Mariners Trade Deadline Targets: Hitters — 2B choices, Juan Soto, more

The Mariners seem like focusing their assets on the pitching facet of issues, however may they doubtlessly increase the lineup and general roster on the deadline within the type of one other bat?

More M’s commerce deadline targets: Starting pitchers | within the bullpen

If so, the Mariners have one clear spot that might use an improve within the beginning second base spot. They may additionally attempt to make the bench higher with somebody who can play some infield. Then once more, Seattle can also be within the working for one of many recreation’s greatest gamers who performs outfield.

Let’s undergo the offensive choices earlier than Tuesday’s MLB commerce deadline.

Outfield/Elephant within the room

Washington’s Juan Soto

Let’s begin with the largest identify on the commerce market.

Is a nook outfielder the Mariners’ greatest want? no They have Jesse Winker and Kyle Lewis proper now, and Mitch Haniger is due again round or simply after the commerce deadline. But the Mariners are one in every of only a few groups in baseball with sufficient younger expertise to accumulate Soto, who’s a high 10 participant in baseball and, if traded now, could be on his new group for the remainder of 2022 in addition to the following two seasons.

Trading for Soto would put a giant dent in Seattle’s farm system and doubtlessly hinder the group from with the ability to make different offers each earlier than the deadline and through this coming offseason, but it surely’s not precisely frequent for a 23-year-old celebrity of Soto’s caliber to be accessible through commerce.

Do I believe it occurs? no But the Mariners even one in every of a handful of groups reportedly within the working for Soto and hey, who would not love seeing an outfield with each Soto and Julio Rodríguez?

Other OFs?

There are a handful of different outfielders who determine to be moved on the deadline, similar to Chicago Cubs star Ian Happ. Assuming the Mariners’ present slate of outfielders – Rodríguez, Winker, Lewis and Haniger – are all wholesome by the top of the deadline, it does not appear probably they’re going to be buying and selling for an outfielder until it is somebody of Soto’s standing or a participant with more positional flexibility (which Happ does to a sure extent, though he isn’t a fantastic defensive infielder). It could also be an “if” whether or not Seattle can have all 4 outfielders for the whole lot of the ultimate two-plus months of the season, however the Mariners in all probability won’t add a notable outfielder until one thing occurs between now and Aug. 2.

Second base/infield

While he has been hitting higher this month, Adam Frazier’s 2022 marketing campaign has been a disappointment after coming to Seattle this offseason following an All-Star season in 2021. Unless there’s an damage that happens or somebody like Lewis or Haniger aren’t in a position to be common contributors as outfield/DH sorts, that leaves the Mariners’ greatest want in the case of bats as that second base spot.

Cincinnati’s Brandon Drury

Drury, 29, is within the midst of a breakout 12 months in Cincinnati, slashing .273/.333/.523 with 19 residence runs and 57 RBIs in 85 video games.

Although he spent most of 2022 as a 3rd baseman, he has performed 20 video games at second this 12 months and 185 video games over his profession. The slugger would not be a giant improve defensively, however he ought to be more than in a position to maintain his personal. Plus, he’d be introduced in to be one other run producer for Seattle.

Drury is making lower than $1 million this 12 months and is a pending free agent, so he is a really enticing commerce goal for any group in search of more lineup thump. Even if his first half seems to be a little bit of an anomaly, his new group would not be tied to him going ahead.

As far because the Mariners go, Drury being able to play first, second and third base in addition to nook outfield spots could be nice in case of damage to any one in every of a lot of key bats Seattle at present has within the lineup.

It’s straightforward to see why many see the Mariners as a major touchdown spot for one in every of 2022’s greatest breakout stars. But what might make Drury much less helpful to American League groups is that he has not had a COVID-19 vaccine, which induced him to overlook the Reds’ sequence in Toronto. Because of Canada’s COVID tips, those that are unvaccinated can’t cross the border. With the Blue Jays at present holding a playoff spot, that might impression the Mariners or every other AL group from going out and buying the slugging infielder.

Cincinnati’s Donovan Solano

Sticking with the Reds for simply one other second, the 34-year-old Solano has accomplished nothing however hit over the past 4 years, albeit in restricted motion.

Since 2019, Solano has slashed .310/.357/.439 in 261 video games, together with a .329/.383/.471 slash line in simply 25 video games this 12 months after beginning the 12 months on the injured checklist.

If the Mariners desire a buy-low man who can play second base or be an additional bat off the bench, Solano might be an intriguing add. He’s set to be a free agent after this season.

Boston’s Xander Bogaerts

The Mariners might not have been in a position to beat the Red Sox earlier within the 12 months, however Boston has been struggling numerous late and now finds itself on the surface wanting in on a playoff spot.

With that case, the Sox could also be keen to debate provides on Bogaerts.

