2014 Trade Deadline Failures: RF Chris Denorfia


Early on the day of the trade deadline, the Mariners made their second of three trade deadline moves, trading Triple-A outfielder Abraham Almonte to the San Diego Padres for righty right fielder Chris Denorfia.

Traditionally a masher of left-handed pitching, the Mariners hoped to have Chris Denorfia, 34, platoon in right field when the Mariners faced left-handed pitching.

However, in 32 games and 82 at-bats with the Seattle Mariners, Denorfia posted a .195/.256/.317 line with only 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 7 walks, 11 runs scored while striking out 19 times. ESPN gave him a -0.3 WAR for his time with the Mariners.

Even worse, for the entirety of the 2014 season Chris Denorfia batted a meager .220 against left-handed pitching where his 10-year career average was .292.

Some would say the Mariners got a guy that would have brought marginal value had he provided what was expected of him, but he didn’t even manage that. He has never exceeded 144 games in a season, and has averaged 78 games a year for his career.

By no means was he intended to be a savior out in right field, but even still, GM Jack Z went out and got someone who fared worse than the riff-raff the Mariners had been throwing out in right field prior.

The Mariners weren’t expected to compete for the postseason in 2014: the team did not seem adequately complete from top to bottom to fair well. But they defied odds, and in doing so Trader Jack felt the need to go out and get some pieces. However, I think he was well aware that going for broke in 2014 would severely jeopardize this teams future. So instead of dropping Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and D.J. Peterson into a trade for some ‘right-handed power bat’, Jack decided to make minor tweaks in hope of pushing the team closer without giving up on 2015, 2016, and beyond.

He traded Nick Franklin for Austin Jackson, which failed offensively this season but Jackson has 2015 to redeem himself.

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Jack traded Stephen Pryor, the hard throwing righty who had no spot in the Mariners ‘Pen, to Minnesota for Kendrys Morales who never got around to hitting the ball behind Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.

In all, Jack Z. failed pretty badly at the 2014 trade deadline. But the Mariners were still only 1 game away from the postseason. That tells us two things: 1. the Mariners are close to getting there and 2. Jack needs to go out and get some real impact guys this offseason.

Yes, Chris Denorfia and Co. failed in 2014, but Jackson has a shot at redemption and the price for the other two was palatable.

Trader Jack got a contract extension because he gave this team a chance to win in 2014. But the wealth of experience for the young players coupled with the newfound draw for free agents to come to Seattle, look for 2015 to be an even better season.