Trade J.P. Crawford, Jarred Kelenic, and Jake Fraley for Francisco Lindor
We have a lot of ground to make up and only one off-season to do it. This requires acquiring at least one star. And acquiring a star isn’t easy. Cleveland may not even be considering trading Lindor, but after their weird decision to give up Corey Kluber for peanuts, anything is possible.
The Mariners give up their current shortstop, #1 prospect, and a solid 4th outfielder with upside for 2-years of MVP candidate Francisco Lindor. Currently, Steamer projects J.P. Crawford to be a 2.1 win player in 2020, with Fraley and Kelenic worth a total of 0.1.
Lindor is projected to be a 5.9 WAR player, giving Seattle a 3.7 win boost in 2020, while sacrificing their best chance at a star for 2022 and beyond. Lindor may be worth this package to a contender in real life (and then some) but the Mariners aren’t there.
But in our alternate reality, Seattle is very much trying to win this year and adding Lindor to your lineup is a great way to do just that. Crawford and Fraley both make the minimum, while Lindor is projected to earn $16.7 million in arbitration. With Kelenic not on the 40 man roster yet, he is not a factor in our salary swap and the Mariners have added $15.5 million of payroll for nearly 4 wins.
Adding Lindor’s projected 3.7 wins brings our total to just under 72 wins and sets us up for our next big move, with at least 9 wins needed to reach our goal of 81 wins in 2020.