Dipoto has made a series of moves to help the Mariners get there in 2018, making a couple of trades to bring in some extra bats and signing a key free-agent reliever to a mix that still features veteran position players Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz as the cornerstones.
This isn’t so much a battle between players for one specific position as it is more of one player battling to learn a new position.
Gordon, 29, is transitioning from second base to center field, a position he’s played only a few times in the Venezuelan Winter League four years ago.
Ryon Healy isn’t new to the major leagues, but he’s brand new to the Mariners, and they’ve decided to put their trust in the 26-year-old with just 221 career MLB games manning the full-time job at first base.
He’s played only 39 games at first base in the majors, yet Seattle is willing to move on from its previous platoon plan at first because of Healy’s brief but impressive .282/.313/.475 slash line with 38 home runs and 115 RBIs.
Healy, acquired in a November trade with the A’s, has spent most of his offseason taking more reps at first base, working primarily on his footwork and positioning, and he’s excited to see how he can help get the Mariners over the top.