Ranking my top six trade targets from the Tampa Bay Rays
Could the Mariners make a deal with their old friend the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason? If they did who should be their target? Here's my top 6 targets from a familiar trade partner.
The stove has been anything but hot so far this offseason, but with the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching that is certain to change. It always feels unlikely the Mariners will ever be able to lure a big-time free-agent hitter to Seattle, making the easiest path a trade.
Before we even take a look at whether or not the front office would spend big-time dollars on a hitter, ask yourself if there are any big-name hitters you would even want besides Shohei Ohtani. And why would any hitter, especially the right-handed ones, sign in the least hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball?
Combine all of this with the lack of obvious trade options on the market and it certainly feels that the Seattle Mariners are on a collision course with the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason. Tampa needs pitching, and Seattle needs hitting. A match made in heaven between two sides that have made plenty of deals. Let’s take a look at my top 6 trade targets from Tampa.
Honorable Mention: Austin Shenton
Old friend alert! Austin Shenton is a former Mariner prospect who was dealt at the 2021 deadline for Diego Castillo. He is also a native of Spokane, Washington.
Shenton is knocking on the doorstep of the major leagues, and it seems he could have made his debut with Seattle last season. They tried to acquire him at the deadline from Tampa, but the deal fell through.
The 25-year-old is a corner infielder who put up massive minor league numbers in 2023, blasting 29 home runs with an OPS over 1.000. He can play both corner infield spots and could be a nice insurance policy at both. Shenton still fits really nicely on this roster, and we know Jerry Dipoto loves circling back on players he tried to acquire.
Harold Ramírez is an interesting player for the Mariners, especially after the back-to-back 119 wRC+ or better campaigns in Tampa Bay. After starting his career slowly with Miami and Cleveland, Ramirez has enjoyed a breakout two seasons with the Rays.
The 29-year-old spent time in the outfield and at first base but appeared in 91 games as a designated hitter for the Rays. He wouldn’t add much to Seattle defensively, but his offensive profile may draw some interest.
Ramírez hardly walks, but he puts the ball in play very often for a guy with a .460 SLG in 2023. He posted a 128 wRC+ in 2023 and would add a nice element to the middle of Seattle’s order.
Overall, I don’t think the Mariners should be thinking about Ramirez as a main acquisition this offseason. If he is the secondary acquisition I am more than willing to add him to this roster, but I have some concerns about his profile.
The Mariners used to be very staunch in wanting to add players who walk often but have strayed away from this some recently. Ramírez hardly ever walks. He ranked in the 8th percentile of BB% and simply offers nothing defensively. The 29-year-old also doesn’t hit the ball hard and has inflated BABIP numbers the last two seasons.
He hardly strikes out and fits this team positionally, so as a secondary addition I am fine with this. If Harold Ramírez was the main offensive addition of the offseason I would be very worried.
5. Josh Lowe
Lowe had a breakout campaign in 2023, posting a 131 wRC+ in 135 games for Tampa Bay. He had a very similar career trajectory as a prep player to current Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic, as well as similar struggles early on.
Lowe corrected those struggles with an impressive campaign, posting 20 home runs and 32 stolen bases to go with an outstanding .292/.335/.500 slash line. I have him at number five on my list for a couple of reasons.
He is going to be VERY expensive, and I am not totally sure that Tampa would move him at all. If they did it would certainly cost Bryce Miller, and I don’t know that there would be much stopping them from asking for Logan Gilbert.
Lowe is relatively unproven, and a high BABIP has me a little worried. Seattle needs hitters that carry high probability, and Lowe just isn’t that quite yet. If the price tag wasn’t so high he would be an excellent fit. If the Mariners pulled the trigger on a deal for him it would be hard not to be absolutely thrilled, but the fit could be better in my opinion.