The Seattle Mariners are looking for pitching and the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to tank and cut payroll. Turns out there’s a perfect trade for both sides.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are possibly going to go through a similar offseason to the Seattle Mariners in 2018, as they just traded their star first baseman Josh Bell to the Washington Nationals. Their GM has said that they may make more trades, and it just so happens that there is a trade that the Mariners and Pirates could make that works well for both sides.
This trade is perfect for both teams with Baseball Trade Simulator giving it a 7.8 score in value for both sides. The Pirates get their wish, more prospects and a significant drop in payroll, and the Mariners get a high potential starting pitcher and another outfielder for next year.
I talked with one of the experts at Rum Bunter, Marty Leap, and he said “Honestly I think that’s a trade the Pirates would consider. They’d love to get Polanco off the books and while Taillon could pitch his way into having a huge trade value, that’s a risk. Especially with his injury history.”
The Mariners give up two prospects that I am not high on and get Jameson Taillon, who has a history of UCL injuries but is outstanding when healthy, and they also take on Gregory Polanco‘s contract for one year (minus $1 million that the Pirates will pay) and he can compete for a spot in the Seattle outfield or DH spot.
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Taillon came up in the Pittsburgh Pirates system as a top prospect as a former 2nd overall pick but has had a ton of injury issues mainly related to his pitching arm. When healthy in 5 years with the Pirates Taillon has made 82 starts and has a 3.67 ERA. In his best season, 2018, he had a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts that included 2 complete games.
The injuries are worrisome however and make his value low. Taillon had Tommy John surgery in the minors and missed most of 2019 and all of 2020 with another surgery to repair his UCL. He only has two more years of team control left in arbitration but if he can remain healthy and put on a show in Seattle, he could be with the Mariners long-term and sign an extension.
Polanco is a failed prospect who also came up through the Pirates system as a top prospect but has only had one season with an OPS over .800. He is in the final year of an extension he signed with Pittsburgh that will pay him $11 million, and so the Mariners take on his contract to get Taillon. Polanco also just broke his wrist in the Dominican Winter League but he should be good to go for spring training.
There’s a $3 million buyout for next season which Seattle will obviously take, but for 2021 Polanco also offers another outfielder which the Mariners need while they wait for prospects like Jarred Kelenic to come up.
As for the Pirates return, they get Justin Dunn and Jake Fraley who I have described before how I am not too high on them for the Mariners, but they could definitely have success elsewhere. If you’re a Pirates fan looking for a breakdown of them you can get that by clicking the link above.