The Mariners survived the gauntlet. They survived it without Robinson Cano. They survived it with a struggling Seager. And they survived it with a few bonehead mistakes by manager Scott Servais. It wasnt pretty. The M’s left New York without a win.
There are many different things that can be blamed for the sweep. The first of which is that the Yankees are just good. The second would be that Mariners closer Edwin Diaz didn’t throw a single pitch. But maybe one of the most glaring problems was the fact that Jean Segura was out of the lineup with an arm infection, leaving Andrew Romine as the backup plan.
One at bat stands out above the rest from Romine where Mike Zunino hit a double to lead off and inning and then Andrew Romine promptly struck out and failed to move Z over. Romine has no business being on this Mariners roster. The funny thing is, the Mariners solution to a bad utility guy may have been on the very roster that swept them in New York.
A good utility/backup player isn’t the most glamorous way to improve the Mariners. It’s unlikely that a backup player would win you the World Series. However, it is likely that at some point during the season, a utility player could win you a game. In the Mariners case, Andrew Romine’s terrible at-bats directly led to at least one Mariners loss this year. Brandon Drury, who is mainly a third baseman, could be just the guy the Mariners need.
Throughout his career, Drury has seen 136 games at 2B, 89 in the OF and 48 at 3B. However, he’s played just one game at SS and 1B respectively. It would seem that he would be a viable replacement for nearly all positions should an injury arise or a player just needs some time off.
He’s not the worlds best defender but he is serviceable. Before his time with the Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks used him as a bit of a roamer. Once Ketel Marte came into the picture for the DBacks, it was time for them to move Drury and he was sent to the Yankees in a three-team deal that netted Arizona outfielder Steven Souza Jr.
At the plate, Drury would serve as a major upgrade of Romine. In just over two seasons with the DBacks, Drury smashed 31 home runs and a .761 OPS. His .270 career average is anchored by his 2016 season where he owned a .282/.329/.458 slash line while hitting 16 home runs in 461 at-bats.
At just 25 years of age, Drury is signed through 2022 season, therefore, he could be a member of the M’s for the foreseeable future and step in if need be. Drury is also from Grants Pass, Oregon so a trade to Seattle would be a bit of a homecoming.
Drury hasn’t seen much action in 2018, with only 23 at-bats for the Yankees before being sent down to AAA. Miguel Andujar along with Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torres, and Didi Gregorius have locked up many of the infield spots. However, one of the biggest things that may hinder the Drury/Mariner dream. First Baseman Greg Bird has been atrocious at the plate, hitting a mere .186 with 3 home runs. He was often seen as the answer after the retirement of Texiera.
But, with that being said, the Yankees have a very right-handed heavy lineup and Bird is one of the very few lefties. Drury, if he was to become the Yanks new first basemen, would add another righty to the mix.
Neil Walker could serve as another option for the for the Yanks at first as he is a switch hitter. For now, Drury is wasting away at AAA where he is hitting .321/.429/.491 with 4 home runs and 4 stolen bases in 159 at-bats.
The Yankees, frankly, don’t have much room for Drury. He has been playing first base down in Scranton which would make it seem as if he will be getting called up as a replacement for Greg Bird soon enough. It would be interesting to see if the Yankees decide to go with someone like Drury at first or if they decide to make a trade for a more proven first baseman in the midst of their playoff race with the Red Sox.
I think that Drury is a great asset to the Yankees but he also deserves to play at the major league level. With that being said, let’s take a look at what logistics would come about in a trade for Brandon Drury.
The Yankees need a better first baseman and the Mariners have Ryon Healy for the next few years so Daniel Vogelbach is expendable. Vogelbach alone would not net the M’s Brandon Drury so here’s the trade.
Brandon Drury, UTL
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Seth Elledge, RHP
This may seem like an incredibly steep price to pay for one player but Drury is only 25 and would be a Mariner for the next five years. He is MLB ready and he can man an everyday position competently.
Vogelbach has not gotten his chance at the Major League level and could thrive in a hitter-friendly playpen like Yankee Stadium where home runs will land over the right-field fence if you just sneeze on the ball. Greg Bird and Neil Walker have both been terrible at first base but Daniel Vogelbach may serve as the answer to the Yankees biggest problem. He would serve as a big lefty in the Yanks lineup. He’s not the best defender but he is serviceable and could serve as a DH if need be.
Elledge has been lights-out for Modesto this year, pitching to a 3-1 record with a 0.96 ERA in 24 games. The 6’3″, 230-pound righty is 22 years old has 41 strikeouts and 7 saves this year. His 50-grade fastball is complemented by an above average secondary pitch. He isn’t expected to be in the Major Leagues until 2020 but could be a quick riser through the ranks.
With the cash that the Mariners would acquire could, in turn, add up to another addition closer to the trade deadline. Giving up both Vogelbach and Elledge is tough.
It’s possible that the Yankees would require such a hefty return for a player that has less than 50 at-bats at the major league level this year but this package seems like a sure fire way for Brandon Drury to be in the Mariners blue before the end of the summer.
Every game counts for the Mariners as they chase down their first playoff appearance since 2001. A good utility player could make all the difference down the stretch.