Daniel Vogelbach a Lock for 2020?
It’s a question I can only imagine was dreamt up to hurt Colton Swanson but it is a fair one to ask. Let’s start with the first part of the question, the likelihood Vogelbach gets dealt this off-season. For me, the answer is slimmer than Vogey, but definitely not impossible. If we have learned anything from Dipoto, it is that nobody should feel safe.
The reason I say the chances are slim is for the reasons you mentioned at the end of the question. Very few teams are going to see Vogelbach as more than a DH. Only half the teams in the league can use a DH and only a handful of those teams seem willing to use one player in their DH spot.
Vogelbach’s recent struggles haven’t helped his value, nor has the growing platoon split issue. This doesn’t mean it is impossible though. Vogelbach is still an above-average bat with 5 years of club control after 2019. He is cheap, in his prime, and what he does well isn’t going away anytime soon.
Does he do enough things well to make it worth trading for him? For a lot of teams, the answer will be no. And since there is no reason to give guys like Vogelbach away for nothing, you’re probably better off keeping him.
Now since you talked about Evan White, let’s talk about him real fast. He is having a nice season in Arkansas, slashing .280/.332/.473 with 16 home runs and 12 doubles. But these are far from amazing and White has dealt with a hamstring injury and a hip flexor strain. Both of these injuries certainly set him back a little but there is still work that needs to be done.
White will likely begin 2020 in AAA Tacoma, where the offensive environment of the PCL will almost certainly enhance his numbers, but also make it more difficult to judge readiness. White is a gold glove first baseman who will hit for average, but is that enough to hand him first base for the next 6 years? No.
Don’t forget, White’s athletic enough to play a well-above-average corner outfield spot or even decent centerfield if needed, so it is possible to get both Vogelbach and White on the field at the same time while maintaining flexibility with the DH.
I don’t see a big enough market developing for Vogelbach to justify trading him and I still see too many red flags on White to think he will be any impact on the 2020 Mariners… but I have been spectacularly wrong before.