The Seattle Mariners are not done making moves, as evident by their continued effort to land RHP Sonny Gray. But while they still want to add, they are also looking to move more pieces for prospects.
While most Mariners fans, ourselves included, have been focusing on the big contracts like Mike Leake and Edwin Encarnacion, it has also been reported that GM Jerry Dipoto has shopped around first baseman Ryon Healy.
There hasn’t been any chatter surrounding the 27-year-old first baseman all winter. But we do know that the Royals were interested in Healy this July, and still could be interested at this stage as well.
In 2018, Healy struggled in Seattle, slashing .238/.277/.412 with 24 home runs and 73 RBI. However, there is still hope for the 27-year-old, who has succeeded at the big league level in the past, and at every minor league stop around the way.
He is cheap, a year away from arbitration, he has 4-years of club control, and all 3 minor league option years remaining. The RH power is legitimate 30 home run tool. The metrics are unkind to his defense at first, but the eye test shows him as a useable piece.
But let’s not kid ourselves, the market for Healy will not be deep or prosperous. But one spot that does make a little bit of sense is with the Miami Marlins. Their first base situation is bad. Currently, a rotation of Garrett Cooper and Peter O’Brien isn’t impressive, and with all the club control and a cheap contract, there are some positive connections between the Marlins and Mariners. Our proposal:
Obviously, the Mariners could not expect a major return. They may be able to get creative and improve their haul by taking on a player who is making some money from the Marlins, mainly Martin Prado and Starlin Castro.
Prado is due to make $15 million in 2019, while Castro is scheduled to earn $11 million. Both players will be free agents after this off-season, while Castro also has a $16 million club option for 2020.
Neither player has a real fit for the 2019 club, but Starlin Castro would at least have some value on the trade market. Dan Straily is another option, set to earn $5 million in 2019, coming off a disappointing year. who the Marlins are still shopping around.
Seattle is still in the market for a starter, as evidence from the Sonny Gray pursuit. In this case, Straily would probably require Seattle to add a small prospect but could make some sense for both sides.
Overall, a potential Dan Straily for Ryon Healy and a low-level prospect could make sense for both sides. Miami gets a first baseman with some upside and clears some payroll and a spot in their rotation. Seattle gets a 30-year-old starting arm to help round out their rotation and not rush Justus Sheffield into the rotation.
The market for Healy is sure to be small. But Dipoto could get creative by taking on some salary in order to garner more talent in the deal. It wouldn’t be the first time we saw this idea play out this off-season, and is a good way for the Mariners to add talent without losing potential long-term assets.