Jerry Dipoto made his first big trade as General Manager of the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night, sending Logan Morrison, Brad Miller and Danny Farquhar to the Tampa Bay Rays. The M’s received Nate Karns, C.J. Riefenhauser and Boog Powell in exchange.
Jul 3, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) as he scores a two run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Morrison will be sorely missed by the fans and by his teammates. LoMo is a big personality, and brought the fun factor during his two seasons in Seattle. He was the emotional leader on the field and in the clubhouse. Morrison will likely be remembered most for his participation in the Fernando Rodney arrow extravaganza, and his key RBI double during game 161 against the Los Angeles Angels in 2014.
LoMo hit .241 with 28 home runs and 92 RBI through 245 games with the Mariners. Morrison struggled in 2015, hitting just .225 across 457 at bats. However, Lloyd McClendon moving him into the leadoff spot midseason seemed to really throw him off. Say what you will about this past season, but the 28-year-old was vital to the M’s down the stretch in 2014. LoMo hit .321 with 6 home runs and 20 RBI over the final two months as Seattle fell just short of reaching the postseason.
Brad Miller is one of the more intriguing names involved in the deal. The 26-year-old showed flashes of brilliance during his three years in the Emerald City. Crazy Legs served as the Mariners’ starting shortstop for parts of three seasons before moving into the super utility role in 2015. Miller played five positions this season, and he is expected to play the Ben Zobrist role with the Rays next year.
Miller exits Seattle with a .248 career batting average, 29 home runs, 118 RBI and 22 stolen bases. The Orlando, FL product hit .258 in 2015 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Miller’s stirrups and left-handed power will be missed, but he was never quite able to put it all together with the Mariners. However, I would not be surprised to see him reach his full potential with the Rays.
Danny Farquhar had a remarkable fall from grace with Seattle in 2015. After going 3-1 and posting a 2.66 ERA though 66 appearances in 2014, Lord Farquhar went 1-8 with a 5.12 ERA in 43 games this year. The 28-year-old went a combined 4-12 with a 3.85 ERA and 18 saves across parts of three seasons in Seattle. He will likely serve as a middle reliever in Tampa.
This trade is very bittersweet for me. LoMo, Crazy Legs and Lord Farquhar were all fan favorites, and the Mariners gave up a lot of personality in this trade. They were all cheap, but they were also redundant. Morrison is no longer needed at first base since the M’s have Mark Trumbo and Jesus Montero. Miller was supplanted at shortstop by Ketel Marte in August, and obviously Dipoto does not believe he is capable of playing the outfield. Farquhar spent some time in Tacoma this season, and he was not a lock to make the Mariners’ opening day roster in 2016.
Hopefully the fresh blood makes a difference. Karns and Powell possess exciting skill sets, and have a lot of team control left. Riefenhauser is an improving lefty reliever who could make an impact with Seattle next season. It’s hard to say the Mariners are much better with this trade, but I don’t think they are any worse off.
It is sure to be a busy offseason for the Mariners, and last night’s trade is likely just the first of many splash moves made by Dipoto and his staff.