Mariners and Twins both win in trade for Jorge Polanco
A former 1st-round pick, Justus Sheffield sits in the 92-93 mph fastball range with a wipeout slider; however, with this approach, he’s only effective when he’s able to hit his spots (which he hasn’t yet been able to do consistently). Sheffield is a highly talented pitcher, but at this point, it’s unlikely he fits in with the Mariners’ long-term pitching plans. After 73.2 IP this year and a 6.48 ERA, he’s hit the IL with arm soreness and will likely spend time at Tacoma once he’s healthy.
Milkar Perez is a 19-year-old raw prospect out of Nicaragua, showing potential to hit for power and sporting a strong arm at third base. He’s 5’11” and 173 pounds, but likely has plenty of room to grow. The Mariners look to be set at third base in the long-term with Noelvi Marte and/or Harry Ford, but the Twins will have a need at third once Josh Donaldson departs.
Trading Sheffield and Perez, two young, talented, and controllable players may draw ire from Mariners fans, but I believe Jorge Polanco would be an immediate game-changer in Seattle. Polanco (a former shortstop) and J.P. Crawford would make a dynamic defensive middle infield, and their contact ability/baserunning prowess could create a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the batting order for the next several years.
The Mariners could find their answer at second base from the Twins if they got Polanco. Let us know what you think of this trade, as well as any other thoughts as the trade deadline approaches.