The Seattle Mariners feel really good about their young position players but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to supplement that group. In fact, adding high upside players to this group can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
During the season, we were very much interested in the Mariners trading for former Yankees’ top prospect, Clint Frazier. Well today, we explore the possibility one more time. Could acquiring another outfield prospect really make sense?
We have talked about the need for the Mariners to clear out their outfield, so on the surface, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. With Domingo Santana, Mallex Smith, Mitch Haniger, Braden Bishop, Jake Fraley, and Kyle Lewis already getting solid run in 2019, it seems like there isn’t room to add a player like Frazier.
But the team is likely to shop Santana, Smith, and perhaps even Mitch Haniger. So making room for a player like Frazier may already be in the works. So, it is possible to add Frazier to the mix without blocking anybody for 2020, but is Frazier worth it?
In his first 123 games, scattered across 3 seasons, Frazier is a career .254/.308/.463 hitter, posting a career 100 wRC+, exactly league average. But similar to the Daniel Vogelbach situation in Seattle, his PAs have become so scattered at the big league level, it is hard to tell what he will ultimately be.
In his most extended look at the big leagues, which was the 2019 season, Frazier hit .267/.317/.489 with 12 home runs in 69 games, good for 108 wRC+. Similar to Vogelbach, Frazier is a below-average defender who may be pigeonholing himself into a future DH only role.
But he is still a good athlete with a strong arm and average speed, so it’s not out of the question that he has the tools to be at least average in the field. Placing Frazier in right with Fraley/Bishop in center and Lewis in LF is possible. So is keeping Haniger in right field and using Frazier as a DH and 5th outfielder type. There are ways to make it work.
The question comes down to cost and that is a bit of a tricky situation. It is quite clear that Frazier is done with the Yankees and that New York would like to move on from him. But Seattle doesn’t really have the veteran piece that makes sense for Frazier so the two sides may have to look at a prospect for Frazier swap.
The Yankees farm system has taken some hits over the past few years but it is still strong and they don’t have a ton of holes to fill on their 25 man roster. Finding a deal that makes sense for both sides will be the tough part, but it is possible.
Jerry Dipoto would need to be creative to find a matchup and could potentially require a third team to get it done. Thankfully, if Dipoto is anything, it is creative. And aggressive. Which is why this opportunity still seems plausible. However, with any baseball trade, it is far more likely this just won’t get done.