Colorado Rockies – Jordan Sheffield
That’s right, the Seattle Mariners should try to acquire current LHP Justus Sheffield’s brother, Jordan Sheffield. Jordan Sheffield is a right-handed reliever currently with the Colorado Rockies. He pitched nearly 30 innings last year, and he was not bad at all. Sheffield was a decent contributor to the Rockies bullpen when he was there. He missed a large chunk of the season due to a right lat strain that cost him two months of the season.
Jordan Sheffield has a few very strong traits that the Mariners could use to their advantage if they were to acquire him. First of all, he has a fastball that sits at 96mph, and has a great spin rate. He was in the 99th percentile in fastball spin rate last year. He throws that fastball a majority of the time, and also mixes in a slider and a changeup. He could be a very solid reliever if the Mariners get their hands on him, since they are an even better organization at developing pitchers.
In his 29.1 innings last year, Sheffield put up a 3.38 ERA and a 4.23 FIP. Those are fairly good numbers, especially for a rookie. He had not pitched in the big leagues until last year. He had been in the Dodgers organization, drafted as a supplemental first-round pick back in 2016 out of Vanderbilt. His prospect reports suggest that his three-pitch mix could all be plus. He was even ranked the 10th best prospect in the loaded Dodgers system in 2017.
The Mariners would not have to send a ton to the Rockies for him, but they would have to give up at least a worthwhile player or two. Sheffield is under club control until 2027, so the Mariners wouldn’t get him for cheap.
In this scenario, the Rockies trade Sheffield, who is a bullpen piece only, for Justin Dunn, who still has a chance to start. The Rockies would be trading for Dunn with the assumption that he could compete for the back end of their rotation. The Mariners almost certainly will add someone to push Dunn to their bullpen, maybe already within the roster. The Rockies current fifth starter is projected to be Peter Lambert, who is in a similar position to Dunn.
The Rockies could stick with Lambert and hope he develops from a former top prospect into a reliable starter. The Rockies would increase their chances of having a good starter if they have Lambert and Dunn. Lambert missed almost all of last season with an elbow issue after having Tommy John surgery in 2020. There are some injury red flags with Lambert as well as Dunn, but Dunn did not have the same type of injury.
The Mariners would be getting a fringe reliever for a fringe starter, so the Rockies could get the long term better option in Dunn if he starts, but Sheffield could be an up and down guy at worst for the Mariners. The deal gives the Mariners even more bullpen depth, while moving on from someone they have not had great success with. The Rockies get more starting pitching, which they always need in Colorado. The next target comes from the L.A. Dodgers farm system.