Earlier in the week, we took to Twitter to ask Seattle Mariners fans for their ideal trade proposals for the upcoming season. And man, did you guys have some interesting ideas.
We all know the Mariners are going to be busy this off-season, regardless of what GM Jerry Dipoto is trying to tell you. Perhaps not as busy as the last off-season, but still, Dipoto isn’t going to sit on his hands for another 4 months.
But before all the rumors start flying in another 10 days or so, we wanted to get an idea of what was going on in your mind as we start to focus on the 2020 season. We already broke down a few of these offers in part 1 (which you can read by clicking the link).
But we have so many questions, with more still coming, so this is going to take a few articles to work through. Before we begin part 2, a quick reminder: we are offering our opinions on these trades and if we see a small tweak here or there, we may offer it.
Again, our opinion on your trade proposal is just that, an opinion. I don’t have all the answers and the information I get from the industry is limited so like you, I mostly guessing at the valuation of Mariners players across the league (unless I otherwise state). With that in mind, let’s get started with proposal #1.
First up, we have Jordan trying to find a Domingo Santana for Nick Longhi trade. The Reds are reportedly entering this off-season as buyers who plan to challenge for the NL Central crown in 2020. They are also heavily expected to be investing in the outfield this lineup.
Though most reports indicate the Reds are more focused on a centerfielder than a corner option, they may be willing to live with their current situation if the bat is good enough. But any proposal involving Santana has to involve a discussion about his terrible defense and elbow injury.
Both are a major concern, but let’s assume Santana’s elbow will be 100% by Spring Training. The Reds play in a bit of a bandbox stadium, with smaller outfield gaps than Seattle, which could help mitigate some of Santana’s issues.
However, Santana’s value rest largely in his bat, wherein 2017 he was a borderline All-Star and in 2019, he was an above-average bat before he tried to play through an elbow injury in late July. It was his second consecutive season in which he battled injuries, which has to factor in.
And of course, if Santana’s elbow is an issue, it seems highly unlikely a National League club would be interested with no DH spot to stick Domingo into. Those are all serious questions that have to be answered when we discuss any Domingo trade proposal.
Now in this particular offer, I think all those factors have been accounted for. Nick Longhi is a 24-year-old outfield prospect who has a serious hit tool that has carried him through the minors. He makes good swing decisions, knows the zone, uses the whole field, constantly hits the ball hard, and makes pitchers work.
But the power hasn’t been more than fringey at any point and he doesn’t have an elite tool to make up for it. He does grade out as an average or better corner outfielder and can handle first base as well. Overall, a 4th outfielder who hits .280/.340/.420 with average defense isn’t out of the question, but his upside is pretty seriously limited.
Overall, I think the Mariners would like a little more than Longhi and I’m not sure Santana makes a lot of sense for the Reds. But if the Reds believe in Santana, I think a package of Longhi and perhaps a lottery ticket like Robert Stephenson could make some sense for both sides.
Overall, I’d give this grade a 55 (20-80 scale) for valuation, making it a solid offer to kick us off.