Mariners Trade Candidate #3: Justus Sheffield
This is a tough one. Justus Sheffield’s value is definitely lower than anyone involved wants it to be. Shoot, even Sheffield knows he could be producing higher. The guy was a top prospect at one point and was supposed to be a team’s ace at some point in his career.
He definitely has the stuff, and that’s why I think he still has a decent value. In 2020, he threw 55.1 innings, notching a 3.58 ERA with a 3.17 FIP. That’s a lot of talent, albeit in a relatively small sample size.
In 2021, he was plagued by some control issues (4.8 BB/9) and the long ball (1.6 HR/0), which led to a rough ERA, but a better FIP than expected at 5.66. So which Sheffield is the real one?
If he gets back to 2020, that’s a great addition to any squad, even ones who want to make a deep playoff run. However, the pitcher from 2021 is arguably un-rosterable. You see it a lot across baseball, where a player’s value sits somewhere in the middle, and a team will trade them to get something of value back in case that floor is the end answer.
He’s a lefty, which helps, and is still young. I think if Dipoto would be able to find a team that is a few years away with an up-and-coming second baseman or third baseman, he could package Sheffield with a prospect in order to pry them away.