As we get closer to the winter meetings, the Mariners are going to be looking for different ways to improve their infield. Whether it comes from free agency or trades, there is a definite need to bring in some new players to either man third base (if Seager does indeed leave), or second base to shore up the infield.
At the same time, if the Mariners sign a big-name starting pitcher, they could end up with too many guys in their rotation. I think they could use that to their advantage, calling up a team that ran into a pitching need in 2021. In return, they could get a new third baseman as well as a potential second baseman down the line.
The Mariners and the Yankees could help each other out with a trade
Yusei Kikuchi’s value may actually increase a bit if he ends up taking the player option for $13 million. It could be that certain cases stand out, but it seems like players play better during contract years. Kikuchi could easily rise to the occasion, proving that he does belong near the top of an MLB rotation, earning a big contract to finish out his major league career. He was great in the first half, but his consistency is the big question in his game.
The Mariners could also send over a bit of bullpen help in Misiewicz. He had an up and down season, but his talent seems more indicative of his 3.77 FIP than it does of his 4.61 ERA. He had plenty of strong stretches this season and started the year off with 12 straight scoreless appearances.
With Macko, that would round out giving the Yankees a bit of pitching at every level. Starter, reliever, and the minors. The Mariners #12 prospect is still just 20 years old and has shown an incredible ability for strikeouts, sitting down 56 in just 33.1 innings this year in A ball.
From the Yankees, we would get an infield prospect who is likely to end up as a second baseman but has the ability to play short and third as well. Oswaldo Cabrera is currently their #16 prospect and seems to be ready to make the jump soon to the majors. He’s will turn 23 early in March, and showed a nice combination of speed and surprise power this year in AA
We save the biggest name for last for this trade, and that would be Gio Urshela. It sounds like he is available from the Yankees, so helping them out with their pitching situation may be enough to get him out of the Bronx. He just turned 30 and fits in at the back-half of the Mariners group that is looking to contend for the future.
His defense leaves a bit to be desired (0.8 dWAR combined in three years with the Yankees), but Perry Hill is a wonder, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him turn into an above-average defender there.
Urshela pressed a bit this year, lowering his walk rate and increasing his strikeout rate. During his three years with New York, he hit .292/.335/.480, highlighted by a .314 average in 2019 with 55 extra-base hits. Even if he shows up to Seattle and hits around the .270 mark from last year, that would be a welcome addition for the Mariners.
With two years of arbitration left, Urshela will be making a decent amount of money, keeping his value a bit lower than you would think. MLB Trade Rumors has him making about $6.2 million this year in arbitration, and that number could climb to $8-$12 million next year depending on his production.
The Yankees need pitching and get that here. The Mariners need infield depth and a third baseman and satisfy that need as well. With the winter meetings approaching, it would make sense for these two teams to get ahold of each other, and something based around a Kikuchi for Urshela trade would make a lot of sense.