MLB Trade Rumors Project Pat Neshek, Lucas Duda to Seattle Mariners

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 25: Relief pitcher Pat Neshek
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 25: Relief pitcher Pat Neshek /

MLB Trade Rumors came out with its annual Top 50 Free Agent Predictions column. The fine folks of the website project relief pitcher Pat Neshek and First Baseman Lucas Duda as the biggest free agents to join the Mariners.

While neither name is going to cause the collective hope of the Mariners fan base to skyrocket, both are useful players who deserve consideration. Let us first consider the case of reliever Pat Neshek.

Pat Neshek

Neshek, who pitched for both the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies in 2017, is a 37-year-old, right-handed pitcher. He was selected to represent the Phillies in Miami at the All-Star Game, the second appearance of his career.

Neshek appeared in 71 games in 2017, recording a 1.59 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 62 innings. Brilliant all season, Neshek posted a massive 286 ERA+ (100 is average) with a 0.866 WHIP. Neshek’s low 3 quarters arm slot makes him a nightmare against right-handed hitters.

Perhaps the most astounding stat of Neshek’s is connected to his dominance over righties. In 2017, Neshek posted a 45:2 K/BB ratio. They slugged just .287 against him, and held righties to just .201 batting average.

Neshek would likely slide into the 8th inning role, which would allow Nick Vincent to move back into his natural spot of pitching in the middle innings. MLBTR predicts Neshek will get a 2 year deal, worth a total of $12 million.

This short-term, low risk signing is perfect for a Mariners team with a rapidly closing window. Neshek’s floor is that of a righty specialist, a valuable member to have in any championship quality bullpen.

While Neshek provides depth and quality to the pitching staff, the Mariners still need a first baseman. MLBTR has a suggestion for that:

Lucas Duda

Duda was surprisingly linked to the Mariners back in July, and has continued to be linked to him ever since. The team will undoubtedly look to add a veteran to the lineup, and Duda certainly provides left-handed pop. He averages 28 homers per 162 games played.

The problem with Duda is that he will certainly require a platoon partner. The Mariners have employed platoons at the position for the past 2 seasons, so it stands to reason that GM Jerry Dipoto will look to do it again.

For his part in 2017, Duda slashed .227/.342/.525 against RHP, producing a solid 126 wRC+. However; Duda was pitiful against left-handed pitching, slashing .188/.252/.406 with a 72 wRC+. Yuck.

Furthermore; his defense is below average, and he is bad base runner to boot. Granted, very few first baseman are great base runners, but it is still troubling to sign a 1 dimensional player like Duda.

Next: 4 Trade Target for the Seattle Mariners This Off-Season

MLBTR projects a 1 year, $6 million deal for Duda with the Mariners. While the money for Duda is not a problem, but the money needed to acquire his platoon partner could make this a very pricey solution.