Seattle Mariners – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-10-23T04:01:14Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pitchers Recently Electing Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177773 2019-10-22T15:43:42Z 2019-10-22T14:56:58Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

We already rounded up the position players. Now, here are the pitchers that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

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George Miller <![CDATA[Mariners Shut Down Top Prospect Julio Rodriguez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177654 2019-10-20T19:56:16Z 2019-10-20T19:56:16Z Mariners outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez has been shut down for the final week of the Arizona Fall League season due to a minor lower back strain, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com.

Evidently, the organization is handling Rodriguez much in the same way as it did Jarred Kelenic, who was likewise shut down after playing just three games in the Arizona Fall League. Johns also notes that another Mariners representative, right-handed pitcher Sam Delaplane, will also have his season end owing to triceps tendinitis.

Delaplane and Rodriguez were selected to participate in the league’s Fall Stars Game last weekend after impressive showings competing against other top prospects. Rodriguez, 18, has turned heads as the youngest player in the league. He has steadily climbed prospect lists after a stellar season in which he reached High-A ball—Rodriguez is now touted by MLB Pipeline as the Mariners’ No. 2 prospect—behind only Kelenic—and the 25th-best prospect in all of baseball. In 84 games across two levels of the lower minors, Rodriguez slashed .326/.390/.540 with 12 home runs.

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Delaplane has enjoyed a breakout season and had been enjoying increased exposure for his performance in the Fall League. He reached Double-A, where he threw 37 innings and struck out 58 batters with a minuscule 0.43 ERA. He’s followed that up with a strong AFL showing, having struck out 15 batters in eight innings of work.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[How Anthony Rendon Was Almost A Mariner]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177459 2019-10-21T21:14:18Z 2019-10-18T00:53:48Z
  • Anthony Rendon in a Mariners uniform?  It isn’t like to happen via free agency this offseason, though it was almost a reality back in 2011 when the M’s heavily scouted Rendon as the second overall pick in the draft, The Athletic’s Corey Brock writes (subscription required).  “Going into the draft, [Rendon] was probably the player a lot of people thought we were going to take…and we did, too,” then-general manager Jack Zduriencik said.  The Mariners had other players on their radar, however, and as draft day approached, Danny Hultzen eventually emerged as the pick.  While selecting the highly-touted Hultzen was a perfectly respectable choice at the time, it ended up being a critical miss for Seattle —- Hultzen battled injuries throughout his career and only made his MLB debut this season, as a reliever for the Cubs.  Rendon, of course, has gone onto stardom, as have several other players from what now looks like a stacked draft class.  Rendon was the sixth overall pick, and Trevor Bauer (3rd), Francisco Lindor (8th), Javier Baez (9th), and George Springer (11th) also went in the top half of the first round.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Rumors: Gordon, Mallex, Santana, Pitching]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176126 2019-10-03T06:22:40Z 2019-10-03T06:22:40Z The Mariners were among the majors’ most active teams last offseason as general manager Jerry Dipoto began executing a plan to “re-imagine” his roster. With the club now on the heels of a 68-win season, Dipoto has indicated it’s in for a much more modest winter this time around. However, that doesn’t mean the trade-happy Dipoto won’t consider parting with a couple of veterans still on the roster, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes.

    Last winter was absolutely packed with trades for Dipoto, who shipped out Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, James Paxton, Jean Segura and Mike Zunino, among others. He has since parted with other established veterans in Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce, who each joined the Mariners amid their blockbuster-filled offseason a year ago.

    All of Dipoto’s wheeling and dealing has left the Mariners with just three players (second baseman Dee Gordon, third baseman Kyle Seager and left-hander Yusei Kikuchi) on guaranteed contracts. But Gordon is the only member of the trio who looks like a real trade candidate, Divish observes. Seager did enjoy a bounce-back campaign after a rough 2018, though he’s also a soon-to-be 32-year-old who’s owed $37MM over the next two seasons. Worse, his contract includes a clause that could make a trade an impossibility. As Divish covered last December, Seager’s $15MM club option for 2022 will become a player option if the Mariners deal him. In all likelihood, he’d exercise that option.

    Like Seager, Kikuchi’s not going anywhere, having joined the M’s as their prized, big-money free-agent signing just last winter. Kikuchi went through a rough rookie season in 2019, but Seattle continues to regard him as a key long-term piece.

