Earlier in the week, we outlined a plan that put the Seattle Mariners smack in the middle of the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes. The Mariners cannot afford the prospect capital for the slugger, but can still get better as a result.
In our last proposal, the Seattle Mariners sent Nick Neidert and some secondary pieces away to the Miami Marlins in exchange for the San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The full outline of the deal can be found here.
Much like the last proposal, this deal finds the Mariners nosing their way into another duo’s deal, playing the role of junk bond collector again. The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly one of the most aggressive bidders on Stanton. It is unknown if the Cardinals are wanting to dumb salary to accommodate Stanton’s large contract, but for our exercise, lets assume they are.
The Cardinals have some very interesting pieces for the Mariners to consider. Their crop of young outfielders is impressive. However; perhaps no player makes more sense (realistically) than the elder statesman, Dexter Fowler.
Although primarily used as a center fielder throughout his career, Fowler has never been more than an average defender there. But while Fowler is probably best suited for right field, he does have a skill set that would instantly help the Mariners.
Simply put: Dexter Fowler gets on base. Fowler owns a career walk rate of 12.7% and has posted an OBP of .345 or higher every year in his MLB career. Fowler also grades out a good to great base-runner.
Fowler’s contract runs until after the 2021 season. He will earn $14.5 million every year, which isn’t all that bad. Fowler does have a full no trade, so there are issues there.
But let’s assume that Fowler and Stanton both approve their deals at the moment. What would this mega deal look like? Here is our proposal:
St. Louis get Giancarlo Stanton
Miami gets Alex Reyes, Harrison Bader, Nick Neidert, Nick Plummer, and Luis Liberato
Seattle gets Dexter Fowler
Obviously, the deal is a bit complicated. For our purposes here, the Mariners end up trading Nick Neidert and Luis Liberato for Dexter Fowler. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has previously stated that the team is comfortable with Mitch Haniger manning center. If this is the case, adding Dexter Fowler to the top of you lineup fills a major hole.
Like all hypothetical trades, it is impossible to know how any 1 team would react to this. But the proposal before you is, at the very least, a good starting place for all sides. The deal helps the Cardinals hang on to some of their top end talent and handle the burden of Stanton’s contract.
Miami gets 2 Top 100 prospects, a fringe Top 100 guy, and 2 “toolsy” outfielders to help their rebuild. Losing Stanton’s contract also could help the Marlins keep Christian Yellich and Marcell Ozuna.
The Mariners get a top of the order catalyst with a fantastic “control the zone” approach. They also improve their base-running, a major Achilles Heel for the team last season. The deal has major obstacles, but it certainly is something to think about.