The Phillies and Mariners have been heavily involved with one another for the last seven months. Currently sitting in second place of the National League East, Philadelphia poses one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball. Injuries to veterans David Robertson and Pat Neshek have left the Phils scraping dumpster-diving for options, despite both setting the tone for a bullpen unit that ranks 26th in fWAR. They need help.
Elías isn’t the only move the Phillies need to make, but it’s a good first step in the right direction for them. Right now, Gabe Kapler is heavily relying on Juan Nicasio to provide quality high-leverage innings, and, as Mariners fans should know, that’s not the safest bet to make.
For the Mariners, there isn’t really a prospect in the Phillies system right now that can make an immediate impact like Solak. At least, not one that Elías can buy you. Instead, I have the M’s snagging a couple intriguing prospects that are a couple years out from the MLB.
Jerry Dipoto has transformed Seattle’s farm system from a cellar-dweller to one of the best in the game in a matter of months, but the organization still lacks a significant amount of quality infielders amongst their ranks. Now, I’m not of the belief of acquiring a prospect for the sake of the position they play, but I am more inclined to see what teams around the league have to offer in terms of young infielders as of right now.
That’s how I landed on Nick Maton, a former seventh-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 who primarily plays shortstop right now. Maton features a good arm and some decent athleticism, but his future at short is a bit hazy at the moment. For the first time in his career, he’s made a few starts at third base this year, and that’s where I feel he could stick at the higher level.
Maton’s bat is sound. There isn’t a whole lot of pop in it, but he makes good, consistent contact and gets on base by working counts and finding holes. This is his first stint with the High-A club and has thus far notched a slash line with career-highs across the board at .281/.366/.393 through 60 games.
The other player going to Seattle in this deal is left-handed pitcher Ethan Lindow, who’s currently pitching to the tune of a 2.49 FIP through nine starts (15 total appearances) in A-ball. Lindow features a cutter/slider combo along with a fastball that sits in the high-80s to low-90s. It’s a polished repertoire that has helped him achieve—and maintain—a K/9 over 10, and above-average command that has limited his BB/9 to a minimal 1.94.