Seattle Mariners – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-22T14:49:00Z WordPress TC Zencka <![CDATA[Mariners Place Domingo Santana On IL, Select Outfielder Jake Fraley]]> 2019-08-20T18:55:22Z 2019-08-20T17:38:22Z The Mariners have a fresh face joining their outfield mix. Jake Fraley has been selected from Triple-A and will be available for today’s game. Domingo Santana has been placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation, the team announced. Santana’s IL stint is retroactive to yesterday on August 19th, though the elbow discomfort is something he has been dealing with for close to a month now. With the addition of Fraley, Seattle’s 40-man roster still has two spots remaining – with one seat presumably saved for Felix Hernandez should his rehab assignments go smoothly.

Santana has quietly become one of the more potent bats in the Seattle lineup this season. It was at least a little surprising that Trader Jerry didn’t field further trade calls for him at the deadline, but with two more years of arbitration eligibility and plenty of near-term financial flexibility, the Mariners felt no pressure to move him. For his part, Santana is better suited for regular at-bats on a non-contender like Seattle until he can add some dimensionality to his game.

The hulking 6’5″ outfielder has DH’ed on occasion, but mostly splits his time evenly between left and right field. Defensive metrics are slightly more enamored with his work in right, but it’s a negligible difference in the grand scheme of things (-8 DRS to -7 DRA, -23.7 UZR/150 to -17.8 UZR/150). Regardless of where they stick him, Santana has not provided any additional value with the glove.

With the bat, Santana looks the part of middle-of-the-order slugger. Towering presence is a check, home run output is a check (21 on the year), and his overall batting line of .256/.332/.449 sticks the landing with an above-average 110 wRC+ – right in range of his career average (112 wRC+). When he connects, Santana does damage (above-average 42.5% hard-hit percentage), but getting bat-to-ball remains a struggle. Santana, 27, tops the league with 159 strikeouts, striking out in 32.1% of his at-bats – the highest percentage in the majors.

Fraley, 24, will prepare for his major league debut. A native of Frederick, MD about 45 miles north of Washington DC, Fraley is a former 2nd round selection of by Tampa Bay and the current #8 ranked prospect in Seattle’s system per Speed and defense are his calling cards, but after injuries slowed his progress in 2017, power has begun populating in-game for Fraley. His isolated power has increased with each new rung of the minor league ladder, from .200 ISO in High-A to .226 ISO in Double-A to .276 ISO across 168 plate appearances for Triple-A Tacoma this season. Fraley joined the Mariners this past winter as part of the Mike Zunino deal.

Fun fact for your trivia guides from’s Greg Johns (via Twitter), Fraley will be the 17th Mariner to debut in the major leagues this season.

Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Felix Rehabs, Lined Up For Saturday Return ]]> 2019-08-20T13:12:07Z 2019-08-20T12:57:41Z Erstwhile Mariners ace Felix Hernandez toed the rubber for the Tacoma Rainiers on Monday night and it shouldn’t be long before he’s donning a Seattle uni once again, according to a report from Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Hernandez, out since May 12th with a lat-strain, threw 69 pitches and was largely effective in Tacoma, utilizing an 88-90 mph fastball to limit the Salt Lake Bees to one run over three-plus innings pitched. Indications are that the living legend would slide into the M’s rotation come Saturday, which would end the weeks-long four-man rotation dance that manager Scott Servais has had to orchestrate since the club’s trade of Mike Leake at the MLB trade deadline. For what it’s worth, Hernandez is looking at this return as a moment to savor, saying: “It’s going to be my last year. I don’t know what’s going to happen next year so I need to go out there and show them that I still love the fans and still love Seattle.”

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Will Reportedly Promote Jake Fraley]]> 2019-08-20T03:06:07Z 2019-08-20T03:05:16Z The Mariners plan to promote outfielder Jake Fraley from Triple-A Tacoma before their game against the Rays on Tuesday, Daniel Kramer of reports. Fraley isn’t on the Mariners’ 40-man roster, but the team currently has three openings.

Fraley is in his first year with the Seattle organization, which acquired him from the club he’ll debut against – Tampa Bay – in a November trade centering on Mallex Smith and Mike Zunino. The addition of Fraley came amid an aggressive offseason in which Seattle greatly improved a once-barren farm system. Fraley, whom the Rays chose in the second round of the 2016 draft, was one of the Mariners’ prize pickups during an action-packed winter. The former LSU Tiger now ranks among the M’s 20 best prospects at (No. 8), Baseball America (12) and FanGraphs (16).

