The Seattle Mariners are on a roll, well at least by their standards, but the trade deadline continues to creep closer with no real action. The current belief is that after this weekend the flood gates could open.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen the market shift rapidly and teams have gone from buyers to sellers seemingly overnight. One such team is the Mariners division rival, the Texas Rangers. One time wild card contenders, the Rangers lost 9 of 10 and are now looking to sell some pieces.
Amongst their trade chips are Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc, and perhaps most surprisingly, outfielder Nomar Mazara. But that really shouldn’t be all that surprising. Mazara has failed to live up to expectations but has been a decent big leaguer thus far.
Now, the 24-year-old is reportedly on the market and has already generated interest. But the question may be “why”? The former top prospect is still young and has 2 more full seasons of club control. But overall, he has been more of a fourth outfielder than a starter.
In his 3+ years with the Rangers, Mazara has posted a career .258/.318/.428 slash line with a 91 wRC+. He does have some pop, hitting 20 home runs each of the last 3 years and currently has 14 homers this season.
Mazara doesn’t provide any value on the basepaths or in the field, as he would generously describe as mediocre in both areas. So does Marzara actually make sense for the Mariners? Well, the answer is probably no.
Mazara is a decent platoon bat, slashing .269/.336/.445 against RHP, which is good for a 103 wRC+. But with his salary creeping up in arbitration, and a plethora of young OF options waiting for their shot, Mazara only makes sense if the Mariners believe they can get more out of his talent than Texas did.
Even then, unless they believe there is upside Mazara hasn’t shown at the big league level, the cost to acquire would have to be incredibly buyer friendly. Mazara is more or less a JAG (just another guy), but his prospect prowess and young age will still make him appealing to some teams.
So what does a fair offer look like for a career replacement level outfielder? Here is what we would be comfortable offering:
As you can see, it isn’t really much. At this cost, the Rangers would likely be better off holding Mazara and hoping he takes off over the next 1.5 seasons. But the simple fact is, Mazara isn’t worth much.
Benjamin Onyshko isn’t a bad prospect but he is just a left-handed reliever. One that is currently mowing down the Sally League with 55 strikeouts in 49 innings. Nolan Hoffman is a side-arm reliever who is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but still profiles as a middle-innings arm in the next 2 years.
For two middle-relief types, the Rangers probably look elsewhere, which is just fine. Mazara isn’t a good player and with the roster in its current state, it is only worth more if the player development staff believes they can help Mazara reach the heights that were imagined for him early in his career.