This story is adapted from Daniel Kramer’s Mariners’ Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter: Click here. And Subscribe To receive it regularly in your inbox.

SEATTLE — The Mariners entered the week in a comfortable position, carrying an improved roster assembled after the additions of Mitch Garver, Mitch Haninger and Luke Raleigh, among others. But Monday night’s trade with the Twins for second baseman Jorge Polanco puts the lineup in a better position than it was on the deadline day of the 2023 season.

Polanco was acquired along with cash consideration for reliever Justin Topa, starter/reliever Anthony Desclafani and outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez and right-hander Darren Bowen.

A four-to-one swing clearly shows a win-now move. Here are some excerpts from the commercial:

1. How does Polanco fit in a crowded infield?
Polanco acts as a switch-hitter and up-and-down center fielder who can stretch Seattle’s lineup and bolster the bench as a result of relegations where other players are scattered.

Drafted as a shortstop, Polanco was permanently moved to second base in 2021, but after returning from a left hamstring injury in 2023, he logged 103 innings at third base. Places in the lineup where he can be installed under manager Scott Service.

“Having a guy who’s a split neutral, can hit in the middle of the lineup from either side is a huge advantage for Scott as he stacks the lineup,” Mariners general manager Justin Holland said.

With left-handed hitter Josh Rojas and right-hander Dylan Moore at second, the team is likely now moving to third, and Luis Urias was slated to see more reps this offseason. And assuming the Mariners have righty lefties Dominick Canzon and Luke Raleigh as well as Julio Rodriguez pushing the corners in the outfield, on any given night one of the team’s lineups is Moore, catcher Sebi Zavala and the bench. Rojas or Urias.

“It gives Scott a lot of options every day to figure out who fits best based on what the other team is doing,” Holland said.

Perhaps quietly most of all, Polanco’s presence gives the Mariners much-needed injury insurance, given everyone’s depth and versatility.

2. How do you replace topa?
The biggest void created by Monday’s trade is in the back end, where Topa has been a reliable setup man, with a 2.61 ERA (155 ERA+, league average of 100). He will make $1.25 million next season.

The Mariners have been on the verge of turning unknown names into legitimate relievers — with Topa and Paul Sewald being the headliners — and given what they have in Jackson Kovar, Carlos Vargas, Mauricio Llovera, it’s understandable that they’ll be comfortable entering spring training. , Cody Bolton, Edward Bazardo, and Preland Beroa, among others, although they did not consistently perform in the majors.

“Topa was very good; we have to replace him,” Holland said. “I think, as always, where we can improve on the outside is probably with the inside.”

DeSclafani was slated to be a sixth starter who would pitch in the spring, then move to the bullpen, possibly as first-rotation reinforcement if necessary. Earlier this month, Washington State native Austin Vought was signed to a major league deal and now holds that position.

3. What about those who give up?
The Mariners parted with two notable prospects in Gonzalez (No. 3 in the organization, in the MLB pipeline, and No. 79 overall) and Bowen (unrated but in Seattle’s top 30 for 2024).

Gonzalez is a contact specialist but is limited to the corner-outfield position, putting more pressure on the bat. He did smash 18 homers between Low-A Modesto and High-A Everett last year, though his exit velocity and other measures of impact haven’t quite taken off as some evaluators had predicted.

Bowen in 2010 He was a 13th-round pick in 2022 but took a big step last year in Modesto, finishing at 97-98 mph and sitting at 94-95 mph. The long-term profile may come as a relief, but there is an upside.

4. What activities are next?
With most of their lineup holes filled and their rotation looking like a place they’d like to deal with, the rotation is at its peak this offseason — minor league additions such as minor league deals in spring training. Even if invited.

“I feel like our team is more complete than it was yesterday and I feel it’s better than it was yesterday,” Holland said Monday night. “I don’t want to destroy anything. I don’t want to make any promises. There’s no telling what might come between now and the start of the regular season.