The prevailing belief is that the 24-year-old Fraley is more likely to top out as a role player than a high-impact one in the majors. While Fraley pulverized High-A pitching a year ago, he was old for the level. Fraley then opened this season by manhandling Double-A hurlers, whom he teed off on for a .313/.386/.539 line (156 wRC+) with 11 home runs in 240 plate appearances, but he hasn’t been as successful since earning a promotion to Tacoma. In his first action in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Fraley has batted .276/.333/.553 (103 wRC+) and swatted eight homers over 168 PA.

When the Mariners officially call up Fraley, he’ll join an outfield which has underwhelmed this season because of subpar performances and injuries. Smith has taken steps backward in his first year in the organization; Domingo Santana has been sitting of late because of a weeks-long slump; Mitch Haniger and Braden Bishop have been out with injuries for multiple months; and the league slapped Tim Beckham with an 80-game PED suspension Aug. 6.

Thanks to their myriad issues, the Mariners have largely deployed the unspectacular group of Smith, Tim Lopes, Keon Broxton and Dylan Moore in the outfield in recent days. No one in that foursome has posted anything close to above-average offensive production this season, which could leave room for Fraley to grab a spot if he impresses from the get-go.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Will Haniger Be Available On Winter Trade Market?]]> 2019-08-19T15:40:31Z 2019-08-19T15:40:31Z While Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger was deemed close to untouchable in trade talks last offseason, some around the game expect him to be available in the coming offseason, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. That’s hardly a firm indication that Seattle will push to move Haniger when his value has diminished, but the 28-year-old (29 in December) would make an interesting addition to the winter trade market should the Mariners entertain offers on him. Haniger has been out for more than two months due a to a ruptured testicle that required surgical repair, and he wasn’t anywhere near his best when healthy, hitting .220/.314/.463 with 15 home runs in 283 trips to the plate. But he logged a combined .284/.361/.492 batting line (134 OPS+) in 2016-17 with the Mariners and can still be controlled through the 2022 season. Add in quality defensive marks in right field plus the ability to man center field when needed, and it’s easy to see why Haniger would hold appeal throughout the league even on the heels of a down campaign. Broadly speaking, Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto is as open-minded about trades as any baseball ops leader in the game, so it stands to reason that Haniger and others will be oft-cited trade candidates this winter, whether a deal comes to fruition or not.

George Miller <![CDATA[Felix Hernandez Nearing Return]]> 2019-08-18T21:59:01Z 2019-08-18T21:59:01Z Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez could be activated as early as next weekend, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. He is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate on Monday, which would put the 33-year-old on track to rejoin the Seattle rotation on Saturday or Sunday, assuming no setbacks.

With the Mariners squarely outside of the playoff picture, the veteran Hernandez won’t be returning to contribute to a playoff contender, something he has missed for his entire career. Instead, it looks as if King Felix will be playing with an eye on his future in the Majors. Playing out the last of a seven-year deal, Hernandez is slated to reach free agency at season’s end, though he won’t be the commodity that would’ve captivated teams less than a decade ago. Indeed, he may not be a lock to receive a guaranteed contract.

Since inking that extension prior to 2013, Hernandez has seen his performance decline from a Hall of Fame trajectory to that of a borderline rotation piece. After eclipsing 200 innings pitched in eight consecutive seasons from 2008-15, Felix has suffered injuries that have only hastened his undoing. That fall from grace has come to a head this season, where the Mariners icon has mustered a 6.52 ERA, albeit in just eight starts. Of course, with a return seemingly on the horizon, King Felix should get several chances to reverse his fortune and finish his Mariners tenure on a high note.

King Felix’s decline has been well-documented, but it’s undeniable the impact that he has had on the Mariners organization and baseball’s landscape as a whole. Needless to say, followers of the Mariners and other teams alike would like to see the former Cy Young Award winner continue to pitch in the big leagues in hopes that he can reinvent himself into a serviceable rotation piece. On the one hand, one might point to cases like Justin Verlander or Charlie Morton, pitchers who have enjoyed renaissances at an advanced age; at 33, one would think there’s something left in the tank for Felix. On the other hand, there’s considerable mileage on Hernandez’s right arm: debuting at 19, he’s accumulated nearly 2700 innings pitched at the Major League level, fourth among active pitchers and significantly more than most of his contemporaries logged through their age-33 seasons.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Select Taylor Guilbeau]]> 2019-08-15T14:19:40Z 2019-08-15T14:19:40Z The Mariners announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contract of lefty Taylor Guilbeau from Triple-A Tacoma and placed right-hander Brandon Brennan on the 10-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.

