Mariners Trade Target: Miami Marlins Catcher Nick Fortes
The Seattle Mariners do not have the best catching situation going into the 2022 season. Tom Murphy struggled mightily for most of last season, Luis Torrens may not be able to handle the position defensively, and Cal Raleigh really struggled with his bat at the big league level. This could lead to the M’s targeting a catcher, even though Jerry Dipoto has said that they are confident in the group that they have.
Dipoto’s public praise could be to boost the confidence of the catchers on the roster, and the front office could be looking to make an addition behind the scenes. Even if this is not the case, adding catching depth is always good. The organization currently has Jose Godoy as catching depth, so they could look to upgrade.
This is why I believe that Nick Fortes is a possible target for the Mariners. He is not a star by any means or even a top prospect. He was drafted out of Ole Miss in 2018 in the fourth round, and made his way to the big leagues last year where he hit very well, but in only 14 games. He figures to be in the mix for the Marlins backup catcher role in 2022.
In this trade proposal, the Mariners would send the Marlins a pair of outfielders. One for their roster right now in Jake Fraley, and one for the future in Luis Bolivar. Fraley would fit their roster well because he is left-handed and most of their outfield is right-handed. He could benefit from being in another spot where he can start over with a new team. He has experience at the big league level, which most of the Marlins outfielders are lacking.
Bolivar is years away, but he is an interesting fringe top-30 prospect for the M’s currently. This trade could work because Fortes is considered a lesser prospect for the Fish, but he could be valuable depth for the Mariners. If he can hit better, along with average defense, he could be a solid backup or AAA call-up candidate with Seattle.
The next trade target is a slugger who could play a utility role in Seattle: