Seattle perspective.




Support the Site


There are now three opportunities for you to support the

LarryTheGM.com website in 2024.



I give you the full url link, so you know this is not some scam link. It is legit. PLEASE help this site grow.


If you want the content that is planned, PLEASE step up and help the site.  If you don't care, then don't. Now let's get back to it.




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