Mariners Trade Target: Waiver Wire Edition
It’s been a while since we talked Mariners trade targets. And since the last one we discussed, Ervin Santana may be out for the year, it’s time to turn our attention to another possibility.
It isn’t a secret. The Mariners starting pitching is beginning to crack. Just about everybody with a basic grasp of logic and reason thought it would happen. But now with James Paxton hurt, Wade LeBlanc in a funk, and Marco Gonzalez showing signs of fatigue, the bubble gum and scotch tape rotation just aren’t good enough right now.
So what do the Mariners and their GM Jerry Dipoto do? Easy answer, go get starting pitching. Well, it is easier said than done. A lot of teams need starting pitching, and getting to the Mariners on the waiver wire isn’t that easy.
So short of a magical pill to turn the Mariners rotation into the Houston Astros, Dipoto might need to get creative. If you can’t prevent more runs than your opponent, your only option is to score more runs.
So today, we are going to think outside the box and profile a player to help the Mariners score more runs, and hopefully, win more games. Today, we profile Washington Nationals first baseman, Matt Adams.
Adams is a soon to be 30-year-old first baseman of the Washington Nationals. In 94 games in 2018, Adams is the owner of a .257/.332/.510 triple slash with 18 homers and 48 RBI. These numbers more or less fall in line with his career .269/.317/.474.
The numbers get even better against RHP, where Adams is slashing .264/.345/.538. Adams also boast a solid 8.9 % walk rate and a below average 19.9 % k rate. His bat is easily comparable to Ryon Healy from the left side of the plate. However, there are 2 major differences.
First, Adams takes walks, and compared to Healy, he takes a lot of walks. In fact, Adams has 8 more walks than Healy in 2018… in 140 fewer plate appearances.
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Second, Adams is a significantly better defender at first base. The metric UZR/150 gives Adams a 7.8 rating (0.0 is average) compared to Healy’s -8.3. In DRS (defensive runs saved) Adams outpaces Healy by the tune of 3 DRS to -9.
Look, defensive metrics are still a work in progress, but we aren’t talking about small differences here. It stands to reason that Adams is a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively to Ryon Healy.
But what does this mean for Healy and the Mariners? Well, it likely means that Adams would get most of the AB’s until September when Healy could rejoin the team. In the meantime, Adams gets everyday AB’s against RHP, Robinson Cano slides back to second, and Dee Gordon becomes your true utility man, filling in when needed.
In addition, adding Adams gives the Mariners a potent bat off the bench, while extending the lineup without a substantial commitment to Adams, either monetarily or in acquisition cost. Adams is a free agent after this season.
Ryon Healy does nothing to prove himself to be the first baseman of the future, so trading for Adams could be a lease with an option to buy.
With the limited cost to acquire, as well as a short-term commitment that absolutely makes the team better, Adams is the ideal candidate for an August acquisition for Jerry Dipoto. We do not know if Adams has been placed on waivers or not. But if he is and gets to the Mariners, Dipoto would be a fool to let him pass.