Opinion: Mariners Have Decisions to Make, and Its Going to Cost Them an Arm

Mariners may have to move an arm

This year’s season has gotten off to a strange start for the Seattle Mariner, who finished third in the AL West last season with an 88-74 record two games back from the World Series Champ Texas Rangers. They have already traded Eugenio Suarez (Arizona), and just before the start of the Winter meetings, they sent Jarred Kelenic, Evan White, and Marco Gonzales to Atlanta. All these moves appear to be salary dump moves; Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t commit to the moves being involved with the recent Cable network contract issues. So, given the moves made already, below I am providing moves that could make sense for the M’s, who are looking to get back to the postseason after last year’s disappointment.

Tampa Bay Rays have been rumored to be shopping Tyler Glasnow, and if that is the case, I would give them a call and offer Bryce Miller and another couple of mid-level prospects to try and pry Isaac Parades and Randy Arozarena away from Tampa, both with team control options for the next few seasons. Parades could slide into 3rd base, and Arozarena could replace Teoscar Hernandez in right field for the M’s. Isaac Parades hit .250 with 31 home runs last season, and Randy Arozarena hit .254 with 23 home runs and swiped 22 bags last season. Both these hitters drove in over 90 runs last year for the Rays and would be great cost-effective replacements for the Mariners; yes, the cost would be giving up a top Arm and additional mid-level prospects, but financially, it’s doable and makes the team better. If Bryce Miller isn’t enough for this return, I wouldn’t be against Kirby or Gilbert being the top piece going to Tampa, just one of the top arms, though not more than that.

Cleveland Guardians Josh Naylor has been popping up in rumors recently, and if the Mariners are looking for a left-handed bat to throw in the middle of the lineup, Naylor is worth discussing. Naylor was quite productive for the Guardians last season, hitting .307 with 17 Home Runs and 97 RBIs. While sending Bryan Woo in return for Naylor sounds good, I would also see if Will Brennan is available in part of this package, perhaps tossing in a tier 2 level prospect in return going back, but Brennan has plenty of potential and can play either corner outfield position. In 138 games last season, Brennan hit 5 Home Runs, scored 41 runs, drove in 41 runs, and stole 13 bases for the Guardians. It’s not the same talent return as the previous Rays trade, but the cost is also less in my mind. You get a left-handed bat in Naylor, who hits for a nice mix of power and average, while Brennan provides outfield support and some speed for the bottom of the lineup.

Kansas City Royals have recently been thought to be an interesting trade partner for the Mariners; with Bobby Witt JR being off-limits, it brings my focus to MJ Melendez. The 25-year-old can C and play in the outfield, which, with Henry Ford in the minors ready in the near future to take over behind the plate in Seattle, Melendez adds lineup flexibility and, again, a young guy with contract control for the M’s at an affordable cost financially. Melendez had 16 Home Runs last year but only hit .235 in Kansas City last year. Melendez alone could probably be swapped for Bryan Woo, maybe a low-end prospect tossed in as well if needed, but for the fun of it, I would see what it would take to get Vinnie Pasquantino included in the deal as well. Pasquantino missed most of last year with a torn labrum, but he possesses plus hitting tools, and in 2022, he hit .297 while splitting time between first and DH for the Royals. In this scenario, getting both these young talents from the Royals is probably going to take a mix of Bryce Miller or Logan Gilbert as the main piece going back, along with two other prospects between the 15-25 rank range for the Mariners; maybe SP Jimmy Joyce and OF Aiden Smith would work. If so, this gives the Mariners two solid left-hand bats for the now and future to pair with Julio Rodriguez.

Minnesota Twins have two interesting pieces that need a change of scenery and shouldn’t be that costly OF Max Kepler and Jose Miranda 1B/3B. Max Kepler is a left-hand hitter who can play any spot in the outfield; he is 30 years old and a free agent in 2025, but give him a year in Seattle and see how it goes. Max hit .260 with 24 Home Runs, scored 72 runs, and drove in 66 last year. Jose Miranda is a guy who won’t start the year with the big club unless Jorge Polanco gets moved. Jose spent most of the year in the minors last season, but in 2022, he hit .268 with 15 Home Runs and 66 RBIs; he’s only 25 years old, and if he can find the 2022 version of himself at the plate, the Mariners would be getting a steal. I would think a deal for these two would cost a few prospects, but it might not even have to include any from the current starting rotation I would offer outfielder Yasser Mercedes, their 10th-ranked prospect, and RHP Andrew Morris to see if that can get it done. It would still allow one of the other moves up above to happen with one of the younger current pitchers (Woo or Miller).

Long Shot Philadelphia Phillies Alec Bohm, this option is less attractive and also probably less likely given the Phillies are contending each year and trying to keep up with the Braves each year; giving up a starting 3B who has been improving each year seems unlikely, but if they were interested in getting Bryce Miller and a second tier prospect in return, I would try and swing a move for Bohm. Bohm hit in the middle of the loaded Phillies lineup last year; he hit .274 with 2o Home Runs and 97 RBIs. As I said, the chances are low due to the Phillies being in the position of not needing to move him, so they might have a very high asking price, which, for me, isn’t worth it compared to the previously mentioned moves.

In conclusion, the idea behind this process was to find assets that would be cost-effective for the Mariners; given the current state, all these moves would still allow them to target needs in free agency to continue to construct a roster that will get them back into the playoffs and take advantage of the superstar they have in Julio Rodriguez.

Leave a Reply

Tommy John Surgery

Unless you are entirely new to baseball, you have heard of the infamous Tommy John surgery at some point. However, you may not understand exactly what that entails. Let us discuss it below. Yet, before we do that, here are some definitions to know quickly. Medially means toward the midline of the body or moving […]

Read More
Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Transactions | Inside The Diamonds

Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Moves 7/12

Pittsburgh Pirates announce several roster moves ahead of their game with the White Sox tonight!

Read More
Twins Roster Transactions | Inside The Diamonds

Minnesota Twins Roster Moves 7/12

Twins announce two roster moves ahead of their first game in the three game series with the San Francisco Giants

Read More