The four-time All-Star has 3.3 WAR this 12 months already and is slugging properly once more, and he is prone to choose out of his deal after this season and hit free company. It’s unclear whether or not he and Boston are shut on any type of extension.

If the Red Sox do put Bogaerts on the buying and selling block, the Mariners may make a monster splash by buying the 29 12 months previous.

Bogaerts has been a shortstop his complete profession, however with JP Crawford being a Gold Glove on the place, Bogaerts may slide in at second and make Seattle’s lineup particularly potent. His slugging numbers are down however Bogaerts remains to be getting numerous hits, together with doubles.

Bogaerts has by no means been a very nice defender at quick so a transfer to second could also be in his future anyhow. And if a commerce does not work out this deadline, the M’s and Bogaerts could also be speaking this offseason as he’ll be one of many greatest names in free company.

Miami’s Joey Wendle

Wendle, 32, has all the time appeared like an inevitable Mariner, and never simply because he performed for the Rays, a frequent commerce associate, for 4 years.

The 2021 All-Star is now with the opposite Florida group, and in 48 video games this 12 months (restricted motion due to three injured checklist stints) he has slashed .290/.339/.400 whereas enjoying second, third and somewhat shortstop.

While Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty have stuffed in properly at occasions, Wendle would give the Mariners a legit beginning second baseman who may additionally fill in across the infield if both Crawford or third baseman Eugenio Suárez have been to be out for an prolonged time frame. In 48 video games this 12 months, Wendle has practically double the WAR than Moore has in 70 video games at 1.5 in comparison with 0.8, per Baseball Reference. Wendle would additionally give the Mariners one other left-handed bat for the lineup.

He is signed by means of this season with a mutual choice for 2023.

Kansas City’s Whitt Merrifield

Speaking of inevitable Mariners, it looks like Seattle has been tied to the now 33-year-old Merrifield eternally as he was the topic of commerce rumors involving the Pacific Northwest a couple of occasions over the previous couple of years.

Now, the Royals are clearly out of rivalry whereas the Mariners may doubtlessly use Merrifield as both an on a regular basis second baseman or as a fill-in nook outfielder.

The two-time All-Star has seen his manufacturing dip this 12 months (.247/.293/.354 slash line) however he is nonetheless a menace on the bases with 15 steals. He’s additionally spent important time at heart discipline and proper discipline together with second base. He is signed by means of 2023 and has a mutual choice for 2024.

Merrifield, like Drury, is not vaccinated and missed his group’s current sequence in Toronto, which may take him out of the working for some AL contenders.

Cleveland’s Amed Rosario

Rosario has been nice for the Guardians, placing up 2.8 WAR and a .294/.331/.410 slash line in 89 video games, and consumers might be fascinated by him for this 12 months and the long run as an on a regular basis participant, particularly groups needing shortstop well being.

Rosario is simply 26 years previous, placing collectively a fantastic 2022 marketing campaign and is signed by means of the top of subsequent 12 months, so a commerce may require a giant haul for Cleveland. Additionally, the Guardians are just a few video games behind the Mariners within the AL Wild Card race, so they could not need to be sellers.

Washington’s Cesar Hernandez

A group that will be promoting, although, is the Nationals. Soto will clearly get Washington essentially the most calls, however Hernández may get the group a minimum of one thing in return as he is a veteran center infielder with a monitor document of hitting, though 2021 and 2022 have not been too sort to him.

The 32-year-old change hitter might not be a lot of an improve over Frazier to the purpose that the Mariners goal him, however his positional flexibility all through his profession may intrigue Seattle, particularly if the group is not bought on Haggerty as one other bench choice with Moore additionally with the ability to play the outfield.

Hernández is a free agent after this season.

Colorado’s José Iglesias

Iglesias, 32, is having himself an excellent first season in Colorado, slashing .300/.339/.397 in 81 video games whereas enjoying all his video games at shortstop. The veteran infielder has performed some second base up to now, so a transfer to that spot for a contending group should not be a difficulty. He’d additionally give the Mariners a strong No. 9 hitter to show issues over to the highest of the order whereas hardly ever putting out (simply 39 Ks this season).

Iglesias will probably be a free agent after 2022.

Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop

Many issues have gone incorrect for the Tigers this 12 months, one in every of them being the play of Schoop, a former All-Star with pop on the plate.

Schoop, 30, hit 22 homers and drove in 84 runs for Detroit final 12 months, however he is scuffled to a .207/.240/.307 slash line with six residence runs and 25 RBIs. Is this 2022 model of Schoop actually an improve over the present model of Frazier? Probably not. But Schoop does have a monitor document of hitting and driving in runs, and maybe a change of surroundings to a contender helps get him on monitor. Plus, it seems Detroit is in full promote mode. For the Mariners, although, this appears unlikely.

Schoop is signed by means of 2023.

ESPN’s Passan: Starting pitcher names to know as M’s may go large at deadline

Leave a Comment