Seattle Mariners: Who gets flipped and who stays for now?

ST PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Cleveland Indians looks on in the first inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 12, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Cleveland Indians looks on in the first inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 12, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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RHP ANTHONY SWARZAK

PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 16: Anthony Swarzak #38 and Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets celebrate a 5-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 16: Anthony Swarzak #38 and Devin Mesoraco #29 of the New York Mets celebrate a 5-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Anthony Swarzak is one of the more overlooked acquisitions of Jerry Dipoto’s incredibly busy offseason, but may become of note as July approaches.

Coming off an injury-plagued season in which he posted a 5.48 FIP in 26.1 innings of relief, Swarzak is just one year removed from a campaign that landed him a two-year, $14 million contract and should be viewed as a real bounce-back candidate in 2019. With a career-high 4.78 BB/9 (his high before that was 3.05 in 2009), it’s clear that Swarzak wasn’t right all season long and the outcome should not be reflective of the effect he could have on a bullpen moving forward.

Of course, the Mariners are not relying on Swarzak being good and rebuilding his trade value this year. If he busts once again, it’s not a huge deal, and even if he succeeds, he may not bring much back.

What I find most interesting is Seattle’s current bullpen situation, and how Swarzak may very well be their closer going into 2019. If that were to happen, and Swarzak is able to bounce back while fulfilling that role, that may boost his value above expectations. But that’s the best case scenario, and Swarzak may never be given such an opportunity depending on which other pieces the M’s bring into their deconstructed bullpen.

It’s something fun to think about a relatively boring player and situation, at least.

Possible destinations this Winter: Brewers, Indians, Athletics, Padres, Cardinals
Prediction: Traded in July or August.

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