Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Getting Involved in Others Business
Last year around this time, the Seattle Mariners were heavily linked to Detroit Tigers left-handed pitcher Matt Boyd. A deal couldn’t get done and now Boyd may be the most coveted asset on the trade market this month.
With 3.5 years of club control and Boyd having already posted a 2.6 fWAR in 16 starts, he may have become too expensive for the Mariners to obtain, though he does make for a good fit. But if multiple World Series contenders are bidding for him, Seattle has to worry that the market will get away from them.
The Mariners could go blow for blow with most trade packages for Boyd, but it doesn’t mean they should. However, it doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in the trade itself. Remember this off-season when Sonny Gray was being shopped? Seattle was heavily involved in those talks but ultimately could not land Gray.
However, because of their heavy talks with the Yankees, they knew Brian Cashman loved Josh Stowers and as a result, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto stuck his nose into the Gray deal and walked away with Shed Long. This deal was a direct result of being involved in a market even if the odds are stacked against you.
Remember, information is power for GMs, so even if Dipoto can’t land Boyd, it doesn’t mean he can’t be right in the middle of the Matt Boyd sweepstakes.
Thus far, the information that has leaked has shown that the Tigers are going after big-time, MLB ready prospects. They reportedly asked the Yankees for Gleyber Torres and the Astros for Kyle Tucker. Both of those ask are a bit extreme and also suggest the Tigers would likely demand Jarred Kelenic from Dipoto.
That isn’t about to happen and the Tigers price tag will eventually come down as we inch closer to July 31st. Boyd is good, but not elite. Asking for a Top 25 prospect plus more is a bit absurd and demanding an All-Star caliber MIF who has already shown he can be a successful big leaguer is aiming high.
Nobody can blame the Tigers for aiming high. Boyd is their best trade chip and they need to cash out as much as they can for him. But with that asking price, it isn’t going to happen. But what could happen is negotiating a three-team deal to satisfy multiple teams? These deals are tricky but here is what we came up with:
So let’s break this down as best we can. The Yankees walk away with their target Boyd and a lottery ticket OF in Luis Liberato from the Mariners. It cost them Clint Frazier, Glenn Otto, Estavan Florial, and Matt Sauer. They lose Frazier, a player on the outs, and a highly talented but 2-3 years away OF in Estavan Florial, and 2 lottery tickets arms.
The Tigers lose Boyd, but gain 2 top 100 prospects, a former Top 100 prospect, and a solid lottery ticket AA arm in Sauer. White could reach the big leagues as early as Opening Day 2020 and Florial could be ready to go when the Tigers are ready to begin competing again in 2022.
Finally, the team you care most about, the Seattle Mariners. In this deal, Dipoto deals Evan White, Kyle Lewis, and Luis Liberato and land Clint Frazier and Glenn Otto. Losing White hurts, but despite his hot June, questions do remain about White and whether his bat profiles at first base.
Lewis also had a solid month but has done nothing to show he’s close to MLB ready and the clock is ticking on Lewis to reach his potential with Seattle. A change of scenery could be exactly what Lewis needs and Seattle is loaded with OF who have jumped ahead of him in the pecking order.
In exchange, the Mariners land OF Clint Frazier, a former first-round pick who is blocked in New York. He was recently sent down to AAA despite his solid .283/.330/.513 slash for the Yankees this year.
Frazier was none too pleased with that decision and it now sounds like a divorce is necessary for the player and the organization. Frazier has tremendous power and is a solid athlete with a plus arm and average or better speed.
Defensively, Frazier is a work in progress but is athletic enough that he should be at least average in his career. Frazier has 4.5 years of club control remaining and 2 minor league options as well.
The Mariners also land Glenn Otto, RHP from Rice University. The 23-year-old pitcher is in High-A ball and was throwing the ball quite well before landing on the 7-Day IL. Otto has two plus pitches including a 93-97 MPH fastball with ride and a spike curve with 12-6 action that generates swing and misses.
Otto has dealt with injuries in the past and his command and lack of a third pitch seem to point to him as a bullpen arm. But if the changeup can improve a full grade and the command a half grade, Otto could become a starter. He is still learning to “pitch” instead of just throwing, but the Mariners are building a nice track record of helping pitchers reach their potential.
In a deal as complicated as this, there are many factors and it is nearly impossible to make every fan base happy with what they receive. While the final details in such a deal are always wildly different, I do think this framework for a deal makes sense, even if the exact players aren’t correct.
Mariners fans need to realize that their prospects, while exciting, are still prospects and given the opportunity to add young, proven, and controllable major leaguers for prospects can’t be something you ignore.
Losing White would suck for fans, but remember, they didn’t give him away. They got something back. In this case, a player with a higher ceiling and quite possibly a similar floor. But we know Jerry Dipoto will get creative and even if he can’t afford a player, he will have a good idea of what is happening on the market.
Could the Mariners just trade Julio Rodriguez, Evan White, and Braden Bishop for Boyd? Possibly. Should they? Maybe not. Should they be as involved in these negotiations as possible? 1000% yes. Deals are out there to be made. You only have to be creative and aware of the market around you.
Call me crazy, but that sounds like a good time for Jerry Dipoto to go out and feast on this market.