Power Ranking Seattle Mariners Top 5 Trade Chips for MLB Trade Deadline

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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5. Edwin Encarnacion

SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 30: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler #20 of the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on April 30, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. The Cubs won 6-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 30: Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler #20 of the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on April 30, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. The Cubs won 6-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

First on our list is also the player most likely to be dealt, Mariners first base/designated hitter, Edwin Encarnacion. Acquired by Dipoto this winter, along with the 77th pick in the MLB draft, for Carlos Santana, Encarnacion was never expected to put on a Mariners uniform.

But after shopping the aging slugger, Dipoto didn’t get any offers he liked and decided to hold onto him until the market flipped in his favor. Thus far, it appears Dipoto’s gamble may have paid off. Traditionally a slow starter, Encarnacion is off to a great start, slashing .248/.381/.544 with 12 home runs in 35 games.

In addition, Encarnacion has played a lot of first base this year and has done an adequate job defensively. This could open the market for him even further. Viewed as a DH-only entering the year, Encarnacion’s ability to play a respectable first base opens him up to National League teams as well.

He is a relatively safe performer who seems like a lock to put up 30 home runs with solid ratio stats. The contract will be the biggest roadblock to finding a trade partner, but the Mariners will have no issues eating money in the right deal.

Encarnacion is slated to make $21.66 million this year and has a $5 million buyout as well. However, the Mariners reportedly told teams they would eat half of his remaining deal this winter, so we know they’ll eat money to make it work. Every day that he is on the Mariners, his monetary commitment to the team who acquires him gets lower.

So while money is an issue, it isn’t a major roadblock some might think it is. Bet on Encarnacion getting traded in the next 10 weeks and the return could actually be a solid 50-grade prospect with upside.