Look, maybe you’re getting tired of seeing trade proposals done by those of us here at Sodo Mojo. Guess what, though? It’s the offseason, they are in a lockout/labor stoppage/whatever you wanna call it. We appreciate you coming in here to read these, and want to keep bringing you fun and interesting content during these cold winter months. Whether or not you think we should stop, most can agree on this. The Mariners need another starting pitcher… insert Tyler Mahle.
Depending on where you look or when you look for updates, Mahle may or may not be “untouchable” according to the Reds. This likely increases his value. He’s definitely a good/great pitcher and deserves a healthy return. I’m going to treat him as being available in a trade, and up the return just a bit to ensure it’s a fair deal. Sorry Mariners fans, you may not be happy with what we have to give up to get him.
The 27-year-old righty would instantly fill a need for the Mariners. The team is left-handed heavy already in the rotation, so getting a RHP to fill out and even it out makes sense. He also has just two years of control left, so while he isn’t going to be cheap, he won’t have a tremendous value and price attached to him.
Sorry Reds fans. You aren’t getting one of the Mariners major pieces back. Not only would it not be a reasonable return, but Dipoto just wouldn’t do it. He’s mentioned it before while talking to Corey Brock. It’s originally from the Athletic, but I always try and link to articles that aren’t behind paywalls.
"“There’s no scenario where we will move the top prospects in our system, the guys who are prominent in our system”"
The Mariners could look to the Cincinnati Reds and Tyler Mahle, for the right price
That’s part of all of these trades. You need to figure out what the value of the targeted player is and be somewhat reasonable about it. Then, you need to admit that either the trade wouldn’t happen because, like above, Dipoto said he wouldn’t send out top guys, or find guys lower in the system that would work in a deal.
If you’re trading for someone like Bryan Reynolds, then yeah, you’re going to need to give up a lot. The Mariners still wouldn’t send out Julio, but anyone else in the farm system would be included and available in talks.
When it comes to Mahle, I’m not going to try and say he’s a so-so guy and the Mariners could get him for a couple of low-low prospects. It’s not reasonable. I am going to try and find some middle ground for value though. Is he the guy over the last two seasons who has made 42 of 44 possible starts, notching a 3.72 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.217 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9? Possibly.
However, in the two seasons before that, he compiled numbers of 48 starts, just five innings per start, a 5.06 ERA, a 4.93 FIP, a 1.44 WHIP, and 8.9 K/9. Guess what, You won’t hear me say he’s that guy, either. Those were his age 23/24 seasons, and he’s gotten better since then.
Chances are, he is pretty close to the guy we saw in 2020 and 2021. There’s even a chance that he continues to improve in his late 20’s. If internally, the Reds view him as a guy who is going to give them 30 starts, throw 180 innings, strike out 200 per season, and have an ERA in the low 3s, then that’s on them, and while it would net them a much larger return, it’s unlikely they find a suitor.
Tyler Mahle is a darn good pitcher. Which is why this is what I could see working (or something in this general range) as a trade between the Mariners and the Reds.
The Reds actually have a pretty good farm system, shooting all the way up to 10th in MLB.coms updated rankings that they published back in August. As a team that is reportedly looking to offload their players, it makes sense to look for more prospects in return.
I know I’ve put Hancock in trades before, but I think it would be about right here. You aren’t going to get one of the top three (Julio, Noelvi Marte, Kirby), and I just like Ford and wanna see what they do. Also, I don’t think the Mariners would trade their most recent first-round pick. Personally, it doesn’t seem like something they would do, especially for a guy that could fit into potential weak spots down the line for the Mariners (second and catcher) pending any new signings.
I’m not worried at all about Hancock, and I think he has a fair shot to be better than Mahle. However, this pushes that Mariners window open much further while keeping their farm system quite strong. Hancock could give them a potential focal point at starting pitcher to hold the reigns. He’s got incredible potential and is deserving of the mid-30s ranking he held in the midseason prospect update.
Gonzalez is the obvious long-term one. He isn’t expected up until 2025 but looks to have the potential for a middle of the lineup power bat at a corner outfield spot if his body matures the right way, as he seems to have the tools for quite the athletic build. He turns 18 on January 4th, so he’s got a lot of growing left to do.
With Fletcher, he gives the Reds someone who will instantly be able to battle for a rotation spot in 2022. He wouldn’t be able to replace Mahle, production-wise, but he should be good enough to hold a spot down in the majors and give them time to see what they have.
The Mariners would be nasty if they could acquire Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds. If the price is right, he’s exactly the kind of pitcher that Dipoto should be looking towards to help the Mariners make the playoffs in 2022.