Mariners first baseman Evan White is healthy and even hit a home run in today’s spring action (Twitter link with video from the club). But Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports that the team wants him to get everyday action in Triple-A Tacoma to start the season. That’s fairly logical given that injuries have held back the former top prospect in recent seasons. In November of 2019, he and the club agreed to a six-year contract with three club options, before White had even cracked the majors. He finally made his debut in 2020 but struggled, striking out in 41.6% of his plate appearances. The two subsequent seasons were marred by various injuries, including hip surgery and sports hernia surgery, with White only getting into 62 total games between the majors and minors.
With so much missed time and White still having options, some regular playing time in the minors could help him get back on track. There’s also the matter of Ty France having taken over as the club’s regular first baseman. “I said to our coaches, ‘I believe at some point this year, Evan White will help us,’” Mariners manager Scott Servais said to Daniel Kramer of MLB.com. “He’s going to impact us. Certainly, Ty France has first base locked down right now. But things happen. Things happen throughout the course of the year. But [White] just needs to go play baseball, put himself kind of back on the map again — and the only way he can do that is to be available.”
In 2019, White played 92 games in Double-A and hit 18 home runs. His .293/.350/.488 batting line was good for a 132 wRC+, indicating he was 32% better than the league average hitter. If he can get back into that form, that would be a nice depth piece for the M’s to have.
Some other notes from around the league…
- Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander left today’s game after being hit on the knee with a pitch, with Nathan Ruiz of The Baltimore Sun among those to relay the details. The game was in the sixth inning at the time and Santander may have been scheduled to leave the game at that time anyway, but he did limp away from the field with the trainer by his side. The club later provided an update, describing Santander as day-to-day with a bruised knee. “I think he’s OK,” manager Brandon Hyde said, per Ruiz. If Santander isn’t seriously harmed, that would be good news for two clubs, as he’s set to play for Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Injuries dragged Santander down in 2021 but he stayed healthy last year and got back on track, hitting 33 home runs and finishing with a .240/.318/.455 batting line for a 120 wRC+.
- The White Sox are going to be without their closer for an unknown amount of time as Liam Hendriks is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They will have to figure out how to proceed in the meantime, but it doesn’t seem like there are any plans to have one set closer. “Absolutely not,” manager Pedro Grifol said to Scott Merkin of MLB.com. “That’s not how we are going to run it.” Many teams are bucking traditional closers these days, preferring to target their best pitchers to the best hitters in the opposing lineup, with the Sox perhaps leaning that way as well. Though there won’t be a set closer, some candidates for high leverage work will include Kendall Graveman, Aaron Bummer, Joe Kelly and Reynaldo López.
Evan White has been a disastrous signing for the Mariners so far, but I think it has done more harm to his career even if it has padded his wallet. Normally when prospects are bypassed on the depth chart for whatever reason, as White was by Ty France, they can be traded or even released and catch on with another franchise and get another chance. However, when they are signed long term and have not shown the ability to play in the bigs, no other team is going to be willing to take the gamble. White will continue to flounder at AAA unless something happens to France. Same thing happened to a lot of these early extensions that didn’t really pay off.
I think you are just overrating Evan’s underwhelmingness.
Kingery with the Phils and Singleton with the Astros are two others who come to mind. Although in general I think it’s a good idea to lock up young players with extensions.
The first one that came to my mind was Rusney Castillo with the Red Sox. He hit over .300 in AAA for three straight years, but didn’t get called back up because of luxury tax considerations. Yeah he got paid well, but I doubt there are many players that would prefer money over playing in the majors. Most, if not all, of these guys have been dreaming of being a major league player a lot more than they dreamed of being rich.
With the GREED and INFLATION today. Why not
Disaster is a bit dramatic for 4 million per year over 6 years. There is always a chance of injury or underperformance with any contract, even if the player is an established big leaguer. There might be more risk in signing a guy who hasn’t played in MLB yet, but there is upside for the team if he does.
There is upside to signing the 12 year old star of the Little League World Series, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.
Jose Altuve, Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Gary Sanchez were 16 when they signed. Obviously plenty of guys sign that young and don’t make it – but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Every contract has risk, no matter what the players age or track record is.
Depends on the cost of the signing. Maybe a popsickle?
If you’re deploying Joe Kelly in any role outside of mop-up, then I cannot expect a major league team to sniff even a WC.
If Graveman and Kelly are picked to close out a game, the Sox are in big trouble. Bummer is awesome against lefty hitters and has done well against righties. He can only go an inning or two, which is all you can ask of a closer. Lopez is a middle and long reliever. I don’t know how he would do as a closer. Maybe they should bring back Colome.
I thought Colome signed somewhere else and they should have Crochet back in May.
Colome signed with the Nationals back in January.
Graveman is fine and much better than Alex Colome , but Kelly should not have any kind of a late-inning role. How he has been chosen to pitch in so many high-leverage situations for various teams is a mystery to me.
Kelly has seen his best days. Guess no one wanted him in a trade
Play the Game
Bummer Sucks he can’t throw strikes.
Did you just not pay attention to baseball for a few years? Colome looks like his FIP is finally catching up to him, Bummer hasn’t been able to get anyone out recently, and Graveman was a closer literally the year before last. Kelley is 100% a question mark, but everything else is way off.
Bring back Hoyt Wilhelm
I think Kelly is the LEAST of the White Sox issues.
You watch – if one of the guys gets hot, then they will ride him. So maybe no set closer to start the season, but that could change.
Hope Evan does well. Great defense
The M’s took a gamble with White, where have I heard the phrase, it’s only money? I’m not sure how this works but White is going need to be work with. his hitting whatever that means. These thing take time.. Some take to this like a duck to water without the need for a hydrologist to test the waters. In time White should make right.
Seattle tried to extend Kelenic also. His agent said nope. I wonder if they regret that decision now? It might work out for them if he learns how to hit MLB pitchers.
Yeah, I often wonder what is a few millions to quivel about, yet another game to play.