How the Mariners could swing a trade for Fernando Tatis Jr
Oh boy. Here we go. The Padres have signed Xander Bogaerts to a massive 11YR/$280M contract. Unless Manny Machado plans on opting out of his deal with 5YR/$160M left, the Padres are going to be looking at a whole lot of money locked up between Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Machado over the next 5 seasons. Enter the Seattle Mariners to the chat.
Now, I don’t know if Dipoto and crew would want to take on a contract like Tatis Jr. We’ve seen a perceived unwillingness to sign players, instead choosing to trade and build through prospects. Go ahead and find the last hitter they signed in FA to a multi-year deal. I’ll wait.
Find it yet?
It was Nelson Cruz in 2015. That was the last multi-year deal. Outside of him, they haven’t even given a decent size one year deal to a player since 2016 with Nori Aoki. The Mariners signed him to a 1YR/$5.5M deal. We also signed Chris Iannetta to a 1YR/$4.25M deal that same off-season.
Slow down, Mariners. Don’t get so crazy with the FA bat acquisitions.
If you can’t sense the sarcasm, I can’t help you.
What I’m trying to portray is that if the Mariners are going to go out and get a bat, it’s going to be through a trade. I don’t know why they go this route, as I would love them to get involved in talks with Nimmo, Brantley, or Benintendi. However, until proven otherwise, it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.
If that’s the case, then Fernando Tatis Jr might be an option.
I can already see how people are reacting to this. It’s likely either “No way are we giving up Gilbert” or “No way would we only give up Tatis Jr for that”.
I think the value of Tatis Jr has dropped a little bit. Obviously, he is still a game-changer with the potential to be one of the best in baseball. However, there are a handful of questions surrounding him relating to decision-making.
- Motorcycle accidents. Yes, plural.
- The suspension
- Putting in the extra work
I don’t know a ton about the extra work part of it. Maybe all of these things have put his mindset in a new spot, and he is going to come out and be a truly generational player. This is going to be his age-24 season, and he likely has a full decade of dominance left to come. Look at what he did from age 20-22. Remember, he didn’t play in 2022.
- Age 20 – .317/.379/.590. 154 OPS+, 22 HR, 16 SB, 4.2 WAR, 84 games
- Age 21 – .277/.366/.571. 156 OPS+, 17 HR, 11 SB, 2.8 WAR, 59 of 62 games
- Age 22 – .282/.364/.611. 166 OPS+, 42 HR, 25 SB, 6.6 WAR, 130 games
It’s not unreasonable to predict that you could get an insane three-five year run from Tatis Jr coming up. If he is doing this already, imagine what he might do during his “prime years” of 27-29.
It’s also why the Mariners are going to have to give up a legitimate piece in Logan Gilbert. I don’t want to see him go. Walter is amazing, and a lot of fun on the Mariners. However, it would take something like that to make them even pick up the phone. With the suspension and wrist injury happening so recently, I think you cap it with mid-tier prospects, guys who sit in the low teens for the Mariners.
It’s also important to remember the contract. He has a 14YR/310M deal that keeps him on a team through 2034. It’s a lot of money… unless you are getting those 6-8 WAR seasons. Then it’s a big win, and a potential World Series move that keeps your window open for a long time. For Dipoto and crew being worried about “down the line money”, adding in Gilbert takes away some of that worry.
If this is the deal on the table, I think the Mariners should go for it. Make that huge splash, and pair Fernando Tatis Jr with Julio for the next decade. That could be an incredible pairing, and set the Mariners up for continued success for many years to come.