    Gordon, meanwhile, looks superfluous to the club’s cause. Moving him would open up everyday second base duty for Shed Long, who was a bright spot for the Mariners in his first taste of the majors this year. The problem is that Gordon is still owed a guaranteed $14.5MM (including a $1MM buyout for 2021), which is an unpalatable amount when considering the 31-year-old’s recent output. The light-hitting Gordon has been a replacement-level player in each of the past two seasons, according to WAR. So, it’s probable that finding a taker for Gordon would require the Mariners to eat a portion of his contract. They’d “likely” pay half of his remaining money, per Divish, though it’s unclear whether that would be enough on their end. After all, there are several similarly or more productive veteran second basemen slated to reach free agency next month, and none of them should require sizable commitments.

    Along with Gordon, outfielders Domingo Santana and Mallex Smith represent other potential trade candidates for Seattle, according to Divish. Dipoto acquired those two last winter, hoping they’d emerge as long-term building blocks, but both players disappointed this year. Thanks in part to elbow problems, Santana’s offensive production fell off a cliff as the season progressed. He also ranked as one of the majors’ worst outfielders, finishing with minus-17 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-16.1 Ultimate Zone Rating (minus-16.1). Smith looked like a breakout center fielder for the Rays in 2018, but despite his 46 stolen bases this year, he only rated as a replacement-level producer.

    The Mariners would be selling low on Santana’s last two years of arbitration eligibility and Smith’s three, but it’s possible they already have replacements on hand. Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis figure to be their main corner outfielders for next season. Smith could still occupy center if he’s still on the team, though Braden Bishop, Jake Fraley and an outside pickup may all be in the mix for that spot, Divish relays. They’ll line up behind an infield consisting of Seager at third, J.P. Crawford at short, Gordon or Long at second and Austin Nola at first. The 29-year-old Nola didn’t make his major league debut until mid-June, but it appears he’ll stick around after hitting .269/.342/.454 with 10 home runs 1.5 fWAR in his first 267 trips to the plate in the bigs. He could hold down first until the promotion of prospect Evan White, which Divish suggests is sure to happen by midseason at the latest. Elsewhere on offense, Daniel Vogelbach is in line to reprise his DH role, Dylan Moore is the front-runner for a utility job and the productive Omar Narvaez and Tom Murphy are due to return behind the plate.

    As for areas the Mariners actually could look to add to this winter, Dipoto cited pitching – both starters and relievers – as a need. It’s unclear just how much the Mariners will be willing to spend on a starter(s) to slot in with Kikuchi, Marco Gonzalez, Justus Sheffield and possibly Justin Dunn, though it seems doubtful they’ll be spending near the top of the market. In the case of the bullpen, Dipoto said the Mariners will be seeking “opportunity buys.” Dipoto took the same route last offseason when he signed Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Zac Rosscup and R.J. Alaniz to cheap contracts.

    Odds are the Mariners won’t do anything this offseason that could realistically vault them into contention by 2020. With that in mind, chances are high they’ll increase their playoff drought to 19 years next season. However, thanks to the young talent the Mariners have collected (much of which joined the organization last winter), Dipoto believes they’re on the right track.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Reportedly Making Three Coaching Changes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175846 2019-09-30T21:47:10Z 2019-09-30T21:47:10Z Now that their last-place campaign is in the books, the Mariners have decided to turn over a few of their coaching positions, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Manager Scott Servais and the front office will be seeking to make three hires.

    Pitching coach Paul Davis will vacate his job but remain in the organization in a different capacity. Two other 2019 staffers will be leaving the organization: third base/outfield coach Chris Prieto and bullpen coach Jim Brower.

    Davis just wrapped up his first year as a big-league pitching coach after coming to the org with an analytics background. It seems the club still values his abilities but decided a new approach was needed in terms of the uniformed staff. Prieto had been with the team since 2017 while Brower had served under Servais for the past two campaigns.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Jerry Dipoto Discusses Mariners’ Offseason]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175682 2019-09-29T03:30:49Z 2019-09-29T03:30:49Z It was four years ago today that Jerry Dipoto has hired as the Mariners’ general manager, and Dipoto has since become known for his trade-heavy style in his attempts to first build, and (in the last year) rebuild Seattle’s roster.  If 2019 was marked by Dipoto’s desire to “re-imagine” his team, 2020 promises more stability, as Dipoto told MLB.com’s Greg Johns and other reporters that he expects a more “moderate” offseason in terms of trades and signings.

