Trade 2: Mariners trade Omar Narvaez to MIL for Adam Hill and Competitive Balance Round B Draft Pick
In what is probably the most significant move of the off-season to date, the Mariners traded their 2019 Opening Day catcher to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Adam Hill, an RHP, and a competitive balance round B draft selection, which currently sits as the 67 overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Omar Narvaez was fantastic at the plate for Seattle in 2019 but struggled behind it. With the emergence of Tom Murphy and Austin Nola, Dipoto chose to take the defensive safety of Tom Murphy to help develop his young pitching staff over Narvaez, who reportedly generated good buzz on the trade market.
Many Mariners fans were unhappy with the return for Narvaez. And while that is understandable, it isn’t well thought out. Hill, a 6’6″, 225 lbs right-handed pitcher was a 4th round pick of Mets in 2018 out of the University of South Carolina.
He spent all season in A-ball Wisconsin, appearing in 26 games (23 starts) and posting a 3.92 ERA, with 109 strikeouts in 120 innings. He isn’t a sexy prospect by any means but carries a #4 starter ceiling and will be just 23-years-old in late March.
There is still room to add good weight to his tall frame, and the stuff shown thus far is at least MLB quality. Seattle will need to refine his delivery a bit and improve his command, but he should have a chance to do just that.
The real prize of this trade, and why so many Mariners fans have had difficulty wrapping their heads around the deal, is the comp round B pick. The MLB draft is overlooked by the average fan, in a way no other major sports draft is. For most fans, it may as well not exist. But it does and adding a Top 70 selection, along with the $900K it adds to your bonus pool simply means better players are coming into your system.
The abstract nature of not knowing who you actually got for Narvaez is difficult, but consider the Edwin Encarnacion trade last winter. When Seattle acquired Encarnacion from Cleveland, they also received a comp round B pick. They used that pick to select Isaiah Campbell, who immediately fell right around the 10th best prospect in a good Seattle farm system.
The return is rock solid and the process was both creative and well-executed. And when the masses don’t understand a trade, it kind of makes me like it even more. This is one of Dipoto’s better moves this winter.