Guilbeau, 26, currently ranks 22nd among Mariners prospects at both and Baseball America. Seattle acquired the hard-throwing southpaw in the trade that sent Roenis Elias to the Nationals, and he’ll step into the Seattle bullpen after just five innings with the team’s Tacoma affiliate.

A tenth-round pick by the Nationals back in 2015, Guilbeau posted mixed results as a starter before enjoying greater success out of the ’pen. Last season was Guilbeau’s first full year as a reliever, and after an ugly outing to begin the season in early May, he rattled off 35 1/3 innings of 1.53 ERA ball in Class-A Advanced and averaged nearly a strikeout per inning along the way. Control has long been an issue for Guilbeau, but he’s been better in that department in 2019. Through 48 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s worked to a 2.77 ERA with 10.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate near 58 percent.’s scouting report on Guilbeau notes that the move to relief substantially bolstered his fastball, and he was throwing 95 to 96 mph in last year’s Arizona Fall League. In addition to an impressive fastball, Guilbeau has an above-average slider but draws more questionable reviews on his changeup and ability to locate the ball. The Mariners likely view Guilbeau as a pure relief option, and his proximity to the big leagues undoubtedly held appeal as well. Adding players either at the MLB level or close to graduating there has been a point of emphasis for the Mariners in their rebuild, and Guilbeau will now get an opportunity to show that he’s deserving of a long-term place in the Seattle relief corps.

The 28-year-old Brennan will return to the injured list after making just three appearances. The Rule 5 pick allowed a solo homer and a walk in two innings of work before landing back on the IL due to shoulder discomfort for the second time this season.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Confident In Crawford As Long-Term Answer At Shortstop]]> 2019-08-15T13:14:30Z 2019-08-15T13:14:30Z
  • Prior to embarking on the team’s rebuild, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto tasked upwards of 20 baseball operations and analytics staffers with identifying potential acquisitions, writes Corey Brock of The Athletic (subscription required). “The most oft-mentioned hypothetically-acquired player was J.P. [Crawford], who was identified by virtually all of those who took part in the project,” Dipoto tells Brock. The organization widely viewed Crawford as an affordable and potentially available shortstop of the future, and Dipoto now says the club is more confident than ever that Crawford can be just that type of piece. The 24-year-old already dropped jaws across the baseball world with one of the season’s most spectacular defensive plays late last month (video link), and the club believes the work he’s put in with infield coach Perry Hill has improved his footwork to the point that he can be a consistent plus with the glove. Crawford’s .241/.321/.398 (95 wRC+) batting line isn’t all that eye-catching, the Mariners are optimistic that his bat will improve as his glove has this season. Crawford spent enough time in the minors this season that he can be controlled through the 2025 season.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Haniger, Bishop, King Felix]]> 2019-08-12T04:59:50Z 2019-08-12T04:59:50Z
  • Mariners outfielders Mitch Haniger and Braden Bishop are both set to begin rehab assignments at Class-A Modesto on Tuesday,’s Greg Johns writes.  Both players have been out of action for almost two months due to frightening injuries — Haniger underwent surgery to fix a ruptured testicle, while Bishop suffered a lacerated spleen just prior to his call-up to the big leagues in early June.  In other Mariners injury news, Felix Hernandez will make a rehab start for Seattle’s Class-A affiliate in Everett this week.  Johns figures after that outing, Hernandez will still need to put in a rehab outing at Triple-A (which would be the veteran right-hander’s fourth rehab start overall) “before there’ll be any consideration of rejoining the Mariners.”
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[2020 Vesting Options Update]]> 2019-08-12T03:54:14Z 2019-08-12T03:44:23Z With over two-thirds of the 2019 season in the books, let’s check in to see how seven players are progressing towards possible vesting options in their contracts.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a vesting option is an agreed-upon threshold within a player’s contract (usually based on health and/or playing time) that, if achieved, allows the player to alter the terms of the contract for the next season, and perhaps beyond in some cases.

    Some vesting options aren’t reported, so it could be that more players beyond this septet could also be playing towards gaining more guaranteed money or contractual freedom for the 2020 season.  For now, let’s examine just these seven names…

    Yonder Alonso, Rockies: Under the terms of the two-year, $16MM deal Alonso signed with the Indians in the 2017-18 offseason, his $9MM club option (with a $1MM buyout) for 2020 becomes guaranteed if the first baseman first passes a physical, and then hit plate-appearance benchmarks.  Unfortunately for Alonso, he has only 287 PA this season, so he’s on pace to fall well short of reaching either 550 PA in 2019 or 1100 total PA in 2018-19 — either of which would’ve caused his option to vest.

