The highly touted prospect from the Robinson Cano trade with the New York Mets is no longer a Mariner. The Mariners shipped left-handed hitting outfielder Jarred Kelenic along with LHP Marco Gonzales, and former Gold Glove winner, first baseman Evan White to the 2021 World Series winners Atlanta Braves. This trade is sending shockwaves across the Mariners fandom as we head into the 2023-2024 offseason.
Some key points to hit on the trade. The Mariners are clearing payroll with the trade, until exact numbers come out, we can project around 20mil coming off the books for the Mariners. This is huge if the Mariners are looking to add to the payroll as Jerry Dipoto has stated per Fox13 Seattle...
""I know that the expectation is that bigger payrolls win trophies. I don't believe that that's true, you know... And that's not to say we aren't going to grow payroll. We will have a higher payroll next year than we have this year. We will go out with the intent of adding as much impact to our team as we possibly can"."- Jerry Dipoto on Fox 13 Seattle
The fact of the matter is the Mariners are now under their 2022 payroll, call it 123mil. The rough estimate is the Mariners are sitting at around 110-120mil on the payroll. However, the Mariners have more holes now than they did before the end of the season, leaving fans with questions. The team now needs two corner outfielders, a third baseman, a reliever, and a bunch of payroll promised to fill those spots.
Coming back to the Mariners is Jackson Kowar, a former 33rd overall pick by the Kansas City Royals and former #7 prospect of the Braves Cole Phillips, who slots in as the Mariners #15 prospect per MLB.com. Phillips is the prize coming back to the Mariners, and his prospect write-up can give M's fans some hope "Phillips was rushing up Draft boards in the spring of 2022 as reports flowed in of the Texas prep right-hander hitting triple digits with his fastball. He seemed like he had a shot at being a first-round pick until the train was derailed temporarily by Tommy John surgery in April". Phillips can prove himself a gem of the trade unless he is packaged in a bigger trade Jerry and Co. could be cooking.
Jerry Dipoto needs to do something to better the team, as Mariner fans are calling for his head after this recent trade. Jerry has created two holes in the outfield, a huge hole at third base, traded an emerging reliever in Isaiah Campbell, and promised an increase in payroll... which he has yet to do. Jerry is about to get run out of town by the fans if a few improvement moves aren't made.
The Chicago White Sox seem like an easy trade partner as they are shedding payroll and rebuilding. The Sox have a couple of pieces that could entice the Mariners. Eloy Jimenez is a slugging outfielder the M's could use and the team has pieces to hook horns with the Chisox's to make a trade as the AL Chicago team looks to rebuild. Could Phillips be a piece to trade for Jimenez? The hot stove being cooked up at the Winter Meetings could provide some clarity in the coming days. Jerry and Co. cannot afford to stand pat as they have publicly commented to expand payroll and currently have made the 2024 Mariners a worse team than the 2022 and 2023 fielded teams. Come on Jerry, make something happen.