Mariners Trade Candidate #4: Drew Steckenrider
Back in Spring Training, there was a debate about who was going to make the final spots on the roster. Will Vest (remember that guy?) was going to have a spot due to his Rule 5 selection, cutting down the possibilities for others to make the team. Drew Steckenrider was one of the contenders but was coming off a short and bad 2019, and no 2020.
He had been great in 2018, and incredible during his rookie season in 2017. So, the Mariners brought him in. They gained control over his arb years, having the option to keep him through 2023 before he would become a UFA for 2024.
In a surprising move to many, Steckenrider made that final roster spot, and oh boy was it the correct decision by Seattle. He turned in the best season of his young career. The strikeout numbers were down (7.7 K/9), but a minuscule WHIP of 1.02 looks really nice next to an ERA of 2.00. He managed that through 62 appearances and 67.2 innings, becoming one of the go-to arms in the Mariners bullpen this season.
What that also means, is that Steckenrider is now a high-profile bullpen arm with a couple of years of arbitration control left. The Mariners are loaded in the bullpen and will need to make room for some left-handed relievers at some point. The team is very RH heavy, and moving Steckenrider could be a way to solve a need elsewhere and open up a spot for an LH reliever.
*Cough* James Paxton at the break *Cough*