Mariners Rumors: Padres Open to Moving Almost All Bats
For today’s trade a day entry, we step back on focusing on one specific player for the Mariners to trade away or acquire and instead focus on a recent report that one team is open to moving almost any bat.
That report comes from The Athletics Kevin Acee, who covers the Padres for the site. According to Acee, the Padres are willing to move RF Hunter Renfroe or any bat not named Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer, or Manny Machado. So, let’s borrow the Mariners credit card and do some shopping.
Let’s begin with the name specifically mentioned in the article, Hunter Renfroe. The former 13th overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, the 27-year-old Renfroe is known for one thing: straight power.
The right-hander has cranked 26 homers in 2017 and 2018 (appearing in less than 123 games each year) and is currently on pace to blast right through that total in 2019. He already has 18 homers this year and is sporting a .586 slugging percentage.
Renfroe is also an average or better defender in a corner outfield spot. The issue with Renfroe is similar to that Ryon Healy: good power, no walk tool. Like Healy, Renfroe doesn’t have a strikeout problem per se, his K% is just above league-average, but he draws almost no walks. His career triple slash of .249/.295/.513 shows evidence of that.
Renfroe would be an interesting addition to the Mariners as he would reach arbitration after this season, giving him 3.5 years of club control, which is a plus for Jerry Dipoto. Renfroe may be redundant on this roster but could make some sense in the right deal.
Another player that could make sense is center fielder Manuel Margot. Margot, who was once the crown jewel of the Red Sox trade for Craig Kimbrel, is a toolsy OF who is just 24-years-old and also has 3.5 years of club control.
Margot has never put it together at the plate and is a below-average hitter at this time. While he puts the ball in play at an above-average clip, he doesn’t strike the ball well as his hard-hit rate would tell you. He is an above-average defender in CF and has plus speed as well, which helps.
Margot hasn’t seen any growth at the plate in 2+ years at the big leagues and is, right now, nothing more than a 4th outfielder. But at 24-years-old and an impressive toolbelt of skills, there is a chance he can still blossom into an everyday player with a change on scenery.
Perhaps the biggest name available is Wil Myers, who is no stranger to Mariners rumors. Myers was linked to Seattle last winter in a deal that was rumored to center around Mike Leake and Jean Segura. By all reports, the deal never got close to getting done, but Myers was linked to Seattle the rest of the winter.
The tricky thing about Myers is his massive contract due to him. While he is making just $3 million this year, starting in 2020 and running into 2022, Myers will be due $20 million each year, plus a $1 million buyout of his $20 million option in 2023.
Acquiring Myers means a financial commitment of roughly $62 million from now until after the 2022 season. Unlike Renfroe and Margot, Myers has no problem taking his walks but does strike out a lot.
While he is also a slightly above-average bat and good base-runner, he has struggled to find a home defensively. He is a decent first baseman and for the first time in his career, has shown to be an adequate corner outfielder, so perhaps that has changed.
At the end of the day, Myers is a fringe everyday player and paying $62 million over 3.5 years for that during his age 29-31 season is risky. The Padres could eat money, or perhaps there is an offset in a contract swap to consider (Mike Leake anyone)?
Other names to consider are catcher Austin Hedges and OF Travis Jankowski, both of whom profile more as bench options rather than every day guys. Both are cheap and controllable and could be alternatives to other options.
The Padres may or may not be buyers, which makes it difficult to pin down cost at the moment. While the report makes it sound like they are definitely sellers, they do have a plethora of young talent, so this could be a case of just opening up roster spots for the youth.
Time will tell which directions the Padres ultimately go. But if they are willing to sell a few of their bats, there are a few who make sense on some level for the Seattle Mariners.