Seattle Mariners: Who Will Be Going Along With Staying
The Seattle Mariners haven’t had a good month of May after getting off to a good start in March and April as a team. They have won only five games. There have been some players who have played well despite the team efforts.
First of all, we have to look at catcher Omar Narvaez. He is having a good start off with the Mariners offensively. His defense is suspect but what the Mariners have had for a long time hasn’t been good on offense at the catcher’s position. I think we can all live with his defensive shortcomings. Also, he could get better defensively.
Narvaez is currently hitting .295 with a solid .362 on-base percentage. He is 27 years old so his upside is still coming along. I see him staying with the Mariners. The only reason trading him would be if the Mariners could get at least a couple of top prospects. It helps too that Tom Murphy has been a surprise since the Mariners acquired him at the beginning of the season. Hard to know whether Murphy can play catcher on a regular basis and keep his average around .281.
Edwin Encarnacion has played a decent first base so far this season. With the hitting of Daniel Vogelbach, he has only been the designated hitter for a handful of games. Most of those times because of nagging injuries.
Encarnacion was expected to be traded early on in the season, however, Kyle Seager was injured so Ryon Healy was moved over to third base. It would have made first base and designated hitter spots crowded. Healy most likely would have started the season at AAA.
On Saturday, May 25 Kyle Seager returned being activated off the 60-day injured list so someone will have to be moved. Currently Ryon Healy is on the 10-day injured list so utility player Dylan Moore was sent down to Tacoma. Healy will be available to come off the injured list by this coming weekend. Healy will either have to be optioned to Tacoma or a trade involving him or Encarnacion or Jay Bruce will have to take place.
Edwin Encarnacion is the most likely candidate to be traded since he has a good upside. Although his batting average is low at .239 he has 13 home runs and 34 RBI’s. Since he has played a good first base it opens more trading partners for the Mariners though he likely will stay in the American League because of the designated hitter.
The Cleveland Indians who the Mariners acquired Encarnacion during the off-season is a likely candidate as a trade partner. They are currently in need of a designated hitter since Hanley Ramirez was released on April 22.
The Mariners could trade Ryon Healy instead of sending him down to Tacoma. Though he has a low batting average .237 he has seven home runs along with 16 doubles and driving in 26 runs. He could be traded to a team that could use a first baseman, third baseman or designated hitter. I expect him to stay with the Mariners at least until the trading deadline.
Outside of Edwin Encarnacion, the most likely candidate to move soon is Jay Bruce. Most of the season he has struggled at the plate although he has 13 home runs and 27 RBI’s. He now has gotten hot at the plate in his last seven games he is hitting .308 so this might be the time to trade him.
I could see the Mariners trading both Encarnacion and Bruce now that Kyle Seager is back, and the team is no longer in contention. Another player the Mariners may move is Tim Beckham. He started the season as the Mariners shortstop, however, his defense kept him from staying there along with the call-up of J.P. Crawford. His value though is he can play second and third base as well along with an occasion in the outfield too.
Though his glove wasn’t good at shortstop Beckham’s hitting for the Mariners has been good. He is hitting a respectable .257 along with nine home runs and RBI’s. In his last seven games in the utility role, he has hit .290.
I could see Encarnacion, Bruce, Healy, and Beckham all traded by the end of this upcoming homestand. General manager Jerry Dipoto may want to keep hold of at least a couple of them until the trading deadline of July 31 when their value might be higher.
This has all come about because Daniel Vogelbach has become an important part of the Mariners offense. He can play first base but designated hitter is more suited for him. He is currently hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 30 RBI’s. Vogelbach is willing to look for his pitch to hit so he has 32 walks making his on-base percentage . 386. Also, can say Encarnacion, Healy, and Vogelbach are the same type of player. The only real difference is Vogelbach hits left-handed while the other two are right-handed hitters.
Besides the position players there isn’t much value in trading pitchers. In fact, we hope the Mariners can trade these position players for pitching well as prospects. Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t be trading either Marco Gonzales or Yusei Kikuchi who are the Mariners top two starters. The other three spots in the rotation need to be added to.
Mike Leake is the most likely starting pitcher to be traded, however, he has been inconsistent all season long. He does however seen some signs of pitching well. When he is on he is and we have seen the alternative too. I could see him being gone by the trading deadline.
Another starter possibly being traded could be Wade LeBlanc. He hasn’t pitched well especially when activated from the 10-day injured list on May 18 in his two starts since. If LeBlanc can pitch anything like he did last year when he had an ERA of 3.72 and a record of 9-5. Someone could want him though he would likely be the fourth or fifth starter so what the Mariners get in return may be low-level prospects. The Mariners could package him with one of the position players too.
I am sure some will say how about Felix Hernandez? My answer to that is that boat has already sailed. I am sure no one will look to have Felix at the trading deadline unless he is successful for a month when he comes off the injured list.
The Mariners have made moves in their bullpen in the last couple weeks where half of the relievers are new. They traded Anthony Swarzak their highest paid reliever to the Atlanta Braves. I don’t see any other reliever being traded just released or sent down.
The hope is Jerry Dipoto can make some trades that will help out for next season and beyond. In the meantime let’s hope the team can bounce back on the skid they have been on.