Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners won a ball game. They also lost 2 relievers. Juan Nicasio is expected back in 10 days, but Dan Altavilla is expected to miss significant time with a UCL sprain.
The UCL injury is particularly worrisome to the Mariners, as it is often a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Even before these injuries, it seemed prudent for the Mariners to look to add at least 1 high leverage arm. Now, it appears to be a necessity.
Some have speculated that Jerry Dipoto is already looking for such an arm, but prefers a lefty. We will discuss a few options down the road, but today, let’s look at a 29-year-old righty from the Detroit Tigers. Let’s explore Tigers closer Shane Greene.
On the field, Greene has proved to be a solid, but unspectacular, relieving option. After starting for his entire career, Greene made the jump to the pen full time in 2016. Since then, he has posted a respectable 3.73 FIP, a .233 BAA, and averaged more than 1 strikeout per inning.
What hasn’t changed, and what ultimately might cross him off Dipoto’s list, are the walks. in 2017, Greene averaged 4.5 BB/9. While he has cut that drastically in 2018 (3.0 BB/9), it is still a concern. However, Greene has also gotten better at missing bats, as his K/9 has steadily increased every season.
This year, Greene is averaging 10.09 K/9 while issuing 2.97 walks per nine. The question for Dipoto will be, ” which Greene do you believe you are acquiring”?
In addition to what he brings on the field, Greene also checks other various boxes for the Mariners. A background in starting, 2 1/2 years of club control, and affordable contract. All are assets Dipoto loves to have. But is it worth using your limited assets on Shane Greene?
To answer that, we first need to know what that cost would be. Here is our proposal:
The Seattle Mariners Trade Ariel Miranda and Kyle Wilcox to Detroit for Shane Greene.
Overall, the Mariners get a good, but not a great reliever, and Detroit gets an MLB ready starter with some upside and club control, and a future potential bullpen piece.
Perhaps it is more likely Greene is involved in a multi-player deal, similar to the Alex Colome and Denard Span package. In fact, we have already written about the possible fit for Leonys Martin back in Seattle, so it could make sense.
At the end of the day, Greene is a nice fastball/slider pitcher with a solid groundball rate. Adding him to the mix of Nick Vincent, James Pazos, and Juan Nicasio would give the Mariners even more quality options in the middle-innings, and one with closing experience (if that matters to you).
One thing is certain. The Mariners have captured the attention of fans everywhere. Now Jerry Dipoto and company must be willing to do what is hard to finally put an end to the Mariners 16 year playoff drought.