Seattle Mariners Going Big, Trade for Marlins Gordon

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Dee Gordon
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Dee Gordon /

While the rest of the baseball world was focused on Shohei Ohtani, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto swung the biggest deal of the off-season. Seattle acquired now former Miami Marlin, Dee Gordon and $1 million in international slot money for 3 minor leaguers.

News of the deal originally broke early in the afternoon, but we are just now seeing the final details. The Mariners have acquired their center fielder, speedster Dee Gordon. Gordon, who slashed .308/.341/.375, led all of baseball with a remarkable 60 stolen bases in 2017.

Gordon is not your prototypical “control the zone” type of hitter. He posted an abysmal 3.6 BB%. But Gordon also has incredible bat control, which allows him to put the ball in play and put constant pressure on the defense.

The real question for Dee Gordon to answer is whether or not he can play centerfield. Clocked as the 4th fastest man in baseball last season, he certainly has the athleticism to make the transition. It is worth noting that the  3 players faster than Gordon all happen to be 3 of the best defensive center fielders in the game, including Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton.

The deal also included an additional $1 million in international bonus slot money. The Mariners now have $3.56 million in slot money available, which happens to put them just ahead of the Rangers in total money available.

As if there was any doubt, the Mariners are all in on Ohtani. So much so, that they have acquired $2 million to offer him in the past 24 hours.

The group of prospects heading back to the Marlins is not a bad one. The Mariners parted ways with their consensus #2 prospect, the young pitcher Nick Neidert. They also parted ways with another Top 10 prospect, short stop Chris Torres. Robert Dugger was also involved.

Neidert is the headliner heading back to Marlins. A solid pitching prospect, Neidert is about a year away. While he doesn’t have incredible stuff, he poses what should be at least 3 solid offerings, and has the upside of a solid #3 if everything works out.

Torres is at least 2 years away from sniffing the big leagues, probably 3. Dugger is likely minor league depth.

While most are quick to point to the money and what it could mean in regards to Ohtani, don’t over look the obvious. The Mariners have acquired a player who has posted an fWAR of at least 3.3 in 3 of 4 season, including a massive 4.8 fWAR in 2015.

Gordon lengthens the lineup, improves the teams putrid base-running, and provides a potential All-Star player still in the prime of his career. Gordon is under contract until 2020, with an option in 2021.

Next: Mariners a Favorite for Shohei Ohtani?

In other words, Gordon is not a short-term option. He is a player who can actually gain value if he learns to play a good center field. Should the Mariners decide to tear things down in 2019, Gordon can recoup a similar cost to what the Mariners just paid.