Marco Estrada, SP Toronto Blue Jays
Finally, we look at the veteran rental group. Marco Estrada is a 34-year-old righty who will become a free agent after 2018. Because of these factors, he would be the cheapest of all the pitchers mentioned.
Estrada is having a solid, but unspectacular 2018. His 6.95 K/9 and 4.53 ERA are both below his career norms. However, Estrada is a rare flyball pitcher who doesn’t give up home runs… pitching in the AL East… and in Toronto.
His 9.3% HR/FB rate ranks 15th best in all of Major League baseball. The possibility of Estrada improving his numbers. Adding Estrada is essentially like adding another Felix Hernandez to the roster, but at a drastic discount.
Estrada’s heater sits at about 90 mph and uses his 78 mph changeup as his out-pitch. Estrada also has experience working out of the bullpen, which could be useful down the stretch.
The deal would very likely not include any significant prospect, and could even perhaps be a PTBNL or cash type of deal.
Of course, there are dozens of names out there, and the Mariners need to be doing their homework on all of them. Dipoto cannot afford the top market arms, so finding value will be imperative to help solidify the rotation.
After all, it is July and somehow, the Mariners are just 1/2 a game behind the defending World Champion Houston Astros. If now isn’t the time to go for it, when is?