Category Archives: Seattle Mariners

Mariners trade Cishek to the Rays

The Seattle Mariners exchanged relief pitchers with the Tampa Bay Rays as the Mariners sent Steve Cishek to the Rays for Erasmo Ramirez.

 

Mariners analysis/grade:

The Seattle Mariners really didn’t have much of a need for Steve Cishek anymore after the team recently acquired setup man David Phelps from the Marlins. Cishek is still a very good relief pitcher, but the Mariners didn’t have a big role for him this season. Meanwhile, Erasmo Ramirez provides the Mariners with some more versatility since he can be used as a starting pitcher or he can be used as a middle relief pitcher. The Mariners will probably use Ramirez as a starting pitcher to begin, but if that doesn’t work out then they could just move him to the bullpen. Ramirez hasn’t been very good this season as he has a 4.80 ERA, but maybe he will pitch better for the Mariners. Ramirez fits in well with Seattle, although I’m just not sure if he makes Seattle any better. In fact, they might be worse off as a result of this trade since Cishek was a very productive player for the Mariners and Ramirez has had a bad season in 2017. I see why the Mariners made this trade, but this trade probably won’t make them any better.

Grade: C-

 

Rays analysis/grade:

This trade makes a lot of sense for the Rays since they had a big need for late-inning bullpen help and Cishek is certainly a very good option in the 7th or 8th inning. Cishek has been a closer for most of his career and he did a very good job of it as he has 121 career saves and an impressive 2.81 career ERA. Cishek has been good for the Mariners this season as well since he had a 3.15 ERA for Seattle in 23 appearances. The Rays also didn’t give up much in return for Cishek as they dealt Erasmo Ramirez who had struggled with a 4.80 ERA for the team anyway. Tampa Bay didn’t have a role for Ramirez anyway since they have tons of starting pitching depth and their bullpen is really deep right now as well with the addition of Cishek. The only downside of this trade for the Rays is that they are only getting Cishek as a rental player since he is going to be a free agent after this season. However, this is a trade that makes the Rays bullpen stronger at least for the rest of this season.

Grade: B

steve cishek

 

 

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Cardinals trade Marco Gonzales to the Mariners

The Seattle Mariners once again are looking to upgrade their pitching depth as they traded outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for starting pitcher Marco Gonzales.

 

Mariners analysis/grade:

This trade doesn’t make much sense at all for the Mariners because they are giving up their 2nd ranked prospect Tyler O’Neill who has been outstanding in Triple-A. However, in return they are only getting the Cardinals 18th ranked prospect Marco Gonzales who is coming off of Tommy John surgery last year. Gonzales is a left-handed pitcher prospect who was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 draft by the Cardinals and he certainly has some upside. However, Gonzales hasn’t been very good at the MLB level when he’s been called up as he only has a 4.82 career ERA in 12 games. Gonzales is pitching depth for the Mariners if anything and he might never develop into a decent MLB pitcher. Gonzales will likely start in Triple-A until the Mariners feel that he is ready, but giving up O’Neill for him is just stupid. O’Neill has a much bigger upside than Gonzales and O’Neill has the potential to be a very good starter unlike Gonzales who is just likely starting rotation depth at best for the Mariners. I’m not quite sure why the Mariners would make this trade since O’Neill has much bigger potential than Gonzales and Seattle should have gotten at least another decent prospect in return.

Grade: D

 

Cardinals analysis/grade:

