Seattle bids farewell to a potential trade chip and an early-season hero.
Early Monday evening, Jerry Dipoto and the Seattle Mariners officially non-tendered shortstop Tim Beckham and outfielder Domingo Santana. The decision to non-tender Beckham, who was set to make ~$3 million in arbitration this winter, comes as no surprise, but seeing Santana join him on the way out is fairly shocking.
Santana was a hot commodity leading up to last July’s trade deadline. An atrocious defensive campaign aside, Santana was raking to the tune of a .273/.342/.472 slash line with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs before suffering an elbow injury on July 23 versus Texas. The Mariners questionably allowed Santana to continue playing in a designated hitter’s role, where he would go on to hit for an abysmal .119/.246/.237 with a 45.7 strikeout percentage.
Even then, there was an expectation that the Mariners would be able to move him for something of worth this offseason. At the very least, the thought of non-tendering Santana never really crossed the mind of most since his estimated arbitration hit of $4.4 million was well worth the offensive potential alone.
So no we’re here, in a reality where Domingo Santana has departed Seattle and the Mariners have nothing in return to show for it. This has already sparked many questions about the severity of Santana’s elbow injury, which was never specifically diagnosed to the public. Ultimately, the injury appears to have scared teams off (the Mariners included, considering they non-tendered Santana), as Ryan Divish reported that Seattle shopped him but teams didn’t dive too far into talks.
Beckham, on the other hand, was a no-brainer to part ways with. After hilariously dominating Major League Baseball for the first week-and-a-half of the 2019 season, Beckham came back down to earth, eventually losing his starting job then having his season abruptly end on an 80-game suspension for the use of an anabolic steroid.
Santana and Beckham weren’t the only noteworthy names to be non-tendered this evening, however. There are some really interesting players who just hit the free agent market that we think Seattle should absolutely be in on. Expect an article about that tomorrow. For now, the Mariners’ 40-man roster now sits at 38 with the Winter Meetings less than a week away. Let the fun begin.