    Andrew Cashner, Red Sox: Having struggled through six starts since coming to Boston in a trade from the Orioles, the Sox have a legitimate performance-related reason for moving Cashner out of their rotation.  There would also be a financial motive involved, as Cashner’s $10MM club option for 2020 would become guaranteed if he amasses 340 total innings in 2018-19.  After today’s abbreviated outing against the Angels, Cashner now has 279 2/3 IP over the last two seasons, putting him within distant range of causing his option to vest if he keeps receiving starts.  (Incidentally, the option could also vest into a player option if Cashner hits the 360-inning threshold.)

    Sean Doolittle, Nationals: The closer finished his league-high 47th game of the season today, giving him 82 games finished since the start of the 2018 season.  Should Doolittle reach 100 games finished, the Nationals’ $6.5MM club option ($500K buyout) on Doolittle for 2020 would vest into a mutual option, giving him the opportunity to opt out of his contract and enter into free agency.  This is definitely one to watch down the stretch, since with the Nats in a postseason race and the rest of their bullpen struggling, D.C. won’t hesitate to use their closer for every save situation possible.  Manager Davey Martinez has used Doolittle in a traditional late-game role, so shifting him into high-leverage situations outside of the ninth inning to cut down on his games-finished numbers would be a risky (and controversial) tactic, to say the least.

    Chris Iannetta, Rockies: With 110 starts at catcher since the beginning of the 2018 season, Iannetta won’t reach the 220 catching starts he needed to convert the Rockies’ $4.25MM club option on his services for 2020 into a guarantee.

    Wade LeBlanc, Mariners: The unique extension signed by LeBlanc in July 2018 carried three $5MM club option years for 2020-22 that can all vest into guarantees.  That 2020 option turns into guaranteed money if LeBlanc throws 160 innings in 2019 and doesn’t have a left arm injury at season’s end.  A month-long IL stint due to an oblique strain earlier this season almost certainly ended LeBlanc’s chance at the 160-inning plateau, as he has only 98 IP thus far.  While he’s still eating a good share of innings as a “bulk pitcher” behind an opener in most outings, it seems likely that LeBlanc won’t reach his vesting threshold.

    Brandon Morrow, Cubs: Morrow’s two-year, $21MM deal carried a 2020 vesting option worth $12MM, or a $3MM buyout.  It wasn’t actually known what the terms were of this option, though since injuries have kept Morrow from pitching since July 15, 2018, it’s safe to assume the option won’t vest, and Morrow will be a free agent this winter.

    Oliver Perez, Indians: The veteran southpaw appeared in his 49th game of the season today, so barring injury, he’s a lock to hit the 55 appearances required to guarantee his $2.75MM club option for 2020.  He also seems like a pretty safe bet to lock in even more money, as that option will be guaranteed at $3MM if Perez pitches in 60 games.  The Tribe likely won’t at all mind having Perez back for another season, as the reliever continues to dominate left-handed batters.

    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Mariners Reinstate Dee Gordon, Option Court]]> 2019-08-10T23:10:22Z 2019-08-10T22:39:24Z Infielder Dee Gordon is back in the lineup for Seattle this evening, following the team’s announcement of his activation from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, utilityman Ryan Court has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

    It’s been a season to forget for GM Jerry Dipoto’s “reimagined” Seattle crew, with the northwestern outfit limping to a 48-69 record entering play Saturday. As such, it’s difficult to see the Mariners having much to gain from the reinstallation of the 31-year-old Gordon, who, in this phase of his career, offers little aside from a light bat and some still-flight feet. The second baseman, who has been sidelined since July 22nd with a left quad strain, has hit .280/.306/.367 (81 wRC+) in 2019, his second season with Seattle. It is worth noting that a good late-season showing from Gordon could, in theory, help DiPoto’s chances of offloading the veteran in the offseason; Gordon will make $13.5MM in 2020, the last guaranteed season of a 5-year/$50MM deal signed in 2016 with the Miami Marlins.

    Court’s initiatory stint in the big leagues granted him just 18 at-bats with Seattle. The 31-year-old has amassed over 3000 at-bats at the minor league level and is a career .275/.366/.430 hitter within the developmental ranks.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Twins Acquire Ian Miller From Mariners]]> 2019-08-10T17:38:48Z 2019-08-10T17:38:35Z Today, 12:38 PM: The Mariners will receive cash considerations in return, per the team.

    FRIDAY, 11:56 PM: The Twins are set to acquire outfielder Ian Miller from the Mariners, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). The precise return isn’t known, but Divish indicates it’s not expected to be significant.

    Because he isn’t playing on a MLB deal, Miller can still be dealt. The 27-year-old, a former 14th-round pick, is still looking for his first taste of the majors. Miller has been plying his trade in the upper minors in the Seattle system since 2015.