The Cardinals continue to add to their young outfield depth as they acquired Tyler O’Neill who was the 2nd-ranked prospect in the Mariners minor league system. St. Louis did have to give up promising pitching prospect Marco Gonzales, but Gonzales doesn’t have nearly as much upside as O’Neill anyway. Gonzales was a 2013 1st round pick by St. Louis and he still has some upside, but he struggled at the MLB level while with the Cardinals and injuries have really held him back. The Cardinals are really good at developing starting pitchers, yet for some reason they just weren’t able to develop Gonzales effectively. Meanwhile, Tyler O’Neill might now be the best outfield prospect in the Cardinals organization which is already stacked with young outfielders. O’Neill is known as a very good hitter and he is certainly proving that season as he has hit 19 home runs in Triple-A this season. O’Neill probably won’t hit for a high average, but he has great power and he can drive in tons of runs. O’Neill also has decent speed as he has 9 stolen bases this season, but he needs to become a better defensive player. O’Neill projects as a corner outfielder at the MLB because of his lack of defense, but he should be a starter as long as he can continue to hit like he has in the minor leagues. O’Neill could make his MLB debut very soon and that is when we will see if his power numbers will remain. Overall, this is a steal for the Cardinals because they are getting a young prospect with big upside for a pitcher that wasn’t going to have a big role with the team anyway.

Grade: B+

marco gonzales

David Phelps traded to the Mariners

The Miami Marlins traded relief pitcher David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for minor league prospects Brayan Hernandez, Brandon Miller, Pablo Lopez, and Lukas Schiraldi.

 

Mariners analysis/grade:

The Seattle Mariners have been looking to improve their bullpen as they look to make the playoffs this season for the first time since 2001. That is why the Mariners decided to trade for Marlins relief pitcher David Phelps on Thursday. Phelps was a starting pitcher and relief pitcher for the first 4 seasons of his career, but he struggled as a starter and he became a full-time relief pitcher in 2016. Phelps had an outstanding first season as a full-time relief pitcher that season as he had a 2.28 ERA. However, Phelps hasn’t been nearly as good this season for the Marlins as he has a 3.45 ERA. This acquisition does help the Mariners bullpen for the rest of this season and next season as well as he is under contract through 2018. Phelps is a good middle relief pitcher, but I’m just not sure that he will make much of an impact for the Mariners. Also, they certainly need other missing pieces like a catcher and some better relief pitchers in order to better compete for a playoff spot. Phelps shouldn’t be used as a late-inning option, but he is a good pitcher to use in the 6th or 7th inning. The problem with this trade for Seattle is that they gave up 4 young prospects in this deal which is too much to give up for a middle relief pitcher especially one that hasn’t been very consistent. Seattle even gave up their 6th, 16th, and 22nd ranked prospects in this deal which is way too much. Nobody knows if those prospects will ever be good MLB players, but it is still too much potential to give up for a relief pitcher that likely won’t make much of a difference. This trade might help the Mariners bullpen slightly this season and in 2018, but the risk of this trade just isn’t worth the reward for Seattle.

Grade: C-

 

Marlins analysis/grade:

This is an outstanding trade for the Marlins as they are receiving 4 young prospects for a decent relief pitcher that was inconsistent during his time with the team. The biggest prize that the Marlins received in this trade is 19-year old outfielder Brayan Hernandez who was the 6th best prospect in the Mariners minor league system according to MLB.com. Hernandez has been inconsistent so far in his minor league career as he hit .281 in rookie ball in 2016. However, he hasn’t has much success in 28 games at Class A this season as he is only hitting .252 with 2 home runs. Hernandez will probably never be a decent power hitter, but the hope is that he can improve his average and be more of a line-drive hitter. Hernandez has good speed as he has 35 career stolen bases, but that won’t mean much unless he can continue to improve his offensive abilities. I’m not sure he’ll ever be a starter at the MLB level and he needs much more time to develop, but he has the potential to be a decent bench player one day. The Marlins also received right-handed starting pitcher prospect Brandon Miller who was the 16th best prospect in the Mariners farm system. Miller has been good in his 2 minor league seasons as he is 13-6 with a 3.32 ERA and he has the potential to make it to the majors in a few seasons if he can stay consistent. Miller has the potential to compete for the final spot in an MLB starting rotation at some point, but if that doesn’t work out then he could be a good long relief or middle relief pitcher. Miami also received right-handed starting pitcher Pablo Lopez who was the 22nd ranked prospect in the Mariners farm system. Lopez was outstanding in his first 3 minor league seasons as he had an ERA of 2.57, 3.13, and 2.13 in those seasons. However, Lopez has not been good in Class A advanced this season as he is 5-8 with a 5.04 ERA. Lopez is striking out a lot of batters this year, but he is also allowing tons of hits which explains his mediocre ERA. This season might just be a bump in the road for Lopez, but he will likely get back on track soon because he is still a good pitching prospect. Finally, the Marlins acquired 23-year old right-handed starting pitcher Lukas Schiraldi who was a 15th round pick by Seattle in 2014. Schiraldi isn’t a ranked prospect and he doesn’t have much potential. However, if he can turn around his minor league career then maybe he could be a decent depth relief pitcher for the Mariners. Schiraldi is 13-23 with a 4.65 ERA in his minor league career, so the Marlins are just hoping that somehow something will click and he will become a decent pitcher one day. He doesn’t have much of a chance of making it to the MLB, but possibly a change of organizations will help Schiraldi improve. Either way, this trade is a very big return for the Marlins as they now have 3 decent young prospects to work with for an average middle relief pitcher that was inconsistent at times.

