Mariners Trade Target: Oakland A’s Starter Sean Manaea
Reports are out that Oakland A’s players will seemingly will be sold off in a fire sale this offseason, including starter Sean Manaea.
The Seattle Mariners have multiple needs in their starting rotation for 2022, and Jerry Dipoto has addressed the need to add two starting pitchers to the rotation for next year. The Mariners have 3 starters to build on, as well as several prospects coming. However, the Mariners should not rely on their top pitching prospects to contribute in the short-term, and they have already mentioned an interest in working out trades with Oakland this offseason.
Manaea is a 29 year old left-handed starting pitcher who only has one year left of arbitration, so he will be a free agent after this year. Because of the short-term nature of Manaea’s services, the package going back to the Athletics would not have to be an exorbitant amount of prospect capital.
Sean Manaea has had problems with injuries throughout his career, but last year he was fully healthy and had a really solid year. He made 32 starts and posted a 104 ERA+ (4% better than league average). He pitched almost 180 innings, and had a sub 4 ERA and a FIP of 3.66 according to Baseball Reference. He would slot in nicely as a mid-rotation arm for the Mariners for 2022, and would be a steady force with postseason experience.
Manaea has a league average fastball (sitting around 92mph), a changeup, and a curveball. He uses these three pitches to get a majority of his outs on the ground. He had over 42% ground ball rate in 2021, so playing with the Mariners infield defense would be good for him, especially if they acquired his current teammate, Matt Chapman, to fill the Mariners hole at third base.
In this proposal, the A’s get two players from the Mariners. Taylor Dollard made it to High-A Everett last year, and has potential to be a #4 or #5 starter in a few years. He is tall and projectable, and could be a nice long-term play for the A’s going forward. They also get Patrick Frick, who seems like the exact type of player the A’s would target; he can play all over the field and has a decent offensive profile.
This deal gives the A’s exactly what they want: payroll relief and prospects with upside. They get rid of Sean Manaea and his expected $10 million salary arbitration price, and they get two young players who can fit their expected wide rebuilding timeline, as well as some of their organizational strengths and structures.
The Mariners should be looking to acquire Sean Manaea from the A’s to help bolster their rotation. He would greatly improve the floor of their team, since Manaea is more of a solid mid-rotation pitcher than a big-time difference maker or ace. This deal would help the Mariners improve for 2022, and they could try to resign Manaea after the season or choose to use him as a stop gap until their younger arms are ready to step up and contribute.