Former Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story dealt with some arm troubles in 2021, including a stint on the injured list with right elbow inflammation in late May and early June. Now that Story has hit the free agent market, some teams are looking at him as their shortstop for the next half-decade or more but some, like the Seattle Mariners, are looking at him as a second baseman of the future.
Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reported on Monday that the Seattle Mariners are interested in a few infield options on the free agent market, including Marcus Semien (who could reportedly sign before the CBA ends at the end of this month, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Twitter) and Trevor Story.
For Semien, he is versatile in that he could play second, third, or shortstop for the Mariners whereas Story, at least in the major leagues, has only played shortstop. Story has played second and third in the minors, though.
But the Seattle Mariners may have more interest in Trevor Story than Marcus Semien
Divish also reported that Seattle Mariners general manager (and former Colorado Rockies pitcher and front office executive) Jerry Dipoto met with Excel Sports Management at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, California last week. Excel Sports Management represents Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman but also Trevor Story.
Divish cites sources the Mariners as believing that Story would be best at second due to his arm issues and “many scouts” have also cited that as well.
Currently, the Mariners have J.P. Crawford at shortstop. Crawford, 26, is no slouch at shortstop as he had a WAR of 3.8 last year. He had an OPS+ of 102 as he hit for more extra-base power than ever before. He only had nine homers but it was his career-high. However, he did have 37 doubles.
Defensively, he had 6 Defensive Runs Saved and won a Gold Glove in 2020. He had 8 DRS in 2021 and was a finalist for an AL Gold Glove but lost out on it to Houston’s Carlos Correa.
If Story is healthy, he would provide the Mariners with a much-needed bat in the middle or top of their order. On the season in 2021, the Mariners hit .226/.303/.385 as a team. That was an improvement, as they surged down the stretch and were in the playoff hunt until the final day of the season. Entering the All-Star break, the Mariners were hitting .217/.293/.378.
Seattle hasn’t made the postseason since 2001 so if they signed Story, they would be going all in for the next few seasons as they look to break the longest playoff droughts in North American sports.