Grading Seattle Mariners Off-Season Moves… So Far

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Trade #1: Mariners acquire Nestor Cortes Jr. from NYY for Int. Bonus Money

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 23: Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during MLB Players Weekend at Dodger Stadium on August 23, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Mariners were able to take advantage of the Yankees 40-man roster crunch by acquiring Nestor Cortes Jr. for what basically amounts to the money you’d find in your couch cushions, relatively speaking.

At such a low cost (roughly $28,000 in int slot money) there was absolutely no downside to acquiring the lefty and taking a chance on him this spring. Unfortunately, there isn’t much upside to the move either. Still, Cortes was able to carve out a role in the talented Yankees pen and that is something.

Cortes appeared in 33 games for the Yankees in 2019 and covered 66.2 innings with 69 strikeouts. But Cortes was bitten by the home run ball, allowing a whopping 16 in his 66 innings, posting a 5.57 FIP and a 1.55 WHIP as well.

Cortes can pitch to both lefties and righties, cover multiple innings, and throw from multiple arm angles, making him a versatile piece for a bullpen that may need to cover a lot of innings. The stuff is fringe-average, so the command will be key for Cortes if he wants to stick around the big leagues for a while.

The low cost to acquire and the relatively known floor of Cortes gives his acquisition grade a relatively high floor too. The idea isn’t a bad one and the process is sound, so I can’t complain too much.

Final Grade: C+

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