The Seattle Mariners have been making some additions this offseason. They started their moves by trading for Adam Frazier to be their second baseman. Then, the team then signed starting pitcher Robbie Ray after he asked them to. They had not been connected to Ray, but they brought him in to headline their rotation. They could make some trades with the teams in their very own division to improve their team. Let’s head to California and start with the Angels.
Angels – Mariners could go for Taylor Ward
Taylor Ward is not one of the Angels star players, but he could be an interesting part-time contributor for the Mariners. He is an outfielder who can play all three of the outfield positions. The Mariners biggest need is for a center fielder, and Ward could certainly fit that. He can be a better version of Jake Fraley for Seattle. He has been an up and down player for the Angels the last few years, but last year he got over 200 at-bats at the big league level.
Taylor Ward is a right-handed hitter and thrower, so he would be the opposite of Fraley. He is very fast and has sprint speed in the 79th percentile of all of baseball. This is about 10% better than Fraley by contrast. He brings a nice speed first element with his offensive profile. He can swing it a little too. He had a 111 wRC+ in 65 games last year and was worth 0.5 WAR. He brings an above-average bat in pretty small sample size, but he is still only 27 and has club control left.
Taylor Ward could be compared to Jake Fraley, but Ward offers a little different skillset. Ward has put up better power numbers as well as better speed. Ward had a SLG of .438 while Fraley was a mere .369. This, as well as the better speed, and Ward being right-handed offer a different and potentially better upside. Also, Fraley missed a lot of last season with injuries, and personally, I do not expect him to repeat his numbers from the first half.
In the second half of last year, Fraley hit a mere .180 in just 38 games. Those are not great numbers and the Mariners would be better served to have Taylor Ward as their extra outfielder next year. Fraley also had a 65 wRC+ in the second half last year. Taylor Ward could benefit from a jump in playing time. I would rather give an opportunity to Ward than Fraley again.
The Mariners would have Ward under contract for the next 4 seasons, which would give them a nice option for a part-time outfielder. Ward has even played some third base in his career, so he could play there once in a while as well. A potential trade package to the Angels for Taylor Ward would have to have some win-now players for the Angels. A package could look like this.
This trade package might seem light, but the Angels are not trading a key contributor here. They are trading their utility outfielder to the Mariners for theirs in Dylan Moore. The Angels also get Yohan Ramirez to help them in their bullpen. This trade package would be a simple swap for the two teams to help them out in areas of need. The next trade comes with the Houston Astros.