Mariners trade for Lane Thomas: A focus on pitching
Mariners send: RHP Taylor Dollard, RHP Emerson Hancock, RHP Travis Kuhn
Bear with me for a minute here. Dollard dominated, and I mean dominated, in 2022. 144 IP, a 2.25 ERA, a WHIP of 0.951, with just 1.9 BB/9. Record shouldn't hold a lot of value, but it still sways people when they see that you went 16-2! Unfortuntately, Dollard blew out his arm to start 2023, and is rehabbing after undergoing surgery. Do you think you are getting 2022 Dollard if you're the Nationals? If so, it creates a much higher value for the youngster.
Then we go with Emerson Hancock, the guy who is always thrown in trades. He's another one who is hard to gauge, and a big part of that is the injury history. He was shut down again in 2023, afet making a handful of good starts with the Mariners at the big league level. He was hit with shoulder fatigue (presumptively), and shut down for cautionary reasons for the season. The Mariners said he could've come back, but they didn't want to push it, opting for a clean start to 2024 instead.
Similar to Polcovich, Kuhn becomes the "throw-in" here. He's thrown 114 innings at AA over the last two seasons, racking up an ERA of 3.63 with a BB rate of 4.5/9 and a K rate of 9.6/9. He will be 26 next season, and could definitely be a cheap bullpen option if the Nats are looking for one to fill a MLB spot on the roster.