    This will be a little different offseason than you’ve seen from us, particularly last year’s,” Dipoto said.  “But even years prior, 2016-18, we were so much about making peripheral moves to augment what we thought was a contending core. This is a different scenario. We’re growing a young core and we have to give them an opportunity to play.”

    To that end, Dipoto felt it would be “very unlikely” that the team acquires any significant veterans this winter, as the Mariners intend to give plenty of playing time to their younger talents.  J.P. Crawford, Shed Long, Kyle Lewis, and Dan Vogelbach are some of the new faces who began to emerge in 2019, and all project to be more or less everyday players next season.  While Dipoto did say the M’s were “likely not to be very engaged in the trade market in more than a peripheral way,” that was in regards to the addition of new players, and he didn’t address the possibility of further trades of veterans (i.e. Domingo Santana or Dee Gordon) to create even more roster room.

    In terms of what veterans could be added, both the pitching rotation and bullpen could get some lower-level veteran depth.  More player additions in general could come via minor league signings and the Rule 5 Draft.

    The Mariners’ roster already looks vastly different than it did just a year ago.  Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, James Paxton, Alex Colome, Mike Leake, and Juan Nicasio are just some of the bigger names who have departed the team in a variety of trades, resulting in a lot of additional minor league depth and a much lesser payroll (the M’s have just under $80MM on the books for 2020).  Dipoto has hinted at 2021 as a soft deadline for the Mariners to begin turning back towards contention, though much will hinge on how their younger players develop next season.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Felix Hernandez: “I’m Not Retiring”]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175519 2019-09-27T06:01:58Z 2019-09-27T06:01:58Z Mariners legend Felix Hernandez may have taken the ball for the last time as a member of the organization on Thursday. In what seems likely to go down as his goodbye to the M’s franchise, King Felix threw 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball against the Athletics before an emotionally charged exit from the field in Seattle.

    Even though Hernandez’s phenomenal tenure as a Mariner may have just drawn to a close, the right-hander hopes his career hasn’t. Hernandez told Greg Johns of MLB.com and other reporters after the game that his goal is to pitch in 2020.

    “We’ll see if I can find a job. I’m not retiring,” the 33-year-old said.

    For the extreme majority of his career, it would have been ludicrous to wonder if Hernandez was capable of landing a job in the majors. Unfortunately, though, that’s no longer the case for the longtime ace, six-time All-Star and one-time AL Cy Young winner.

    Hernandez inked his current contract – the seven-year, $175MM extension he signed in 2013 – at the height of his powers, but injuries and the significant amount of mileage on his arm have taken their toll over the past couple seasons. In fact, since 2018, no starter with at least 200 innings has posted a worse ERA (5.84) or a higher FIP (5.41) than Hernandez. He ran up an even uglier 6.40 ERA/6.01 FIP across 71 2/3 innings this season, during which shoulder problems kept him out from the first half of May until the second half of August.

    Based on the rough turn Hernandez’s production has taken of late, it appears the pending free agent will be in line for a minor league contract in the offseason (if anyone signs him, that is). But if Thursday proves to be the final time Hernandez takes a major league mound, it’ll count as one of the most memorable sendoffs the game has seen in recent history.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Notes: Cano, Diaz, Offseason, Smith]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175472 2019-09-26T23:56:10Z 2019-09-26T23:56:10Z It’s a hypothetical that Mets fans could be asking for years to come — what if the team didn’t make last December’s big blockbuster trade with the Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin DiazYahoo Sports’ Matt Ehalt looks at a potential alternate reality where the trade didn’t take place, which keeps Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista, and prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn in the New York organization and also slightly dims Van Wagenen’s “win-now” push, which also means that Marcus Stroman isn’t acquired at the trade deadline (for pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson).  All other moves remain the same, which means that J.D. Davis and Wilson Ramos are still on the team, for instance.

    The end result is a Mets roster that has a lot more young talent as its disposal as possible trade chips or roster reinforcements for 2020, plus a lot more financial flexibility without Cano or Diaz on the payroll.  McNeil is locked in as the everyday second baseman, while players like Davis and Pete Alonso still blossom as they did in the real world.  “In this alternate universe, the Mets enter the offseason in a much better position,” Ehalt writes, as while “this version of the Mets would win fewer games than the 80-plus games the Mets will win this year, but a few wins are irrelevant when neither season results in a postseason berth.”

