The FanSided MLB Mock Off-Season is always a lot of fun. It is even more fun if you get to be the GM of the Mariners. Site expert’s Ty Gonzalez and I spent most of our day pondering trade offers and free agent fits for your Mariners.
Before we begin, if you need a reminder of our parameters and rules, click here. Also, because I cannot stress this enough: THESE ARE MOCK TRADES. THE MARINERS DID NOT MAKE THESE DEALS. THESE ARE ALL PART OF A SIMULATION.
You have been warned. But the exercise is still worthwhile to read. They are fun, and often are so unique to what you’ll see in the off-season, it is fun to critique all that has gone down. Now, we currently have 5 trades already agreed to and a 6th that is close. We also bid on 3 free agents and are monitoring the market. But here are a few deals we have made:
Dee Gordon and Rob Whalen to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ivan Nova and Clay Holmes
The very first thing we did in the sim was to try and shed some payroll while adding depth to the starting rotation. Dee Gordon was a massive disappointment for Seattle in 2018 and was scheduled to make $26 million in 2019 and 2020.
With Cano set in at 2B, and Mallex Smith appearing to have a lock in CF, the options where basically move Cano to first, have a $13 million utility man, or find a trade. Ultimately, we settled for the latter, snagging Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova.
First and foremost, Nova is in the final year of a 3-year, $26 million deal, set to make $8.5 million in 2019. Nova is a classic “pitch-to-contact guy” who doesn’t walk anybody or miss many bats. He produces a large number of groundballs and has a 4.14 ERA in his past 3 seasons. Nova has also been incredibly durable in his career.
Whether we keep Nova or try to trade him remains to be seen. With an anticipated James Paxton deal on the way, keeping rotation depth may be a smart way to go. However, we were successful at shedding $4.5 million off the books in 2019, and $13 million from 2020’s payroll.