The Mariners primary center fielder and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis is on the IL. He was placed on the IL in early June with a torn meniscus that required knee surgery so he is still going to be out for a long time.
Their top prospect, Jarred Kelenic, who is MLB.com’s #4 prospect overall prospect, flat out needs more time in the majors. A .099 average and a .358 OPS in 31 games is simply not going to cut it. He was tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A but he obviously still needs more time there, as does Taylor Trammell (MLB.com’s #100 prospect entering 2021 but he has since lost his rookie status).
Trammell, who is currently in Triple-A, was hitting .160 with a .615 OPS in the majors.
Second baseman Dylan Moore hasn’t played well either (.180 AVG and a .638 OPS) so the Mariners could put Story at second base or move Crawford to second and play Story at shortstop.
Story is not likely to resign in Seattle (and they might not have the money to do it anyway) but for a team that is 2.5 games out of the playoffs and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001, they will likely be willing to pull the trigger on a deal, even if they have to overpay.