    Here’s more from Citi Field…

    • “Boldness won Brodie Van Wagenen the job of Mets general manager, and lost the season,” the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes in roundup of the Mets’ 2019 campaign and a look ahead to what the team should do this offseason.  Sherman notes that while many of Van Wagenen’s bigger moves (i.e. the Mariners trade) backfired, many of his less-heralded moves proved successful, such as acquiring J.D. Davis or Justin Wilson.  Looking ahead to 2020, Sherman proposes that the Mets should continue to “find hidden treasures” on other teams’ rosters, acquire a proper center fielder (Sherman suggests the Padres’ Manuel Margot) for at least a platoon role, and hang onto Diaz and Noah Syndergaard rather than trade either pitcher.  To juggle the payroll, Sherman also suggests a few bad contract swaps, unloading the likes of Ramos or Jed Lowrie for high-priced relievers who are also in need of a change of scenery (such as the Rockies’ Jake McGee or White Sox righty Kelvin Herrera).
    • Dominic Smith, center fielder?  After getting work in the corner outfield this year, Smith tells MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that he wants to contribute to the 2020 Mets at as many positions as possible.  This includes all three outfield spots and at his old first base position, despite something of a roster logjam — Pete Alonso obviously isn’t going anywhere at first base, while Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, or J.D. Davis could all be options for corner outfield work (not to mention the x-factor that is Yoenis Cespedes, should he be able to get healthy).  While center field may seem like a tall order for a player who didn’t fare well defensively as a corner outfielder, Smith will have an offseason to fully prepare himself for outfield work, and to that end has already hired a track coach for offseason speed training.  With the Mets looking for answers in center, there’s at least a chance that Smith could be a part-time solution up the middle.  “Why not get in great shape, man, and go out there and try to compete and do it? I don’t sell myself short on anything. I feel like I can go out there and compete and do anything,” Smith said.
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Mariners’ Austin Adams Will Require ACL Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175105 2019-09-22T21:55:22Z 2019-09-22T19:41:22Z Mariners right-hander Austin Adams will need surgery to repair the torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com. It’s devastating news for the 28-year-old Adams, who now faces an approximate 6-8 month recovery timeline.

    The injury diagnosis comes after Adams underwent an MRI Sunday morning, which was precipitated by Adams’s departure from last night’s game after suffering a knee injury while covering first base.

    Adams has been one of the bright spots of the Mariners lackluster season, at times looking dominant out of the bullpen. He’s ridden a dynamic slider to a solid 53:16 K:BB ratio in 32 innings between the Nationals and M’s this year, good for a 14.9 K/9. As Johns notes in a later Tweet, that’s a mark that ranks among the best by a reliever in Mariners history (minimum 100 batters faced).

    While that doesn’t mean that Adams was flawless, he has nonetheless proven to be a fine discovery by the M’s front office and a piece that could factor into future Seattle bullpens. For a year in which the M’s have trotted out dozens of fringe relievers, Adams has been one of the definite successes after he was acquired from Washington in May.

    However, those plans will have to be temporarily put on hold as Adams will now have to work his way back from a significant knee injury. His recovery will no doubt cut into his 2020 season, with the upper estimate for recovery placing him on track to be at full health in late May, though he likely wouldn’t be able to return to game action until about midseason.

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    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Austin Adams Removed With Leg Injury]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175072 2019-09-22T03:07:59Z 2019-09-22T03:07:59Z
  • As noted by Greg Johns of MLB.com, Mariners reliever Austin Adams crumpled into a heap after tweaking his knee while covering first base in tonight’s game against the Orioles (link). Adams, 28, had to be helped off of the field by trainers. After kicking around the Angels and Nationals organizations since being drafted in 2012, Adams had appeared to find a comfortable home with Seattle in 2019. In his first prolonged big league exposure, the righty has logged a whopping 15.06 K/9 rate in 31.2 innings this year, with solid ERA (3.98) and FIP (3.12) indicators.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Felix, Dipoto, Long]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=174823 2019-09-19T20:25:37Z 2019-09-19T20:25:37Z The latest from Seattle….

