The Seattle Mariners are a good baseball team, that needs to get better. While most will focus on the pitching side of things, they can also improve along the fringes.
On the surface, the Mariners outfield is awfully crowded. So much so, one of their best hitters since May, Ben Gamel, has been relegated to part-time status. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t room to improve.
In order to achieve that, the Mariners could turn to an old fan favorite, center fielder Leonys Martin.
Martin, who spent 1 1/2 seasons with Seattle, signed a 1 year deal with the Detroit Tigers this off-season. At the age of 30, Martin is off to an incredible start in 2018. As of June 6th, he is slashing .254/.325./.444, with 7 homers and 2 steals.
As always, the major value of Leonys Martin comes from his glove and arm. In 388 innings of play in center, he has already posted a 4.6 UZR and 2 DRS (defensive runs saved). Everybody in baseball is well aware of the arm.
So how do you make Martin fit with Gamel, Denard Span, Guillermo Heredia, Mitch Haniger and eventually Dee Gordon? Fortunately, you have until August 14th before it becomes a real issue. Martin is the ideal bench player for Seattle right now.
He is a left-handed bat with pop, who can play all 3 OF positions excellently, and has good speed to run late as well. Imagine the Mariners protecting a 1 run lead with Heredia in LF, Martin in CF, and Haniger in RF. It’s a pretty nifty little defense, isn’t it?
Span is no guarantee to stick around, just like Heredia and Gamel aren’t a guarantee to continue hitting like they are. Of course, this isn’t even accounting for potential injuries. As it is often said when a team has “too many good options”, these things tend to work themselves out.
So of course, the real question now is, ” what’s it gonna cost”? Martin is 30-years-old and is playing on just a 1-year contract. The cost shouldn’t be exorbitant. With that in mind, I propose the following trade:
The Seattle Mariners trade Nick Wells and Matt Walker to Detroit for Leonys Martin.
It is difficult to gauge the value of a player without knowing who the other players will be. There will likely be a contender who needs Martin more than the Mariners will, and it could jack up the price.
But with Wells, the Tigers get a young (21) lefty with a good mix and a potential middle reliever for 3 months of Martin. The Mariners get a true bench threat, who can step into a starting role if necessary. Sounds like a win-win to me.