Jake Fraley has been a welcome surprise this season for the Seattle Mariners. He was hurt early but he didn’t let that deter the solid start he had to the season. He actually continued to improve on it and has been one of the best players on the team so far this season.
Through 82 plate appearances, Fraley has walked an astounding 22 times. It makes for an impressive slash line of .254/.463/.492. He has shown a nice combo of speed and power, albeit in a limited sample, by smacking four home runs and stealing four bases.
There’s an important question we need to ask ourselves, thinking both as fans and putting ourselves into the mindset of what might be going through the heads of those in the front office right now. No one is untradeable to Trader Jerry, so…
Will the Mariners look to trade Jake Fraley before the Trade Deadline?
It’s a question that will likely upset a fair amount of people, and reasonably so. The team has struggled to stay healthy all season. It seems like whenever someone comes back, another person goes out. Fraley has been playing great since he came back and looks like he could be a strong piece for the team going forward.
Everyone knows that the Mariners are going to run into a log-jam in the outfield if they keep things the way they are. Think about all the outfielders that the team has, and how many of them either A) have shown they should be in the majors or B) are high-level prospects who have high hopes.
Mitch Haniger, Kyle Lewis, Jake Fraley, Taylor Trammell, Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez. That makes for a lot of people who are going to have a strong case for playing time in the near future. As we have seen this year, it doesn’t hurt having extra outfielders, especially when two of them are hurt at the same time. However, these guys are getting older, and you can only keep them in the Minors for so long. Especially when they are crushing it down there.
Or, in the case of Mitch Haniger and Jake Fraley, playing well in the majors as well. I’m not saying that the Mariners should just dump Fraley to make the path to the big leagues easier for the others involved. What I am saying though, is that if they get an offer that is somewhat similar to what San Diego put together last year for Austin Nola, the Mariners would be dumb not to take it.
Take a look quickly about what they got last year, in case you forgot. Maybe you remember, in that case, seeing the following is going to make you happy all over again.
Altavilla has thrown 10 innings since he was traded. Austin Adams has done well this season, but leads the league in hit batters with 11, through just 24 innings. Hopefully, he’s not in a sticky situation there. Then there is Nola, who is hitting just .220 since being acquired in the trade.
The Mariners got a ton from San Diego, and didn’t really give up anything. Sure, our catchers at the big league level have been struggling. Torrens is still young, and we have Cal Raleigh and Brian O’Keefe in the minors who could come up at any time and provide a likely upgrade.
If there is a team out there that is looking for outfield help, the Mariners could easily be the team that they call. Fraley can provide average to above-average defense, he has good speed, and has shown off some pop too. If someone comes calling with an offer similar to the one above, we could be seeing the end of Fraley’s time already with the Mariners.