    • With Felix Hernandez likely approaching the end of his days in a Mariners uniform, The Athletic’s Corey Brock (subscription required) took a look back at the right-hander’s often-outstanding career.  The piece covers Hernandez’s initial signing with the organization as a 16-year-old in 2002, noting that he rejected overtures from the Braves and Yankees because of his good relationship with Mariners scouts Pedro Avila, Bob Engle and Emilio Carrasquel.  From there, Hernandez cracked the big leagues by the time he was 19, and then embarked on almost a full decade as one of the sport’s best pitchers.  His production has slowed since he began his 30’s, however, due to both injuries and perhaps a hesitance to embrace changes to his conditioning and pitching repertoire.  Hernandez (who turns 34 next April) has indicated that he wants to pitch next season, though it’s hard to see him landing a Major League contract this offseason in the wake of a year that has seen him post a 6.31 ERA in 61 1/3 innings while spending over three months on the injured list.
    • At a recent town hall event for Mariners fans, GM Jerry Dipoto pointed towards 2021 as the potential turn-around date for the team’s rebuild, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes.  That said, Dipoto added “There is no scientific answer to the question. I can’t give you a decimal point or a dollar amount or a date and time when it’s all going to crest. But we feel like we’re building talent in a traditional way and we’re adding, let’s call it new, modern techniques of player development and player analysis that we feel make us a little bit different. You got to do something a little bit different in order to beat the teams that are out in front of us.”  Dipoto is known far more for his penchant for trades rather than big-ticket free agents, and the general manager hinted that this reluctance to fully dive into the free agent marketplace will continue even when the M’s have more payroll available.  “We don’t intend to go throw that [money] at the free-agent market, because quite frankly we’re not one player away, as you can see,” Dipoto said.
    • Shed Long is one of several young players who have been given a chance on the young Mariners this season, and Long is making a case for himself as an everyday player in 2020, Adam Jude of the Seattle Times writes.  With three more hits in today’s game against the Pirates, Long is now batting .284/.357/.466 over his first 129 career plate appearances, also filling a void for the M’s as a leadoff man.  It’s been an impressive rookie season for Long, even despite the fact that his Triple-A development was slowed by seven weeks on the IL with a broken finger.  While Long could bounce around the diamond between left field, third base, and second base, he has spent the bulk of time in Seattle as a second baseman, and could be the future at the position if the Mariners were to part ways with Dee Gordon this winter.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Activate Domingo Santana]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=174577 2019-09-17T17:43:54Z 2019-09-17T17:43:54Z The Mariners announced that they have activated outfielder Domingo Santana from the 10-day injured list. He has missed about a month owing to an elbow injury.

    While the M’s are obviously out of contention, they’ll be glad to allow Santana a chance to see some more MLB pitching before the season wraps up. The club surely hoped he’d be joined by Mitch Haniger, but that’s not to be.

    Both outfielders had promising campaigns hijacked by injuries. In Santana’s case, he posted a strong .286/.354/.496 batting line over his first 399 trips to the plate this year. But he was bothered by elbow soreness out of the All-Star break and slashed just .131/.240/.250 thereafter before going on the shelf.

    The Mariners will bring Santana along slowly upon his return. The hope seems to be that he’ll carry some positive momentum headed into the offseason. Santana will be due a raise on his $1.95MM arbitration salary, with one more arb-eligible campaign still to come in 2021. It’s possible the M’s will discuss Santana in trade talks, though he may hold greater value to the Seattle organization as an affordable part of the outfield rotation and potential 2020 deadline trade piece.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Three Needs: Seattle Mariners]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=174562 2019-09-17T15:35:23Z 2019-09-17T15:07:49Z We’re bringing back our “Three Needs” series, in which we take a look at the chief issues to be addressed for clubs that have fallen out of contention. We’ll start things up with the Mariners, who opened the season at a sprint before hitting the skids …

    [Seattle Mariners Depth Chart]

    1. Invest In A Starter Or Two

    Seattle’s re-set effort has brought the payroll back under control and added some interesting young talent to the MLB mix. It’d be hard to say this is a club on the cusp of a breakout, but it’s not hard to imagine a major improvement over the 2019 showing.

    That said, the rotation is entirely underwhelming. Marco Gonzales has been good, but the club dealt away its only other starter with even one full win above replacement for the season. There’s good reason to give Yusei Kikuchi more time to adjust to the majors; perhaps the club can throw Justus Sheffield into the staff and hope for the best. But slotting in marginal veterans behind openers can only do so much for a team. There’s a dire need for higher-end starting pitching.

    With Felix Hernandez hitting the open market, there’s only $75MM and change on the Mariners’ books, with no enormous arbitration salaries to account for. The club shouldn’t rush to spend, but there’s certainly some cash to work with here for an organization that has had season-ending payrolls of over $170MM in each of the past three seasons.

