5. Adam Conley, LHP Miami
Adam Conley is an interesting arm. Seattle appears to like their lefty crop of reliever candidates, including Taylor Guilbeau, Aaron Fletcher, and Nestor Cortes Jr., but Conley may be better than all 3.
Conley’s heater sits at 95 MPH and his slider has been a great pitch for him in the past two seasons. Opponents hit just .111 on Conley’s slider in 2019, and he didn’t surrender an extra base-hit off the pitch. In fact, in the past two seasons, opponents have produced exactly 1 XBH against his slider.
But despite this, Conley still uses his changeup as his primary off-speed pitch and that was a massive issue in 2019. Opponents hit .411 against it in 2019, with a slugging percentage north of .700.
To his credit, in 2018, the pitch was much better, producing a batting average of .175 and a slugging percentage of .316. But even in 2018, the changeup lagged behind the slider. We don’t know for sure why Conley doesn’t use his slider more. But we do know the Mariners have had luck helping arms like Connor Sadzeck and Austin Adams, specifically by asking them to use their slider’s more.
Conley also has a background as a starter, which is nice, posted 8.88 K/9 in 2018. He’s not a control guy, posting a career 3.78 BB/9. But Seattle has an opportunity to buy low, and that isn’t something to ignore.
Well, there we have it. Just 5 names to watch this spring as potential trade targets. The Mariners have some holes to fill, but more importantly, they have opportunities to offer. They just need to identify those who will make the most of these opportunities.
Thus far, Dipoto’s track record of find quality contributors off the scrap heap is solid. So don’t be surprised if he makes a few moves, particularly in the bullpen. Adding arms gives the team more options and that can help limit the workload of arms that have options to take advantage of.