The Seattle Mariners are going to be active this summer on the trade market. Such is the nature of GM Jerry Dipoto anyways, but the team is still in the midst of their rebuild and the farm system needs more assets.
The Mariners farm system is much improved, particularly as top end talents are concerned. But the system still needs more talent and Dipoto will certainly be looking for depth in the system as well as some potential upside.
But while it is easy to fantasize about big-name prospects heading to Seattle, it isn’t likely. But the two “site experts” of Sodo Mojo decided to go through every farm system and highlight a few of the prospects that we think might be available for the Mariners. Let’s get started with a look at the AL West.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Colby’s pick: 1B Matt Thaiss
The Angels are in a weird place as a franchise. They refuse to embrace a rebuild but have a pretty nice farm system. Ultimately, the plan might be to wait for the farm system to replenish the team around Mike Trout while just treading water at the big league level.
But with this exercise, we are still looking to add prospects from every team. My selection from the Angels system is the first base/ designated hitter prospect, Matt Thaiss. The Angels first round pick from 2016, Thaiss is ranked 8th in the team’s farm system by MLB Pipeline.
A pretty standard “bat first” 1B, Thaiss has some similar qualities to Daniel Vogelbach. He shows a good knowledge of the strike zone, an ability to hit to all fields, who focused more on line drives more than flyballs early in his career, but is starting to make strides as a power hitter.
Thaiss is actually an average glove at first and is probably ready to hold his own at the MLB level. The power is still a question, but Thaiss could develop into a .280/.360/.450 bat with average or better defense at first.
Ty’s pick: RHP Jose Soriano
It’s weird saying that I want a pitcher from the Angels organization, considering their history of, you know, not keeping their pitchers necessarily healthy or whatever. So before the Angels run Jose Soriano into the ground, it’d be great if, say, the Mariners swoop in and see the 20-year-old reach his high ceiling.
With that high ceiling comes a relatively high floor for Soriano as well. Now in his fourth season in the Angels’ organization since signing as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Soriano has exclusively worked as a starter. While his secondary and tertiary pitches have improved with time, neither are plus-pitches for him yet.
But his fastball will play. Soriano’s velocity has gone up since he signed, now sitting comfortably in the mid-90s with an ability to touch an upwards of 97-98 with some room to grow still. It’s been an easy pitch for him to command and lean on, and will certainly help him fall back into a high-leverage bullpen role if he can’t effectively use his curveball and changeup at higher levels.
The curve, however, isn’t far off from being a plus for him, so his potential as a mid-rotation starter is still well in reach for him. On occasion, Soriano has shown an above-average spin on the curve and has been able to successfully utilize it more and more as he develops. His changeup still needs some work but can be an effective and deceptive pitch for him if he continues to work on his arm speed.
While the potential is there, Soriano hasn’t really shown the results and his stock is starting to take a hit for it. Like in years past, Soriano hasn’t posted the high strikeout numbers his stuff should afford him, and he’s greatly struggled to keep walks at a minimum this year. In 25.1 innings thus far, Soriano has a 4.45 xFIP with an 8.17 K/9 and 6.04 BB/9.
If confidence in Soriano has diminished within the Angels’ front office, now might be the most opportune time to inquire about him. At the very least, Soriano should wind up an above-average reliever at the MLB level, with some upside to develop into something more. It’s just a matter of what the Angels will actually look to do as the deadline approaches, or heading into the offseason