Five trades the Mariners could make regardless of their place in the standings
Player acquisition cycles are few and far between, and we know Jerry Dipoto will be active. But who could they acquire? Grab your Sunday morning coffee and let's take a look.
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Roster moves happen all the time in Major League Baseball, but player acquisition cycles are few and far between. The trade deadline is one of the most significant opportunities to acquire players that will help teams both now and in the future. Other cycles include the offseason, specifically the Winter Meetings and owner meetings.
While it isn’t clear yet whether or not this Seattle ball club can put things together enough to be a contender at the deadline, they should certainly make moves at the deadline. You have to use these opportunities to acquire players you want, even if the timing doesn’t always feel perfect.
On 710 Seattle Sports, President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto telegraphed his deadline plans. “We will go into the trade deadline part of this season looking for a bat, wherever that might fit,” he said.
Dipoto also said that they tend to spend more time on trades with players or teams you may not think are available. I tried to focus on different bats from contenders, all across the diamond.
Sit down with your Sunday coffee and take a look at a few bats your Seattle Mariners could acquire next month.
2023 stats- .217/.327/.371, 97 WRC+, 6 HR, 0.6 fWAR
Cronenworth fits everything that Jerry Dipoto described and may be the perfect fit to fill a second base hole that has consistently plagued Seattle. Cronenworth is a player you wouldn’t necessarily think is available while being a versatile defender who could slot in all over the diamond.
My guess is Seattle would want to use him at second base mostly, but he has played a ton of first base in San Diego. The 29-year-old is a well-rounded lefty bat who has three full seasons of above-average production.
Cronenworth has posted a K% below 20 percent in each of his three full seasons, while also posting a walk rate that is above league average. He carries 15-25 home run potential, with his career-high being 21.
His bat profiles very similarly to a left-handed Ty France, with above-average defense at second base. Cronenworth would likely be very expensive but is the type of player that would be worth it.
Cronenworth will have two years of club control following the 2023 season. It is anybody’s guess what the Padres would want in return, but the cost could certainly be prohibitive.
2023 stats- .253/.319/.475, 110 WRC+, 12 HR, 1.2 fWAR
Christian Walker is a player who I have liked for quite some time now, but his fit on the roster has been murky. Walker is a first base/DH type who could probably stand at a corner outfield spot if you needed to get his bat in the lineup.
Walker is 32 years of age and has one year remaining after this one. Walker is a right-handed power bat and would be a logical replacement for Teoscar Hernández when he inevitably leaves in free agency after the season.
While I prefer a left-handed bat, Walker is productive against both lefties and righties. He destroys left-handed pitching, posting a 175 WRC+ against Southpaws this season. The former Gold Glove award winner would immediately slide into the first base/DH rotation.
Walker also earns brownie points for his low strikeout rate and league-average walk rate. The Diamondbacks are currently in first place in the NL West, so the next 30-40 games could determine whether or not they are willing to part with him.
He is unlikely to get an extension because of his age, making the fit with Arizona questionable moving forwards. Walker owns a career 108 WRC+.
2023 stats- .253/.318/.449, 108 WRC+, 6 HR, 0.9 fWAR
Mike Yastrzemski is one of my favorite fits of any player Seattle could theoretically acquire, and one I will talk/write about many times ahead of the August 1 deadline. At 33 years old, Yastrzemski has two years of club control remaining after 2023.
While the age is slightly concerning, “Yaz” is a really good fit for Seattle. The grandson of Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, Mike was drafted by the Mariners in 2012, but decided to attend Vanderbilt instead.
The former Commodore has been a mainstay in the San Francisco outfield since 2019, posting a 113 WRC+ over his career so far. The left-handed outfielder strikes out around 25 percent while walking at a league average mark or above over his career.
Yastrzemski can play all three outfield spots and is actually a plus center field defender. One reason why Dipoto and Hollander would love him is his tremendous ability to control the zone.
The outfielder ranks in the 97th percentile of chase rate and walks above league average for his career. He would fit in nicely with the outfield/DH rotation and would add length and balance to a lineup that is very right-handed. His fit is excellent, but it is hard to know what kind of price the Giants would be asking.
It is also worth mentioning that San Francisco is currently in contention, but it is fair to wonder how long that will last in the NL West.
2023 stats- .256/.332/.434, 110 WRC+, 10 HR, 0.8 fWAR
Gleyber Torres being acquired by the Mariners is about as predictable as it gets. Jerry Dipoto loves former top prospects, and we know they had an interest in trading for him over the offseason.
Torres is only 26 years old and will be entering the final year of his contract in 2024. He is in his sixth year of average to above-average production at the second base position, posting a career WRC+ of 114.
All of this makes him a prime trade candidate for Seattle to acquire and extend, immediately slotting in as the second baseman for this contention window. Torres is an excellent fit in many ways, including his bat-to-ball skills.
Torres walks at an above-average rate while rarely striking out. His K% is only 12.6 percent this season, good enough for the 93rd percentile of all hitters.
The Venezuelan infielder is an excellent fit but isn’t a great defender at second base. His defense ranks in just the 23rd percentile according to Baseball Savant.
The Yankees could certainly use bullpen or lineup help, and have a few viable replacements in-house if they are interested in a lateral move.
2023 stats- .279/.420/.463, 149 WRC+, 8 HR, 1.8 fWAR
LaMonte Wade Jr. is having a huge year in San Francisco, posting a career year at age 29. If I could point at Jonah Hill’s character in Moneyball to describe Wade Jr. I would, because he just gets on base.
The left-handed hitter is walking at a 17.9 percent clip, which certainly isn’t sustainable. This has a lot to do with his inflated WRC+, but Wade Jr. has always had a discerning eye at the plate.
Wade Jr. is a decent defender at both first base and the outfield but isn’t going to move the needle much there. His bat would add contact and balance to the lineup while giving them a controllable bat for two more years following 2023.
The big concern with LaMonte Wade Jr. has always been health. He dealt with injury issues last season, posting just a 93 WRC+. He could be a nice addition if the price tag isn’t too high.
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