Mariners Trade Option #2: Rocky Mountain Retirement Run?
While pillaging from a division rival could be beneficial in multiple ways, there’s another name that could be an absolutely perfect 2023 “Santana” fit… Rockies legend Charlie Blackmon.
One of the best to ever wear the purple and black, Blackmon has been a consistent stud in Colorado’s lineup since 2013. The 4-time all-star and batting title champ has played extremely well through nearly 50 games this season. With a 115 OPS+, a .287/.369/.466 slash line and 20 extra-base hits, Blackmon looks more like his prime years than a man potentially playing his final year or two of baseball. Despite his strong play this season, the Rockies find themselves at 24-33, worst in the National League, and 10 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. Things look bad, but is it bad enough to ship out a legend?
Blackmon exercised his player option of $15 million for 2023, a deal that would not have been on the table for him if he was on the open market in 2022. It’s a heavy price for a team that has a history of being cheap and bad, and Seattle could conceivably step in with an offer that makes all parties happy. If Seattle was willing to eat the remaining salary, It’d likely take a mid-tier prospect and a lottery ticket for Colorado to consider the offer. At this point in the season, that salary would likely have around $10 million left on it for Seattle to take on. It's not nothing, but it shouldn't be a number that should scare away ownership. If Blackmon is hungry for one last playoff run, Seattle is a logical fit. Blackmon is a logical DH fit that could spell Teoscar Hernandez in RF. Blackmon has a decade of experience hitting leadoff or batting second, but could easily slide into the bottom half of the lineup, adding stability.
A lefty bat is going to put the ball in play, get on base, and provide excellent clubhouse leadership…sound familiar right? Santana was a lot of fun, but Blackmon is a different level of talent, even if he’s past his prime. If the Rockies want to save some money, and Blackmon wants the chance to play and win, there’s no better fit than Seattle.