    This is a good offseason for a team in this position. The Rangers have scored by giving somewhat aggressive, but ultimately fairly low-risk three-year deals to starters Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. The Twins once did the same with Phil Hughes. That’s a strategy to consider along with the traditional pillow contract. There are quite a few interesting but not reliably dominant starters floating around on the market this coming winter — ranging from Tanner Roark and Dallas Keuchel to Jake Odorizzi and Zack Wheeler. Old friend Wade Miley is out there, along with names like Kyle Gibson, Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha, and Alex Wood.

    2. Use Late-Inning Opportunities To Chase Bullpen Upside

    The Mariners would like to rebound right back into competitiveness, so they’ll need to try to form an effective bullpen. At the same time, the aim is rather speculative at this point and the existing unit is all but devoid of established players in key late-inning roles, so it’d be foolhardy to spend wildly on veterans.

    Therein lies the opportunity for Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto. With high-leverage spots entirely unclaimed, the M’s can dangle that opportunity — along with the prospect of pitching in one of the league’s stingier home parks — as a means of attracting high-upside bullpen talent. Dellin Betances and Arodys Vizcaino (actually a member of the M’s at the moment) are both intriguing possibilities, with a whole host of somewhat older veterans that could be targeted on the cheap.

    3. Consider An Infield Upgrade

    The M’s have interesting options in the outfield and behind the dish. They’ve also got quite a few possibilities in the 3-through-6 spots, but perhaps also some room to make an upgrade.

    On the left side of the infield, Kyle Seager and J.P. Crawford ought to be in line for the bulk of the work. Dylan Moore probably showed enough promise to serve as the reserve there. He can also factor on the right side of the infield, but that’s where there seems to be greater opportunity.

    Dan Vogelbach is a piece of the puzzle in the first base/DH mix, but the club clearly prefers to utilize him as a bat-only player and he fell off hard in the second half. It’s anyone’s guess how Ryon Healy will bounce back from his health woes, so he can’t be relied upon. Austin Nola has been a nice surprise, but it would be hard to assume that the career minor-leaguer will hit enough to warrant significant time at first base. Prospect Evan White is on the rise, adding a righty bat to the mix, but it remains to be seen when and how he’ll transition to the majors. And then there’s veteran second bagger Dee Gordon, who is still a useful player but doesn’t seem likely to return to league-average hitting and shouldn’t be trotted out as a regular.

    There are two ways to view this assemblage: as a potentially intriguing array of quality parts that can be maximized by deft deployment, or as an underwhelming outfit of unspectacular talent. No doubt the answer lies somewhere in the middle; to some extent, the Mariners will want to find out by testing. But the trouble with mixing and matching is that you can only do so much of it before running into roster limitations.

    Adding a true, everyday piece at first or second base — especially if the M’s aren’t totally sold on White’s ability to become such a player in the immediate future — would greatly improve the overall outlook of the Seattle position-player mix. Perhaps the club could pursue Didi Gregorius and move him or Crawford to second base. Maybe the still-youthful Jonathan Schoop is worth a decent investment. The trade market could well be fruitful.

    It’s not entirely clear at this stage just how appealing the options will be. And the M’s have a case for holding pat on the whole in the position-player mix. But that’s a nice back-up plan to take into the offseason while pursuing a significant improvement.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Domingo Santana Set To Return On Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=174452 2019-09-16T04:05:36Z 2019-09-16T04:05:36Z
  • Another early-season star will also return to the field before the end of the season, as Domingo Santana is expected to be activated off the IL on Tuesday, MLB.com’s Greg Johns writes.  The Mariners outfielder was (retroactively) placed on the IL due to right elbow inflammation on August 19, after struggling with elbow problems for roughly a month beforehand.  Santana’s injury problems almost perfectly coincide with the All-Star break, as he hit .286/.354/.496 in 399 first-half plate appearances, but then only .131/.240/.250 in 97 PA in the second half.  That July slump was one of the reasons Santana wasn’t dealt at the trade deadline, despite interest from multiple teams.
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    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Mariners Set Record For Most Players Used In Single Season ]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=174381 2019-09-15T04:02:46Z 2019-09-15T03:55:21Z
  • The Mariners have set something of an ignoble record in 2019, as Cut4’s Jake Mintz & Jordan Shusterman point out that Seattle has given playing time to an all-time-high 67 players this season (link). While many around baseball are giving attention to the litany of home run records being broken this year, manager Scott Servais and GM Jerry Dipoto have arguably accomplished a much more impressive feat in managing such a revolving door of a clubhouse.
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