Seattle Mariners: 4 Under-the-Radar Offseason Trade Targets
By Ty Gonzalez
RHP DANNY SALAZAR
It appears that the Cleveland Indians might be on the verge of a fire sale. With payroll starting to become a concern for Cleveland’s front office, some of their veteran stars may potentially wind up elsewhere when the 2019 season commences. This includes a potential tear down of one of the most dominant starting rotations in all of baseball, with names such as Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco being mentioned in these rumors.
The dangerous fivesome of Kluber, Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber made plenty of headlines this season, leaving a once-dominant piece in the growth of this rotation to ultimately be overlooked. That would be Danny Salazar, the 28-year-old All-Star that, at times, appeared to be Cleveland’s best pitcher. Salazar’s ongoing shoulder issues held him out for the entire 2018 season, and the successes of Clevinger and Bieber have put the harsh realities of professional sports right in his face.
As I said, Salazar appeared to be Cleveland’s best pitcher at times. Now, he doesn’t have a spot in their rotation, making him the likeliest of their six starters to be dealt this offseason. Shoulder injuries are scary stuff, though, and some teams may be too hesitant to dive too deep into negotiations, considering that the Indians will want something decent in return.
This shouldn’t be a problem for the Mariners, who usually welcome these kinds of deals with open arms. Per MLBTradeRumors, the arbitration-eligible Salazar may not receive a raise from his current $5 million salary. His injury also decreases his value to the point where the Mariners could realistically afford him in terms of prospect compensation, whereas they wouldn’t have even been able to move past inquiry in previous years.
When healthy, Salazar would have the potential to slot right behind James Paxton for a dynamic one-two punch atop Seattle’s rotation. It’s one of the very few massive upgrades the Mariners could realistically make at a position most fans have anxiety about.