The Seattle Mariners 2019 Offseason Primer
Don’t expect the Mariners to wildly wheel-and-deal from their MLB roster with their eyes set on competing in the near future.
We can dream on a little retool by trading Paxton and we can hope to find a taker for Dee Gordon, but the reality is that a retool would only start by dealing Paxton and Gordon presently has little trade value. Dealing either one or any similarly impactful/situated player appears unlikely at this moment.
That being said, there are a few notable players who could still reasonably be on the move before the regular season.
We covered Nick Vincent‘s candidacy already, but a more notable reliever could be on the move in Alex Colome.
Colome is a great pitcher, yet he comes with a hefty projected $7.3 million price tag and only two more years of control. He is far from superfluous as a fantastic set-up man with a lengthy track record of success and plenty of closing experience, but his salary could be invested elsewhere while he brings back a couple of prospects or is included in a more creative deal.
Matt Festa could also find himself a new home if the Mariners are able to sell him as a young, controllable MLB-ready reliever with great upside. He wouldn’t be dealt by himself but rather in a package that would presumably net Seattle another MLB-ready player at a different position.
Similarly, Nick Rumbelow could be on the move. As mentioned earlier, he is likely behind Shawn Armstrong on the depth chart right now and is (probably) out of options. A team able to roster middle relief depth like him could bite on his upside in a very minor trade.
Ryon Healy figures to be available as well after a disappointing season. The Mariners are mulling a number of possibilities at first base including shifting Robinson Cano there, and it is hard to see Healy guaranteed a spot in any scenario. He is free to be optioned to the minors, but like Festa, he could be a part of a larger trade package if there is any inkling of interest in him.
Dan Vogelbach appears here due to his lack of minor league options. If the Mariners aren’t committed to giving Vogelbach a real shot to play more-or-less full-time between first base and DH in 2019, it may behoove them to include him in an offseason trade.
Any number of minor leaguers could also be on the move, knowing that Dipoto prefers to build through trades, but if the Mariners make a significant deal centered around farm talent, expect the package to include some combination of Kyle Lewis, Braden Bishop, Joey Curletta, Wyatt Mills, and Ian Miller. Evan White would appear to be an increasingly unlikely trade piece and the team may prefer to hold on to hot starters like Julio Rodriguez, Cal Raleigh, Michael Plassmeyer, and Josh Stowers, but know that likely no one is untouchable.