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The Seattle Mariners are looking to make a splash in free agency this winter, and it appears they have eyes on one of the top free-agent shortstops available on the market.
Seattle has “checked in on” former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, according to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports. The Mariners have also expressed interest in Kolten Wong and Gleyber Torres, Bowden added.
Turner is one of the most sought-after free agents at any position this winter after an impressive 2022 campaign with the Dodgers. He joins a free-agent shortstop class that also includes Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.
The 29-year-old slashed .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs and 100 RBI in 160 games. He also posted 27 stolen bases and earned his second career All-Star Game selection.
Turner has been a consistent offensive threat over his eight-year career, winning the National League Batting title in 2021 and a Silver Slugger award in 2022. He also boasts a career slash line of .302/.355/.487.
The Mariners deployed J.P Crawford at shortstop in 2022, but he hit .243/.339/.336 with six home runs and 42 RBI in 145 games, and Seattle has a desire to upgrade offensively, which Turner could certainly help with.
Adding Turner would give the Mariners another proven threat at the plate alongside Julio Rodríguez. He would also help improve an infield that includes Abraham Toro, Ty France and Eugenio Suárez.
The Mariners made the playoffs in 2022 for the first time since 2001 after finishing second in the AL West with a 90-72 record. However, they were eliminated from the division series after being swept by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros.
Seattle proved in 2022 that it could contend, now it must continue building around Rodríguez in 2023 and beyond. That could begin with adding a player like Turner, though there are also a number of other star free agents available.
Further, there will be some stiff competition for Turner’s services, so the Mariners must be prepared to pivot at any moment.