Yoenis Cespedes For Hisashi Iwakuma Not Likely To Happen


Rumors are exactly that….rumors. So when a whisper popped up a few months ago about a possible Hisashi Iwauma to the Red Sox deal for Yoenis Cespedes, some people got on board, some people dismissed it.

Two players, both with expiring contracts, the Red Sox need starting pitching, the Mariners need right-handed offense. Makes sense, right?

Not so fast. According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, a one for one trade involving Iwakuma wouldn’t make sense for Seattle given their lack of starting pitching depth on the 40-man roster.

"Seattle has a severe lack of starting pitching depth after the big league level.The top five starters are 1. Felix Hernandez, 2. Hisashi Iwakuma, 3. James Paxton, 4. Roenis Elias and 5. Taijuan Walker.The remaining starting pitchers on the 40-man ….Erasmo Ramirez and Anthony Fernandez, who had Tommy John surgery, last season.  That’s it. That’s the list.We’ve seen the Erasmo experiment, and it just isn’t working. Fernandez was a DFA candidate before getting hurt.Beyond the 40-man, there is the recently acquired right-hander Sam Gaviglio and right-hander Jordan Pries, who will both likely be on Class AAA Tacoma. Pries was the Mariners minor league co-starting pitcher of the year in 2014, going 9-8 with a 4.05 ERA in the hitter-friendly PCL. Pries is kind of a Quad A guy. He’s a guy that doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he needs to rely on pinpoint accuracy and command to get outs. That can work at the AAA level, but usually doesn’t translate to the big leagues."

Yes, we most certainly HAVE seen the Erasmo experiment. Though he has been lights out in winter ball thus far, perhaps he is turning a corner. Do you really want to find out?

One way that it would work is if the Mariners were about to land a starting pitcher off free agency to replace Kuma. It’s unlikely – though not impossible – that the Mariners will land Jon Lester or Max Scherzer. But a guy like Jake Peavy, Francisco Liriano, Brandon McCarthy or Jason Hammel is certainly not out of the question.

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Also according to Divish, he has been told that the Mariners’ interest in Justin Upton isn’t “quite as high as perceived” and the team would most certainly NOT give up Taijuan Walker for a one-year rental of Upton.

That can be taken a couple of ways.

1- The Mariners would only give up someone like Michael Saunders and a second piece to acquire Upton (like we suggested in October) OR

2- The Mariners ARE interested in Upton and are trying to negotiate an extension with him before agreeing to give up Walker.

Either way, Mariners fans can rest assured, for now, that the team is not willing to unload Walker or Iwakuma…..at least not for what many suggest they should give them up for.

Stay tuned.