John Stanton, the Mariner's team owner, has caught a lot of flak this offseason when reports of tight purse strings and an unwillingness to spend to upgrade the roster surfaced. In the offseason spending, they are still in the bottom half of the league, but an interesting thing happened last night relating to Dylan Moore.
Manager Scott Servais will run a few platoons (LF, 2B) and play more matchup-based lineups than ever, and Dylan Moore will play a vital role in this approach. We'll likely see the 30-year-old utility man at second base, spelling J.P. Crawford at SS occasionally against a tough lefty and providing a spark off the bench in the late innings. In other words, less playing seven positions like last year and more strategic use to maximize his value against left-handed pitching (.247/.393/.402) and avoid overexposure.
Roster construction, platoons, and the lack of options on the free agent market made this 3-year - $8.85M deal a steal, but don't take my word for it. Here are the statistics for two super-utility players with the same skill sets over the past four years. One is obviously Dylan Moore, and the other is on the free-agent market.
Player A is Dylan Moore, while Player B is Jurickson Profar. The latter has a top prospect pedigree whose calling card is positional flexibility and a contact approach. On the other hand, his defense is a liability. While Moore has flashed an above-average glove in the outfield, as well as near-elite defense at second base.
According to SPOTRAC, the market value for the 29-year-old Profar is $14.9M AAV. That's $44.7 million for three years for a player who is basically on the roster—a player who is integrated with your clubhouse, which you locked up for significantly less money. We'll never know if the cash Stanton saved by making this move will be available at the trade deadline, but this certainly looks like a win-win in a vacuum.