Grade: A

david phelps

Biggest need remaining for every AL West team

Houston Astros РBiggest need: 1st baseman

The Houston Astros don’t have a big need, but if there is one position that appears to be a little bit of a concern then it would be 1st base. Yulieski Gurriel will be the team’s starting 1st baseman in 2017, but he has limited MLB experience which makes me wonder how he will fare with the everyday job at 1st base next season. Gurriel hit .262 with 3 home runs for Houston last season, but the Astros should add at least some depth to the 1st base position. It might not work out with Gurriel as the everyday 1st baseman and the Astros should find another 1st baseman that can fill in if Gurriel doesn’t do well. There are many options left in free agency and they would be smart to add some depth to 1st base.

Los Angeles Angels – Biggest need: Catcher

The Los Angeles Angels didn’t get much production out of the catcher position with Geovany Soto and Jett Bandy. Now, both Bandy and Soto have departed this offseason which means there will be a new starting catcher for the Angels in 2017. Carlos Perez will see more playing time as a backup catcher next season. However, Martin Maldonado was acquired from the Brewers this offseason in order to be the new starting catcher. Maldonado has some power as he hit 8 home runs last season, but he needs to be a more consistent hitter as he only had a .202 average. It’s tough to find solid catchers these days, but the Angels could really use one because the combination of Maldonado and Perez doesn’t look too promising.

Oakland Athletics – Biggest need: Centerfielder

Oakland has some big needs to fill before next season, but the biggest need that they have is in center field. Jake Smolinski is projected to be the starting centerfielder for the Athletics in 2017, but he has never been very good even as a backup outfielder. Smolinski can hit some home runs as he hit 7 last season, but a .242 average is a little concerning. I don’t see Oakland going out and signing a quality centerfielder. However, there are still a few out there if they choose to go that route and it would probably improve their lineup.

Seattle Mariners – Biggest need: Left Fielder

The Mariners outfield isn’t looking too good for next season as they have three starting outfielders that aren’t very solid players. However, left field appears to be a major weakness for Seattle heading into next season. Ben Gamel is projected to be the starter in left field for the Mariners in 2017, but the issue is his lack of experience. Gamel only has 48 career at-bats and he only has a .188 average to show for it. There are still some quality left fielders in free agency and the Mariners should sign one to compete with Gamel for the starting job.

Texas Rangers – Biggest need: 1st baseman

Texas lost starting 1st baseman Mitch Moreland in free agency and it has created a major vacancy at the position heading into next season. Right now Ryan Rua would be the starting 1st baseman for Texas and he has only played 44 games at the position in his career. Don’t be shocked if the Rangers make a move to sign a quality 1st baseman and it has been rumored that they will reach a deal with Mike Napoli. Either way, the Rangers should add an everyday 1st baseman soon, although their options are starting to run out.

Giants trade Heston to the Mariners

The San Francisco Giants traded right-handed starting pitcher Chris Heston to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named later.

