2. Mitch Haniger for Joey Lucchesi
Okay, I am fully willing to admit that my love for Joey Lucchesi may be clouding my judgment, but hear me out. This one makes more sense in a roster-building sense than trade 1. We have talked about the Mariners needing to clear some outfield depth and the need to add mid-rotation arms who are controllable. Well, here you go.
Lucchesi is a 26-year-old lefty who just completed his second full season in the bigs, posting a 4.18 ERA, a 4.17 FIP, an 8.69 K/9, a 3.08 BB/9, and a 47% groundball rate over 163 innings, good for a 2.1 fWAR.
Lucchesi has 4-years of club control remaining, compared to Haniger’s 3. He is in the 69th percentile of avoiding hard contact, has 2 above-average offerings and a solid average third pitch. He uses deception in his delivery and in his pitch mix to miss bats.
We have a fresh, 26-year-old arm with nearly 300 innings showing more than a strikeout per inning, a 3:1 K/BB ratio, and a 46% groundball rate. Lucchesi is, for the most part, Marco Gonzales who misses bats.
Giving up Haniger for a probable #4 could be tough, but in this deal, the Mariners would gain an extra year of club control and gain a solid rotation arm. The beauty of this deal could be that Lucchesi isn’t enough to get Haniger, but rather acts as the MLB piece Dipoto is reportedly asking for in Haniger talks.
This trade may not be perfect and likely caused a few of you to cringe. However, if it flashed across your screen tomorrow, the rationale behind it would make sense for Seattle.