Seattle Mariners Acquire SS Luis Sardinas


Jerry Dipoto has been a very busy man this month, and he pulled off yet another move on Friday morning. The Seattle Mariners have acquired Luis Sardinas from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Ramon Flores.

Originally signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent in 2009, Sardinas made his big league debut in 2014 at the tender age of 20. He did a nice job with the Rangers, hitting .261 with 6 doubles, 0 home runs, 8 RBI and 5 stolen bases across 43 games. Sardinas posted a .303 on base percentage and slugged .313 through 125 plate appearances.

Following the 2014 season, Texas shipped Sardinas to Milwaukee as part of trade that saw Yovani Gallardo join the Rangers. Sardinas was mostly utilized as a utility infielder during his brief time in Wisconsin. The 22-year-old switch hitter slashed a disappointing .196/.240/.216 across 105 plate appearances.

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Sardinas may have struggled with the Brewers last season, but his minor league numbers suggest he could develop into a competent hitter in Seattle. Sardinas has hit .285 with 32 doubles, 7 triples, 2 home runs, 61 RBI and 25 steals across 163 games in Triple-A. His .315 on base percentage and .365 slugging percentage are both very impressive.

Defense is Sardinas’ calling card. He has played mostly up the middle, but has seen time in 10 games at third base. His 5.05 range factor per 9 innings at short stop is well above the league average of 4.22. Sardinas sports a 1.000 fielding percentage through 226.2 innings at second base. He could be a superb utility infielder with the Mariners.

Sardinas is projected by Baseball Reference to hit .249 with 4 homers, 23 RBI and 4 stolen bases across 241 at bats in 2016. FanGraphs is predicting the Venezuela product with post a .246 batting average with 2 home runs, 26 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 81 games.

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The Mariners acquired Ramon Flores from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline this year as part of the return package for Dustin Ackley. Flores got off to a hot start in Tacoma, hitting .423 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI through his first 14 games. He appeared destined to finish the season in Seattle before suffering a season ending injury. The M’s recent trade for Leonys Martin likely made Flores expendable.

Luis Sardinas could potentially compete for the starting shortstop job with Ketel Marte in 2016, but he is most likely going to be the club’s utility infielder. Sardinas is an intriguing young player, and it is a bit surprising to see the Brewers give up on him. Today’s trade makes the Mariners more versatile and athletic, which is never a bad thing.