Giants evaluation:

It wasn’t too long ago that Chris Heston was 12-11 with a 3.95 ERA during his first full season with the Giants in 2015. That was also the year that Heston threw a no-hitter against the Mets. However, San Francisco’s starting rotation already has 5 proven pitchers in their starting rotation, so Heston wouldn’t have been able to compete for a spot. Heston could still have provided some useful depth for the Giants rotation. He would have been a good fill-in if one of those 5 pitchers¬†in the Giants rotation were to get injured. I don’t have much of a problem with the Giants trading him since they don’t have much of a use for him. However, the Giants are only getting a player to be named later from the Mariners, so they probably should have just kept him in Triple-A for rotational depth. I just don’t see the incentive as to why the Giants would trade Heston away for basically nothing. For that price, it was just more worth it for the Giants to keep Heston rather than trading him.

Grade: C-

Mariners evaluation:

This trade makes sense for the Mariners because they are getting a starting pitcher that can compete for a spot in the rotation and the best part is that Seattle gave up basically nothing to get him. Heston has proven that he can be a quality player as he had a 3.95 ERA with the Giants in 2015. Even if he doesn’t win a spot in the Mariners starting rotation then he could spend some time in Triple-A and wait until an injury happens for the Mariners. Also, he could even spend some time in Seattle’s bullpen as a long relief pitcher if needed. Heston just provides some much needed pitching depth for the Mariners and even if he doesn’t provide much for Seattle this still is a low risk trade. Either way, this is a tremendous trade for the Mariners since they are giving up a low-level player for Heston.

Grade: B+

chris-heston

Mariners trade Alex Jackson to the Braves

The Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Braves pulled off a very rare prospect-for-prospect trade as the Mariners sent outfielder Alex Jackson and a player to be named later for right-handed pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse.

Mariners evaluation:

Sure, Alex Jackson has struggled in the early levels of the minor leagues, but it seems a little early to give up on a player as talented as Jackson is. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft, yet he’s only reached Class A of the Mariners system. I’m not sure that Seattle got enough in this deal to make this trade worthwhile. Rob Whalen is an MLB-ready prospect as he had 5 starts at the MLB-level for the Braves last season. However, he had an awful 6.57 ERA in those starts. Whalen doesn’t have a high ceiling of potential, but if he can improve in Triple-A then he could possibly be a depth piece for the Mariners starting rotation. Meanwhile, 23-year old Max Povse could be the best player that Seattle gets in this deal. He had some troubles early on in Class A, but recently he’s been a very good pitcher as he had a respectable 3.36 ERA last season in Class A and Double-A. Povse is still a little bit away from the MLB level, but eventually he could add some solid depth to the Mariners starting rotation. Overall, it seems really early to give up on a very talented prospect like Alex Jackson. The return for Jackson also wasn’t very good as they are getting 2 lower-tier pitching prospects that just add depth at best.

Grade: C-

Braves evaluation:

I really like this trade for the Braves because they are getting a very talented prospect that they can hopefully develop into a quality MLB player. Also, the Braves are only giving away lower-level pitching depth that they probably would have never really used anyway. Alex Jackson was a high 1st round draft just a couple of years ago, so it is clear how talented he is. However, he hit only .207 with 8 home runs in 2015 in Class A and he only improved those stats to a .243 average with 11 home runs in 2016. Atlanta is hoping that his hitting abilities will improve, but it will take more time than expected in order to develop him. The good news is that Jackson will only be 21 years old at the start of next season and the Braves have the patience right now to develop him into an MLB-ready player within a few years. Losing Rob Whalen and Max Povse shouldn’t be a big loss at all since those guys are buried behind tons of quality starting pitching depth in the Braves farm system. This is a tremendous trade for the Braves since the risk of this trade is really low and they could eventually get the reward of a very good major league player.

