Seattle Mariners Busy on Day 1 of FanSided Faux Off-Season

TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Ohtani
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 12: Shohei Ohtani /

The 30 sites of FanSided have come together to pack an entire off-season into a 3 day simulation! In true Jerry Dipoto fashion, the Seattle Mariners got busy on the trade market. Lets look at what went down.

Before we get started, let’s do a quick recap of what we are trying to do. The Seattle Mariners enter the 2018 season looking to end their 16 year playoff drought. With massive holes in the rotation, as well as the bullpen and centerfield, I had just $30 million to fill these gaps.

Although a daunting task, I wanted to kick it up a notch and add potential impact prospects to our farm system as well. Why? I guess I like pulling my hair out? But now, lets take a look at what went down on Day 1 of our Off-Season simulation!

Sign Shohei Ohtani

As expected, the bidding for Ohtani got intense. Thankfully, money was not the primary factor. The Mariners were selected over the Yankees, Dodgers, and Twins and we were gifted the Japanese superstar. We leaned heavily on our franchises history with Japan, including close ties to Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Iwakuma.

These factors, including proximity to Japan, and a decent signing bonus, gave us an edge over the Yankees and the surprisingly aggressive Twins, who acquired nearly $1 million in extra international slot money before Ohtani was awarded.

We were obviously thrilled to snag a player as talented as Ohtani. We now feel that we have a dynamic 1-2 punch with Ohtani and Paxton. Paying these two a combined $6 million in 2018 also could allow us to sign a veteran to round out the rotation.

Traded Kyle Seager to the Atlanta Braves for Julio Teheran, Austin Riley and Joey Wentz

We asked you guys if we should shop Kyle Seager on our Twitter page (@sodomojoFS) and after a little back and forth, a majority said yes. I fully went into this sim expecting Seager to be our third baseman when we left. I floated him out their, and after hearing from 6 or 7 teams, I found a deal that was too good for me to pass up.

Trading Seager clears $19 million off our books for this sim. Well, actually $11 million when you add Teheran’s $8 million salary. Speaking of Teheran, he is an interesting case. He is a good player, coming off a mediocre year. Sounds like a Dipoto guy already right?

In addition, Teheran is just 27 years old in 2018, with 2 years remaining on his deal worth $19 million total. He also has a 3rd year option worth $12 million in 2020. Adding Teheran fills out our rotation, giving the Mariners a staff that can compete with anybody. Paxton-Ohtani- Felix-Leake-Teheran is not terrible at all.

Taking Seager off the books also gives us an opportunity to go after a big name starter (Darvish or Arrieta) which could make either Mike Leake or Julio Teheran an appealing trade piece on this market.

As for the other players in the deal, Riley and Wentz, both are high upside, projectable prospects who do not need to be on the 40 man roster. Riley is a corner infielder with massive right-handed pop. To be honest, he reminds me a bit of Ryon Healy, but with a legit shot to stick at 3rd base.

Wentz tore it up in A ball, and has the upside of a #2 starter with a floor as a useful multi-inning guy out of the pen.

Trade Chris Torres, Luis Liberato, and Ariel Miranda to Cincinnati for Eugenio Suarez and Tyler Rainey

There was no chance I was trading Kyle Seager without having a bona fide MLB third baseman to replace him. Enter Eugenio Suarez. I am not going to tell you Suarez is as good as Kyle Seager. He isn’t. But he is substantially cheaper, scheduled to earn just $4.5 million in 2018 as a first year Arbitration eligible player.

Suarez is not a bad player. The 26-year-old posted a career season in 2017, slashing .260/.367/.461 with 26 homers and a All-Star caliber 4.1 fWAR. It is unlikely he will repeat that production in 2018, but at 26, it is not impossible.

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Suarez also grades out very similarly to Seager on defense. Honestly, I feel like this is a lateral move from Suarez to Seager. Keep in mind, Suarez is 3 years younger than Seager, and will make roughly $14 million less than him.

The Mariners love to find players who are blocked by higher rated prospects or guys who are about to be pushed out those spots. The Reds top prospect Nick Senzel figures to make his debut in 2018, thus the need for them to move Suarez.

Trade Nick Vincent and Chase De Jong to Colorado for Raimel Tapia

If you have read some of my stuff in the past, you know I have been on the “trading Nick Vincent” bandwagon for a while. I still think the Mariners missed a massive opportunity to move him in season. Now that I am calling the shot, I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

I will certainly need to replace Vincent before this sim is over, but Raimel Tapia gives me a potential every day centerfielder with 6 years of club control and 2 options left. The deal was simply to sweet to pass up on.

Tapia has a plus speed tool and good instincts in the outfield, giving him a chance to play in center. He is probably better suited for left field, but his player ha produced everywhere he has played. Even in 70 games with the big club, he hit a respectable .288/.329/.425.

The soon to be 24-year-old will have to compete in Spring Training with Guillermo Heredia and Ben Gamel for a spot on the roster, but Tacoma is just a short trip away. Having 6 outfielders to fill 4 or 5 spots is never a bad things.

Wrap up

Day 2 is well underway, and without giving away too much, I would expect a majority of my trading to be done. I still need to add a few quality bullpen arms, and figure out exactly what I am doing at the centerfield position.

I am actively bidding on a starting pitcher, and am currently in position to one big name to this roster. I will continue to try to get younger whilst giving the 2018 Mariners a legitimate shot at a playoff spot. Stay tuned for more.