Seattle Mariners: Carlos Santana Trade Profile, Colorado
It appears likely the next Mariners piece to be dealt is newly acquired first baseman Carlos Santana. With all 30 GM’s in one place for the next few days, this is the best time to make something happen.
There are likely a handful of teams who are interested in the 33-year-old walk machine. We have already looked at fits for the Indians and Twins, which you can read by clicking the links. But it is possible a new contender has emerged at the front of the pack for the Mariners new first baseman.
The Colorado Rockies are launching an exhaustive hunt for a solution to their first base woes. They have been linked to Carlos Santana, Wil Myers, Edwin Encarnacion, and were apparently bidders in the Paul Goldschmidt sweepstakes.
But now, a late night rumor from Jim Bowden may have set the stage for a big trade on Wednesday. Bowden said on Baseball Tonight that the Rockies were going to trade for either Encarnacion or Santana.
Being hesitant is a good rule of thumb when Bowden talks Mariners because he doesn’t have a great track record nailing down the rumors regarding the team. Anybody else still waiting for Marcel Ozuna to walk through the door?
But assuming it is true and assuming it is Santana and not Encarnacion, what could a deal look like? That seems to depend on how much money the Mariners and Rockies are willing to eat on Santana.
Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish says the Mariners want prospects for Santana. Whether that means they just want prospects or are willing to take a vet with a high salary to help balance the salaries, remains to be seen.
We have worked under the assumption that Seattle would need to take some money to get any real prospects. It is possible if they eat enough salary they could also achieve that. In terms of bad contracts, the Rockies have a couple of options.
Ian Desmond may be the Rockies preference and Dipoto did say the team was looking for an RHH outfielder. Desmond is set to make $38 million over the next 3 years, with a $2 million buyout for 2022. 3 years, $40 million total for Desmond while Santana will make $40 million over 2-years.
So money wise, the deal pencils okay. The issue is really three-fold: Desmond wasn’t very good in 2017 or 2018. He did go 20/20 but slashed just .236/.307/.422 while playing half his games at Coors Field.
Second, Desmond is 33-years-old. Buying a declining player for his age 33-35 season isn’t conducive to a rebuild.
Third, and perhaps most important, Desmond’s limited no-trade clause becomes a full no-trade clause after the first trade. Desmond probably isn’t that appealing to the Mariners. The Rockies have 3 relievers who were bad in 2018, but the Rockies don’t sound that keen on trading any of them.
This deal may very well come down to the money the Mariners are willing to send to Colorado. Jerry Dipoto probably likes Raimel Tapia, a speedy OF who has raked in AAA but hasn’t found a lot of success in the big leagues.
However, Tapia is basically Ben Gamel and it wouldn’t make sense unless they intend to trade Gamel. The Rockies farm system isn’t great either. Dom Nunez is a glove-first catcher who can take a walk but doesn’t have much else going for him.
Josh Fuentes is super interesting. The PCL MVP who is blocked at the big league level by his cousin, Nolan Arrenado. Unfortunately, Kyle Seager isn’t going anywhere so Fuentes is blocked as well. He may be able to move to first so perhaps that is the opportunity.
The Rockies do have good depth in their system with bullpen pitchers. Reid Humphreys, Ben Bowden, and Justin Lawerence all make sense as well.
The Mariners and Rockies can find a deal that makes both sides happy. Finding the middle ground on money might be the hardest thing to figure out. Whatever the final price may be, the Mariners seem motivated to move Carlos Santana, and we could see a resolution quickly.