Trade Domingo Santana
The biggest debate in this entire experiment was Domingo Santana vs Daniel Vogelbach as the primary DH for the 2020 Mariners. In the end, we just agreed to trade them both. So if you want to make this a “choose your own adventure” exercise, take whichever of the two deals you prefer and go with that.
In our proposal, we are sending RHH OF/DH Domingo Santana to Tampa Bay for RHP/SS Jake Cronenworth. If you have followed the website with any regularity the past few months, you know how much we love Cronenworth. Allow us to explain why.
Cronenworth, who turns 26 in January, wrapped up his 2019 season spending 88 of his 91 games played in AAA Durham. In that time, he hit .334/.429/.520 with 10 home runs, 12 steals, and 26 doubles.
He also played solid-average defense at shortstop and might actually be an above-average second baseman with the arm to play at third. This versatility makes him a valuable asset, at least in theory.
And speaking of that arm, Cronenworth can also pitch, hitting 96 MPH from the mound, backed up with an above-average curve and a decent cutter. He didn’t pitch in 2019 but could return, making him the ultimate utility option.
Why would he be available? He is an older prospect who hasn’t made it to the big leagues, is blocked in Tampa, and has to be added to their 40 man roster by November 20th or he will be subject to the Rule 5 draft, where the Rays would lose him for nothing.
Why not just wait and select him in the Rule 5 draft? Aside from the possibility, he will get added, there is also the possibility he is drafted before you pick 6th. Besides that, if you can acquire Cronenworth before the Rule 5, you can use that pick on somebody else.
We are big fans of Cronenworth on this site, so finding a way to have him in our off-season plan was kind of a no-brainer. The Rays are looking for RHH power bats, preferably for one not making a lot of money. Santana could be a good fit if his elbow injury checks out. Hopefully, it does.