Move 2: Nick Vincent to Los Angeles Dodgers for OF Joc Pederson
Most Mariner fans, and fans of baseball in general, would be shocked at how good Nick Vincent has been. He has a career 2.71 ERA with a 140 ERA+ (100 is average) plus a 4.22 K/BB ratio and a 1.05 WHIP. Vincent will be arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season, and is not free agent until after the 2019 season.
All of these factors should make Vincent a premier trade chip for a contending team. 2 things might prevent Vincent from fetching a package similar to other elite relievers. 1. He doesn’t have “closer stuff” and 2. a general lack of interest in a 90 mph fastball.
The Mariners could be better off waiting until the middle of 2018 to ship Vincent, but may as well cash in now to protect against an injury to Vincent.
As for the Mariners return, Joc Pederson is a bit of an enigma. After posting a 2.3bWAR in 2015, Pederson improved in 2016, pulling in a season as a 3.5 bWAR. Pederson used superior defense and a great eye to make people believe Pederson was the next big thing. Unfortunately, Pederson has taken a massive step back in 2017. His platoon split has not improved (.828 OPS v RHP, .595 OPS v LHP) and he struggle to make contact at times. The defense is probably better suited in a corner spot, but can play in CF without an problem.
Despite Pederson’s struggles at times, he still will take his walks, as evidence by his impressive .345 OBP, despite his .222 batting average. He has 30 HR power, and is just 26 years old, with 4 years of club control left.
Wrapup for Part 2
As for bullpen options, those 2 pitchers represent the most veteran arms. Phelps will have little to no value with his elbow issue, and Diaz is worth holding onto for the time being. The rest of the bullpen comes down to young arms who could see an increase in trade value with a good season. Dan Altavilla, Shae Simmons, James Pazos, Emilio Pagan, and Tony Zych are all still controllable arms, and carry value for the 2018 Mariners and beyond.
In the 3rd installment of this Alternate Universe series, We will look at potential additions via free agency in the world where the Mariners rebuild. Most people overlook the value of free agency for rebuilding teams, as those signings help fuel your farm system for in season trades. Plus, you still have to run out a MLB product for 162 games each season.