Posted on November 27, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
Last winter, it was the Miami Marlins who were trading off all of their stars and starting from scratch. While selling and rebuilding has become trendy in baseball, the Marlins took it to another level. The Seattle Mariners are now following the example of the Marlins. Seattle has already made two significant trades this winter, and according to recent rumors, they aren’t even close to finished.
Ever since Jerry Dipoto took over as GM, the Mariners have made more trades than any other team in baseball. He’s become the master of the trade, almost always in an effort to make Seattle better. However, Dipoto appears to be making trades for a different purpose this offseason. Dipoto has already traded catcher Mike Zunino to the Rays and shipped James Paxton to the Yankees.
In Dipoto’s defense, the Mariners acquired a lot of young talent in those deals. In fact, some of the players acquired should help the Mariners win in 2019. Meanwhile, others will help replenish Seattle’s farm system. However, there are rumblings of the Mariners being interested in trading several more players.
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Robinson Cano is by far the biggest name that has been mentioned in the rumor mill. The latest rumors indicate that Dipoto is “actively” trying to trade Cano. Doing so, of course, will be difficult. Cano is 35 and still has five years and $120 million left on his contract. He was also suspended for a positive PED test last season.
Trading Cano will likely force the Mariners to eat a lot of his contract. They may also need to absorb another team’s bad contract. However, both the Yankees and Mets have been mentioned as teams interested in Cano. Coincidentally, those may be two of the only teams that could get Cano to waive his no-trade clause. While a trade involving Cano would be complicated, it’s not impossible, especially with the way Dipoto wheels and deals.
Shortstop Jean Segura has also been mentioned in trade rumors. He’s been up and down his entire career, but he’s only 28 and should be in his prime years. A few teams have already been named as potential destinations for Segura, including his former teams, the Diamondbacks and Brewers. If the Mariners are serious about making moves, it would make sense that Segura would be traded.
Seattle also has several pitchers who could be on the trade block. Starter Mike Leake is a likely candidate, depending on how the free agent market for starters develops. Reliever Alex Colome would also be a viable trade chip for the Mariners if they want to cut payroll.
Of course, teams are likely to ask about closer Edwin Diaz and slugger Mitch Haniger. The Mariners would prefer to hang onto them, as both are under team control for several more years. However, Seattle may be forced to include them in a trade that allows them to dump Cano’s contract.
Ultimately, there are a lot of trades the Mariners could potentially make. There is also a lot of offseason left for them to make moves. However, Dipoto has been quick to sell off to key members of the team in Zunino and Paxton. It stands to reason that he has a few more tricks up his sleeve this winter. In fact, it’s possible the Mariners are just getting started on the trade front.