The Seattle Mariners are about to enter a full rebuild, according to Jeff Passan.
Passan mentions that, if the market is there, the Mariners will be willing to move any of their main pieces. Left-handed ace James Paxton, closer Edwin Diaz and outfielder Mitch Haniger are reportedly all available for trade.
Aside from Diaz, Gonzales and Haniger, Seattle have players that could attract a lot of interest in the trade market this offseason. Paxton will be a popular man after dominating early last season and posting 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Any team that is interested in free agents Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin will surely consider a move for Seattle’s lefty.
Reliever Alex Colome posted a 1.04 WHIP and a 2.53 ERA. He only arrived on the west coast from the Rays during last term, but teams will be interested in a former closer who has two more years of club control. There are a tonne of good relief pitchers in free agency, but a lot of them will demand far more than Colome will be due after arbitration.
Dee Gordon, like Colome, only recently became a Mariner. The speedster was traded from the Miami Marlins last offseason and had a poor 2018 with a .288 OBP. He has a couple more years of team control before a $14 million team option (which can be activated with 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1200 across 2019 and 2020). The return is unlikely to be great for Gordon – Seattle will have to eat some of his cash if they are to get any decent prospects in return.
Another veteran, Wade LeBlanc, could be available. The left-handed starter had a solid year with a 3.72 ERA in 32 appearances (27 of which were starts). The journeyman is owed just $2.3 million next year with three $5 million options in the following three campaigns. If LeBlanc can replicate his 2018 form, he is a bargain back end starter for any Major League team.
A lot depends on Seattle’s asking prices, as it does on who is available.
The Mariners are in a difficult position in the American League West with Oakland looking strong and Houston set for the next couple of years. This decision makes sense from their perspective, and it could have a huge impact on this offseason. With so many teams treating the luxury tax like a salary cap, the opportunity to trade will attract plenty of front offices.