The Seattle Mariners were the trendy pick heading into 2023 to take that next step and end their World Series drought. They had just made the playoffs in 2022 for the first time since 2001. They beat the Toronto Blue Jays to win their first playoff series since 2001. They played a highly competitive series against the Houston Astros that came down to about two pitches. Yordan Alvarez hit a game-winning home run against Robbie Ray in game one and then Jeremy Pena hit a solo home run in the 18th inning of game three. It was something to build on for the Mariners for 2023.
Seattle made a few moves around the fringes of the roster last offseason. They acquired Teoscar Hernandez in a trade with the Blue Jays. They traded for Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers. They signed A.J. Pollock in January. They went into the season with much of the same team they had in 2022.
Seattle with their minor improvements was still predicted to finish ahead of Texas and in some publications picked to win the AL West. Texas was picked anywhere from third to fourth in the division and to not make the playoffs. In the end Texas jumped the line and passed the Mariners. Texas finished 90-72 on the season and won one of the wild card spots. Seattle came up short and finished with an 88-74 record and did not make the playoffs. A lot of reasons for that, but one of the main reasons is that Seattle had a 4-9 record against Texas.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto in his exit press conference made some comments that riled up the Mariners fan base. He mentioned how the teams' goal is to win 54 percent of their games. He then also said this,
"If what you're doing is focusing year-to-year on ‘what do we have to do to win the World Series this year’ you might be one of the teams that's laying in the mud and can't get up for another decade, so we're actually doing the fan base a favor in asking for their patience to win the World Series, while we continue to build a sustainably good roster."- Jerry Dipoto
It certainly did not help his case when almost a month after making these comments the Mariners' rival in Texas did go off and win their first World Series. That left the Mariners on an even shorter list of teams that have never won a World Series. They are on the list with the Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Colorado Rockies. Seattle is the only Major League team to have never been to the World Series. Now the question becomes how does Seattle respond to Texas winning the World Series? Do they go all-in or still make cautious moves?