What if the M's did the unthinkable this offseason?

This is a hypothetical series. Maybe this series will bring up some interesting conversations in Seattle Mariners fandom. The first part of this series is a doozy, as will most of the series. Buckle up and be prepared for the radical.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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How blessed have Mariners fans been since 1995? A lot is the answer when thinking outside the scope of postseason success. 1995 and 2001 will always be cemented in Seattle baseball and Pacific Northwest history. Players fans have had the chance to embrace are immortal in baseball history: ranging from Hall of Famers, Ken Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson, and Edgar Martinez; future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki and the young star, Julio Rodriguez. However, what if the Mariners went nuclear and traded their young star for the betterment of the franchise and the chance to change poor postseason performance and produce a World Series title for the city of Seattle?

Julio Rodriguez is the face of the Seattle Mariners. If it was not for some legal stipulations, Julio might have been the face of MLB the show 2024. As one of the young, bright stars in MLB, the Seattle Mariners have a generational talent, who follows in the footsteps of Griffey as the next pop culture icon to grace centerfield in Seattle. But is Julio enough? Can Julio bring a World Series to Seattle? What can a player of Julio's stature bring back in a trade? Is that trade worth it for the Mariners?

Much has been made of the Mariners chasing after Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox. Dylan Cease would be a nice piece in any rotation. Slotting in behind Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert. The rotation alone is championship worthy and adding Cease puts some extra frosting on he cake. So were does Julio fit in all of this? Julio is the trade bait. Not only is Julio the trade bait for Cease, he is the bait for the entire White Sox's future as well as the future success of the Seattle Mariners franchise.

From Baseball Trade Values, here is a hypothetical trade between the Mariners and White Sox. The trade engine only allows for 6 players from one team to be traded. The Mariners are sending a surplus value of 287.8 to the White Sox while receiving 234 back. These values are all based on median value. Julio's high is 345.3 and his low is 230.2. Dylan Cease and Luis Robert combined account for 143.7 on the high end and 104.3 on the low end. The math doesn't add up but the four prospects coming back to Seattle might help it all make sense.

Luis Robert
Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

Julio is just one player and all these projections are based on him and him alone. The Mariners would be receiving a high end starter, an all-star caliber centerfielder and 4 of the White Sox's top ten prospects. The White Sox's farm system just had two of those prospect placed in the top 100. Colson Montgomery, a shortstop (SS) and Noah Schultz, a lefthanded pitcher (LHP) coming in at #9 and #50 on the top 100 MLB prospect list would elevate the Mariners farm system into one of the top farm systems if not the top farm system in MLB.

The other two prospects coming back in the trade are Bryan Ramos and Edgar Quero. A third baseman and catcher, the Mariners could possibly swap one of them out for SS Jacob Gonzalez, who is also in the White Sox's top ten. Even though Harry Ford, Cole Young and Colt Emerson are on the cusp of the Majors, all similarly position placed, its a fact that prospects are capital and potential that is a gamble. This gamble could payoff if the Mariners hit blackjack on one or two of them plus the players in their own farm system.

All of this is said in hypothetical and video game terms. However, having a rotation of Castillo, Kirby, Gilbert, Cease, and Miller/Woo, a lineup of JP, Robert, Polanco, Cal, Garver, Haniger, France, Canzone, Rojas/Urias, an electric bullpen and an elite farm system sounds very exciting. Its hard to lose a talent like J-Rod, but the current and future impacts might make it worth it. A second place finisher in the Cy Young, a talented centerfielder, two MLB top 100 prospects and two other top end prospects might be in the best interest of the Seattle Mariners...hypothetically.