How the Jorge Polanco trade almost became a blockbuster deal for the Mariners

The Mariners made a big trade, acquiring Jorge Polanco on Monday. We received news Wednesday that this was nearly a blockbuster deal.

Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game One
Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game One / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

News broke Monday that the Mariners had made a big trade to acquire another infielder. They had come out and stated that they were interested in adding another infielder, but I am not sure many of us thought that the Mariners would acquire arguably the best second baseman that was thought to be available this offseason.

Justin Hollander stated that they have been trying to acquire this second baseman for a while. They got Jorge Polanco, who should add a reliable and high-ceiling infielder who can play multiple spots. There was some information that came out afterward that could've made this trade a very interesting one.

Wednesday, Jon Morosi reported that the Mariners also inquired about Max Kepler. (I would've loved this, as I am a huge Kepler fan). This was already an interesting trade, just for Polanco, as the Mariners sent a reliever in Topa, a number five starter option in Desclafani, a pitching prospect in Darren Bowen, and a top 100 prospect in Gabriel Gonzalez. Imagine the Mariners expanding this trade to get Kepler and Polanco (it might have been the biggest deal since the Winker and Geno trade).

The deal for just Polanco wasn't an overpay, but one of the few times that I think it was a win-win for both teams. What did the Twins ask for in return for both Polanco and Kepler? I'm not sure, but if they were set on Miller or Woo, there is just no chance that would happen. If the Twins were looking for a major league player it gets a little tricky, but the Mariners could have sent someone like Cade Marlowe (who will most likely start in Triple-A) and another top prospect like Jonatan Clase; they could take a flyer on someone like Walter Ford, or they might prefer a more major league ready arm like Emerson Hancock. There was some money sent over to Minnesota as part of the Polanco deal so this could get crazy depending on the money.

This news is interesting for a few reasons. The Mariners have added a couple of outfielders this offseason in Luke Raley and Mitch Haniger, giving them a group of Julio, Raley, Haniger and Canzone (it isn't a bad group, but it is unproven and injury prone). Another outfielder would have been nice to add here (and Kepler is a very good outfielder), but at this point and the additional cost to acquire him just doesn't seem to be worth it to the Mariners.

They might be looking at someone that hits from the right side to protect Luke Raley if needed. If Haniger gets hurt, both corner outfielders are left-handed, with your upper minor league options (Marlowe, Trammel, and Deloach) all being left-handed. The good thing for the Mariners is that there are still some really solid options in the outfield that hit from the right side. They could target guys like Adam Duvall, Tommy Pham, Robbie Grossman (he's a switch-hitter but is elite versus lefties), Michael A. Taylor, or Randal Grichuk.

Up to the point of the Polanco trade the Mariners have had a decent offseason, but that was the type of move that we haven't seen them make; they have been one or two moves short each of the last two off-seasons. While including Kepler in the trade that netted them Polanco would've given them another above-average bat, they still have plenty of options to address that and it might make more sense coming from a right-handed hitter (and cheaper financially and to acquire). The Mariners are in a really good position, but adding one of the previously mentioned bats could really set themselves up as the division favorite.