Sodo Mojo’s 2019 Seattle Mariners Off-Season Plan
Acquire 1B/OF Jake Bauers
First up, we are calling on the Seattle Mariners to acquire yet another first baseman. Now before you immediately write us off, allow me to explain. Jake Bauers is a 24-year-old, left-handed first baseman who also has extensive playing time in left field.
Bauers, who was involved in the Mariners 3-team deal to acquire Edwin Encarnacion, was drafted by the San Diego Padres and was soon traded to the Tampa Bay organization in the Trea Turner trade.
Bauers proceeded to hit his way to the big leagues, posting a .361 OBP in 630 MILB games. Bauers also made good strides in his defense at first base and graded out as having a 55-grade raw power tool with a good chance to hit for average and get on base.
Now 811 PAs into his big league career, Bauers is still showing an ability to take his walks, posting a 12.2% BB rate and the power has flashed in both seasons, hitting 23 home runs and 38 doubles. Bauers is passable in a corner outfield spot and is actually an above-average runner, ranking in the 69th percentile in sprint speed.
But Bauers hit tool hasn’t shown consistently enough, his current power grade doesn’t profile well at first base, and his defense isn’t good enough to make up the difference. And for a team whose window may be closing, it’s possible they just can’t afford to wait.
The Indians need OF who stand a good chance to help them in 2020, which may lead them to dangle the 24-year-old and his 4 seasons of club control to teams this winter. Our initial offer is Mallex Smith for Jake Bauers, but it is also possible that Domingo Santana could make sense as well.
Bauers is a lottery ticket add who can play first base until Evan White is called up and can also land in left field to see if his bat ever clicks. If it does, the Mariners will either have a nice piece on a young and talented roster or a good bat to try and flip next winter.