Buying and Selling at the Deadline

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Reasons for trading Teoscar 

Free agency is looming for the 30-year-old, which means the Mariners will compete with 29 other teams for his services. The team has needed help bringing bats in on the free agent market, as evidenced by Dipoto's trades for Dee Strange-Gordon, Mallex Smith, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Kolten Wong, and Hernandez. Plenty of teams would pay for Hernandez; the odds are the Mariners won't be one of them.

Another factor is the home ballpark, which has suppressed Hernandez's performance. Before joining the Mariners, he was on a sublime four-year run resulting in massive exit velocities, high barrel rates, and a handful of strikeouts. This season has the Dominican slugger on pace for a career-high strikeout rate (32%), lowest exit velocity (90.7), and lowest Barrel percentage (13.8) since 2019. We could blame the marine layer or the pressure of anchoring an underperforming lineup. Either way, I can't see Hernandez signing up for another year or multiple years with this team.

The 2023 Mariners are on pace to have four players with 180 strikeouts or more. No team has ever had more than two players of such ilk. If I'm Hollander and Dipoto, I'm looking for players with "dominate the zone" tendencies currently in the upper minors. Why? There is a considerable gap between the high-end offensive prospects (Cole Young, Gabriel Gonzalez, Harry Ford, Michael Arroyo) and the major league club, with most homegrown bats in High-A Everett or below. They need more contact in this lineup, specifically players who could join the major-league team immediately or in 2024.