The Seattle Mariners have one of the most creative baseball operations departments in Major League Baseball. Jerry Dipoto was one of the most creative General Managers in the game before being promoted to President. He made one trade for Adam Frazier and signed one free agent in Robbie Ray before the lockout started.
Jerry Dipoto will have to make more moves after the lockout ends, and there are a few ways that he could do it. We’ve looked at trades he could make with a few different divisions throughout baseball. Today, we take a look at players from each N.L. Central team that the M’s could trade for.
Chicago Cubs – Ian Happ
First up is Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. He was once the 9th overall pick in the draft at the end of the Cubs run of great first round picks. He converted from second base to the outfield. He has definitely gone away from being an infielder, and fully embraced being a slugging outfielder. He is now a center fielder/left fielder, but he probably belongs in left field only. He was worth -2 DRS in center, but had a positive 2 DRS in left field in about 60 games each.
The switch hitter has a unique fit with the Mariners, and he could fit a role very nicely. He could play left field and replace Jake Fraley in the outfield mix, and provide much more offensive value than Fraley. Happ slashed .226/.323/.434 last year in 148 games. His value came from his 25 home runs last year. He would provide similar power production to what Kyle Seager gave the Mariners last year, but he will have more on base value.
He was not a star at all, but he was consistent. He had a 103 wRC+ and was worth 1.3 WAR. His batting average on balls in play dipped significantly below .300 for the first time in his career, so he could have a better 2022 if that number goes back to his career norms. He has consistently been a near 2 WAR player, and playing for a M’s team that is trying to get to the playoffs could give him a boost. He has playoff experience with the Cubs, and he could be a good add for the Mariners.
Trading for him would not cost nothing, but the Mariners would have to give up quality depth pieces from their farm system.
This proposal is headlined by Connor Phillips, who is one of the many Mariners pitching prospects who figures to be a big league rotation piece some day. He is only 20 years old, and should be able to reach AA in the second half of next year. Along with Phillips is Taylor Trammell, who was once a top 100 prospect by many. He struggled in his first taste of big league action, but he should be ready for another shot at the big league level after figuring some things out at AAA Tacoma.
Finally, in this mock trade proposal is outfielder Luis Bolivar. He is only 17 years old and has a long way to go, but he has lots of upside as a speed and contact outfielder. He has a lot of potential, but lacks power currently. This deal would help the Cubs be more ready for contention in a few years, assuming that they are not ready to fully compete yet.
Adding Ian Happ to the Mariners outfield would be very interesting, especially since he has plenty of power potential. He could make the Mariners opening day outfield Happ in left, Jarred Kelenic in center, and Mitch Haniger in right. That trio could easily hit at least 60 or more home runs in 2022, and has the upside for lots more. Happ’s power and switch hitting ability could make him a very intriguing add for the Mariners outfield. Next up is an even better slugging left fielder.