Keep him… or trade him?
When we get to the question of keeping J.P. Crawford, it all depends on whether or not you think he is going to keep growing on offense.
If he can turn into the hitter that I mentioned, approaching a combo of 35-40 homers and steals, with a 270/350/380 type slash line, he would have to be mentioned with the best shortstops in baseball. He’s never going to hit for power like Story or put up the kind of numbers that you would see from Lindor.
He is going to be one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball for the next decade. This isn’t 1994 though, and a top defensive shortstop with the bottom of qualifier offensive numbers just isn’t good enough anymore.
It’s tough, we have waited so long in Seattle for a good shortstop. Not just good, but young, with a high ceiling as well. A real, respectable prospect that you could build around.
It’s what every fan base wants, which was why Crawford was so highly-touted when he was sitting as the number two prospect in all of baseball.
I’m split. A lifelong fan, he seems like exactly what we need. Is it enough though? Would we be settling with Crawford, taking someone just above mediocrity after literal decades of below-average play?
When it comes down to it, I think we should trade him and look for an upgrade. I’m worried that the offense isn’t going to show up, and we are going to be looking at a poor man’s Andrelton Simmons. Not elite defense (still great though), and a below-average bat. Someone who holds onto the position into their 30’s, never good enough to love, but not bad enough to replace.
What about you? Should the Seattle Mariners keep the talented young Gold Glove shortstop? Or should Trader Jerry put J.P. Crawford back on the market? My answer is to roll the dice and trade J.P. Crawford for a stronger candidate for the position.