Mariners Trade-a-Day: Six Player Deal in The 6ix
If you’re a Mariners fan and own a Twitter account, you’ll know that the Mariners need another starting pitcher. Well, at least according to Twitter they do.
So we’re going to give them a starting pitcher in this deal, and an exciting one at that. But it’s going to come at a significant price. One the Mariners may not be able to afford at this time.
We’re going north of the border for this one, saying “hey, guy” to the struggling Toronto Blue Jays.
The Jays are likely heading for a quick rebuild in the near future, with potential young superstars on their way in Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. It’s their time to sell, and they have quite a few players on their team that could net them nice returns over the next two weeks.
Their main goal, as of now, appears to be trading J.A. Happ. Seattle could be a potential landing spot for the ex-Mariner, but Jerry Dipoto isn’t very interested in rentals. If Dipoto is going to spend a great deal of resources on a player, he’ll want more than three months worth of return.
That’s where Marcus Stroman comes in. The 27-year-old righty has been at the center of many trade rumors during the last few offseasons, but the Jays have held on to him through-and-through.
It may have been a mistake to hold on to Stroman for so long, however, as he hasn’t developed into the ace he was supposed to be. Thus, his value has taken a dive, but not a significant one.
Why? Because he’s still pretty good.
But Stroman is kind of in the same boat as Taijuan Walker was as a Mariner. He still holds on to some strong value, despite failing to meet expectations. Apparently the Blue Jays themselves don’t think very highly of Stroman’s progress, either.
The first month of the 2018 season was, perhaps, the lowest point of Stroman’s young MLB career. In that time, Stroman’s numbers were way off his career norms and his ERA ballooned to 7.71 (4.03 xFIP).
After getting shelled in all but one of his starts, Stroman landed on the disabled list on May 11 with right shoulder fatigue.
Since his return on June 23, however, Stroman has been excellent. Now six starts in, Stroman’s walks are down and he’s keeping the ball on the ground at a solid 63.1% clip.
It seems he’s worked out the kinks, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect with the trade deadline fast approaching. But the Jays don’t have to trade him, considering his young age and the ability to control him for the next two years.
So ripping him away from the Blue Jays will be hard, but it’s not impossible like a Chris Archer or Jacob deGrom deal.
The Blue Jays would likely want starting pitching in return for Stroman, but the Mariners don’t really have any to give. So instead, they offer the Jays their top prospect and a controllable MLB-ready first baseman with a lot of pop and potential to headline their deal.
Parting with Lewis stings, but using him to obtain a young pitcher with strong potential would be too good to pass up.
Healy and Festa would both wind up on the Jays’ 25-man roster immediately, though both have plenty of options remaining. I wrote about Healy in my Whit Merrifield/Danny Duffy proposal last week, touching on how expendable he may become with the return of Robinson Cano.
Considering that the Royals are now looking at Healy, the Mariners are at least listening to offers for their current starting first baseman. He would be a nice piece for the Jays and would make sending Justin Smoak elsewhere an easier decision by the end of the month or in August.
In our trade deadline plan, we pitched the idea of acquiring Loup for Liberato straight up. In this trade, that’s basically the idea.
Loup is a rental, but he gives the Mariners a solid left-handed presence to pair with James Pazos in the bullpen. A couple of bad outings against the Braves this month have inflated Loup’s numbers, which – at the time of the deadline plan – looked a lot better than where they are now.
If a deal like this were to occur, it would more likely be in the offseason. But, you never know, and it would surely give the Mariners another solid option for a one-game playoff if James Paxton were unavailable.