Grade: A

alex-jackson

Arizona sends Segura to the Mariners

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners pulled off a blockbuster trade last week as the Diamondbacks sent SS Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger, and LHP Zac Curtis for RHP Taijuan Walker and INF Ketel Marte.

Diamondbacks evaluation:

Jean Segura had an outstanding season for the Diamondbacks in 2016 as he hit .319 with 20 home runs. It is uncommon for a team to trade a player that is coming off of a great season, but in this case it makes sense for the Diamondbacks. Segura had two bad seasons before coming to the Diamondbacks offseason, so in all likelihood he is due to have a regression in production next season. Trading away Mitch Haniger might not have been a good move for Arizona since Haniger is young and he has a decent amount of potential. However, Haniger probably would have struggled to find a role in the Diamondbacks crowded outfield. Zac Curtis was terrible at the major league level last season and in the upper levels of the minor leagues, so Arizona really had no use or patience for him anymore. Meanwhile, the return for the Diamondbacks is certainly interesting. Taijuan Walker is a dynamic talent who was a top MLB prospect not too long ago. However, he has struggled with consistency at the major league level as he is 22-22 with a 4.18 ERA in his career. There is doubt that Walker has tons of potential, but in order to become a front-of-the rotation starter like he was expected to be a few years ago then he’ll have to learn to have better command of his pitches. Walker has a really strong arm and he’s only 24 years old, so there is still room for improvement if he can be developed correctly in Arizona. It’s hard for the Diamondbacks pitching staff to get much worse, so at least Walker can be a valuable part of what looks like it could be a really good starting rotation. Also, the addition of Ketel Marte could prove to be beneficial for the Diamondbacks. Marte had a really disappointing first full season in the MLB as he played very poor defense. Also, he only hit .259 with 1 home run and 33 RBI’s in 119 games played for Seattle in 2016. Marte still has a lot of work to do, but he is only 23 years old so his potential is still sky-high. Marte will be the starting shortstop for the Diamondbacks hopefully long-term and that will likely move Chris Owings over to 2nd base after the departure of Jean Segura. This trade has tons of star potential for Arizona, so this trade is probably good for Arizona. However, we’ll see how losing a star player like Jean Segura will impact the team.

Grade: B-

Mariners evaluation:

This trade could turn out really well for the Mariners because of the potential that they are getting in this deal with Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. I don’t expect Segura to have the same type of year that he did in 2016, but he is a big upgrade over Ketel Marte as the Mariners starting shortstop in 2017. Marte is only 23 years old, but he proved last year that he isn’t ready to be a starting shortstop in the MLB especially for a Mariners team that will compete for a playoff spot next season. Segura probably won’t even come close to hitting 20 home runs now that he is out of hitter-friendly Arizona and heading to pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. However, Segura is an instant upgrade at shortstop for the Mariners and he’ll be a key piece for the Mariners playoff push in 2017. Mitch Haniger could also make an impact for the Mariners in 2017. Haniger might not start right away for Seattle, but he at least provide some more depth in the Mariners outfield to start the season. Haniger only hit .229 with 5 home runs in 109 at-bats for Arizona last season, but at 25 years old he still has some potential to be a long-term starter in Seattle’s outfield. Finally, Zac Curtis is basically an extra addition to this trade for Seattle as the Diamondbacks didn’t have a use for him anymore. Curtis had a terrible 6.75 ERA in 21 games for Arizona, yet he could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in the short-term. Curtis could compete for a roster spot on opening day with Seattle, but in all likelihood he’ll be sent to Triple-A to see if he can improve. The Mariners decision to trade away 24-year old starting pitcher Taijuan Walker could hurt them in the future, but they just lost patience with him since he hasn’t been consistent at the MLB level. It will be hard to replace the talent of Walker in their starting rotation, yet the Mariners have enough quality starting pitching that they can afford to lose him. I really like this trade for the Mariners since they are getting a proven MLB player with Jean Segura and MLB-ready prospect Mitch Haniger. However, we’ll see if the departures of talented young players Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte will negatively impact the Mariners long-term.

Grade: B+

jean-segura