Seattle Mariners Roster
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Free agent starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has attracted the attention of the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, among other teams. One of the last prominent left-handed starters on the market along with Clayton Kershaw and Carlos Rodon, Kikuchi pitched well enough with the Mariners in 2021 to earn a spot on the American League All-Star team, but a disappointing stretch to finish the year left him with a 4.41 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 29 starts. He made the surprising choice to opt out of a contract that would have paid him $13 million dollars in 2022. Wherever he ends up, Kikuchi will be a high-upside option late in 2022 fantasy drafts.
Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Andres Munoz has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will guarantee him at least $7.5 million dollars. The deal also includes three club options. The initial four-year duration covers his final year before arbitration and all three arbitration years. The flame-throwing Munoz was acquired via trade from the San Diego Padres along with Ty France and others in 2020, and he has made just one appearance as a Mariner, recording two outs in the final game of the 2021 season. Munoz has long been considered a potential future dominant closer, with a fastball that averaged in the triple digits before his most recent injury. For now, with just 23 2/3 big-league innings to his name, he'll operate as a setup man in front of Paul Sewald.
Reigning American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and the Seattle Mariners are finalizing a five-year, $115 million deal on Monday that includes an opt-out after the third season, according to sources familiar with the deal. Seattle will have to give up a draft pick after the lefty declined Toronto's qualifying offer. Ray will give the M's a legitimate ace atop their starting rotation after coming off a career season in 2021 in which he led the AL in ERA (2.84) and innings (193 1/3) and became the first Jays pitcher to lead the league in strikeouts with 248. He had a league-leading 10 starts with double-digit strikeouts. Ray's career-best 6.9% walk rate was a sharp dropoff from his career 11% walk rate through 2020. The 30-year-old southpaw throws hard and has always generated a bunch of strikeouts, but fantasy managers will be banking on him maintaining the mechanics that led to better control and fewer free passes in 2021.
The Seattle Mariners are acquiring second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres on Saturday in exchange for hard-throwing left-handed reliever Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier, according to sources familiar with the agreement. Frazier will give the Mariners an upgrade at the keystone and can fill in as an outfielder option if needed, too. The 29-year-old hit .305/.368/.411 with five home runs and 10 stolen bases in 639 plate appearances with the Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021. Frazier doesn't have much pop, but his elite contact skills are an asset in fantasy. Kerr, 27, had a 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 60 K's in 39 2/3 innings for Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma in 2021. Rosier, 22, hit .390/.461/.585 with three homers, 23 RBI and 13 steals in 31 games with Single-A Modesto in his first professional season.
The Seattle Mariners have made several roster moves Thursday, adding minor league outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Alberto Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr to their 40-man roster. They now have filled 39 spots. Julio Rodriguez is by far the biggest name of the three, and the move is intended to protect him and both other players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Rodriguez could make an impact at the big-league level as soon as 2022, and general manager Jerry Dipoto has stated that there is "no scenario" in which Rodriguez (or several other top prospects) are moved this offseason. The 20-year-old slashed .347/.441/.560 with 13 homers and 21 steals in 74 games across two levels in 2021. Dynasty managers should already have him rostered.