Mariners Alternate Universe: Blow it up in the offseason (Part 2)
Move 1: Marc Rzepczynski to Colorado Rockies for Noel Cuevas
The simple fact of the matter is, it is nearly impossible to get a legit prospect for a LOOGY (lefty one out guy), especially when they are making serious money. At $5.5 million for 2018, the Mariners would likely be asked to eat money in any deal. But Rzepczynski still gets groundballs, something that could really benefit the bullpen in Colorado.
The Rockies are a true “up and coming team”, and they have a ton of depth in the outfield, making a 26 year old outfielder with no MLB experience, well… expendable. Enter Noel Cuevas.
Cuevas almost perfectly fits the mold of a “4A” player. He will turn 26 in September, and is enjoying a true breakout season in 2017. He has a similar profile to Mitch Haniger, though Haniger has more pop and a better hit tool, while Cuevas has the edge in the speed department.
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Cuevas is hitting .312/.353/.487 with 15 homers and 16 stolen bases. He also has 17 doubles and 12 triples, though his home ballpark is a huge advantage to hitters, and his splits show that to be a factor. They also show that he crushes LHP. Cuevas will be Rule 5 eligible this winter, and the Rockies are unlikely to add him to their roster, similar to how Ben Gamel became a Mariner.
Cuevas real value comes as a defender, where he uses his plus speed and good breaks to run down balls in the gap. He has the arm for all 3 outfield spots.