    Divish indicates that the chief interest for the Twins lies in Miller’s baserunning abilities, and that makes sense. He is an accomplished base thief, with 237 bags snatched over seven professional seasons.

    Miller is less accomplished with the bat, with a .699 career OPS through just under three thousand total plate appearances. He’s sporting a bit of a power surge this year, with a .272/.354/.453 slash and 11 long balls (easily a career high) over 441 plate appearances. But that’s still slightly below the mean for Pacific Coast League hitters.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Jose Lobaton From Mariners]]> 2019-08-09T19:33:54Z 2019-08-09T19:20:42Z The Dodgers and Mariners have announced a deal in which veteran backstop Jose Lobaton will head to the Los Angeles organization. Cash considerations will head the other way in the swap.

    Lobaton, 34, had been playing with the top Seattle affiliate on a minors deal. That’s why he was able to be traded after the July 31st trade deadline.

    It’s doubtful that the Dodgers anticipate utilizing Lobaton at the MLB level. He hasn’t been a passable offensive performer in the majors since 2016. In parts of nine seasons in the majors, the switch-hitter carries a .215/.293/.319 slash.

    But with prospect Keibert Ruiz going down with an injury, there was a need for a gap-filler at Triple-A. And the Dodgers undoubtedly wish to be sure they’re covered with sufficient organizational depth in the event of an unanticipated run of injuries.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Felix Hernandez Two Triple-A Rehab Starts From Returning]]> 2019-08-09T13:59:28Z 2019-08-09T13:59:28Z
  • Rehabbing Mariners righty Felix Hernandez threw two innings at the Single-A level Thursday, after which he told Julian A. Lopez of the Modesto Bee he feels ready to return to the majors. The Mariners have other plans, though – they want Hernandez to make two rehab appearances with Triple-A Tacoma before he finally goes back to the Seattle. Shoulder woes have kept the pending free agent from the M’s staff since May 11 in what could be the final season of his storied tenure with the franchise.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Ryon Healy Undergoes Hip Surgery]]> 2019-08-08T00:10:03Z 2019-08-08T00:05:45Z Aug. 7: Healy underwent a debridement procedure on his right hip and is expected to require four to six months to recover, Divish tweets.

    Aug. 2: Mariners corner infielder Ryon Healy is slated to undergo hip surgery, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times was among those to cover on Twitter. The procedure will sideline him for the remainder of the season.

    Healy was previously diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Whether the hip issue is related directly or indirectly is not entirely clear. Neither is it known just how lengthy a rehab process will be required.

    The 27-year-old Healy was already facing questions on the field before the health issues arose. He turned in below-average offensive numbers for the second consecutive season, with good power (.219 ISO) but another sub-.300 OBP. In a total of 711 plate appearances with Seattle, Healy has posted a lackluster .236/.280/.423 batting line with 31 home runs. Given his lack of defensive value and baserunning abilities, that type of output is simply too tepid.

    Healy entered the 2019 season with two-plus years of big league service and will cross the three-year mark in 2019, making him eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career this winter. This year’s health troubles will suppress a theoretical raise to an extent, but the power numbers that Healy has already logged in his young career will put him in line for a decent bump from this year’s $580K all the same. As such, it’s worth wondering whether the Mariners will tender him a contract at all this winter. The answer to that question could be dependent on the status of his recovery.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Beckham, Fraley, Haniger, Felix]]> 2019-08-07T04:00:53Z 2019-08-07T02:43:49Z
  • Mariners infielder Tim Beckham received an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs Tuesday, but his time on their roster might have been on the verge of ending even before then. Although he still has a year of arbitration eligibility remaining, Beckham was a candidate for a designation for assignment, according to the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish. The Mariners could have cut Beckham to make room for outfield prospect Jake Fraley sometime soon, Divish reports. However, Fraley is dealing with a quad injury at the moment. The Mariners will need to add Fraley to their 40-man roster if they do promote him, but they have four openings right now. The club acquired Fraley from the Rays in last offseason’s Mallex Smith/Mike Zunino trade.
  • Sticking with the Mariners, injured outfielder Mitch Haniger and starter Felix Hernandez are progressing in their recoveries, Greg Johns of explains. Haniger, out since June 7 with a ruptured testicle, is closing in on a rehab assignment, manager Scott Servais said Tuesday. And Hernandez, whom right shoulder problems have kept from the majors since May 11, will make a second rehab start Thursday. The 33-year-old King Felix may be able to return in late August, Johns notes, which could give the pending free agent and Mariners legend a chance to say goodbye to the franchise and its fans.
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