Monday, December 3, 2018

Hot Stove Update: Mariners Fire Sale Blazes On

Wow!  If there was any doubt the Mariners are in full teardown/firesale mode, it got erased today as Trader Jerry struck again.  This time he sent SS Jean Segura, RHP Juan Nicasio and LHP James Pazos to the Phillies for SS JP Crawford and 1B/3B/OF Carlos Santana.

Jean Segura:  Segura is a good player who has put up fWAR's  of 3.0 and 3.8 his last 2 seasons.  He has completed just 1 year of a 5 year/$70 M contract for an AAV of $14 M.  Fangraphs values his production for the past 2 seasons at $23.6 M and $30.1 M.  Given that he turns 29 years old in March, there is a strong probability that he brings back a strongly positive return on investment over the next 4 years of the contract.  Segura is rumored to be not the most popular player in any clubhouse and he might have been even more disgruntled if he had to go through a reload, let alone a rebuild, so maybe that factored into the decision to trade him.

Juan Nicasio:  Nicasio pitched in terrible luck last year with a ERA of 6.00 but a K/9 of 11.36 and a BB/9 of 1.07.  His FIP and xFIP were 2.99 and 3.16 respectively.  He is 32 yo and enters the second year of a 2 year/$17 M contract with a great chance to bouncback in 2019.

James Pazos:  I had never heard of Pazos before today but he pitched well for the Mariners last year racking up 50 IP out of the bullpen with a 2.88 ERA.  I believe he is pre-arbitration eligible.

JP Crawford:  Crawford is a former first round draft pick from 2013 who has worked his way up the Philly organization despite never really hitting well in the minors.  He is reputed to be a good defensive SS but his UZR stats don't really bear that out.  Last year he battled injuries and compiled an fWAR of 0.3 in 138 PA while batting just .214.  Maybe he's a late bloomer but at this point you have to seriously doubt that he will ever live up to his early promise.

Carlos Santana:  The Phillies signed Santana to a 3 yr/$60 M contract prior to last year which was probably a bit rich for a player who fits better in a DH league.  He hit just .229 last year but hit 24 dingers and maintained strong peripherals.  He's never had strong BABIP's but the .231 he had last year should be good for a positive regression.  Still, it is unlikely that he will bring back positive value on the remaining 2 years of his contract.

Analysis:  This is a terrible trade for the Mariners even if you factor in the firesale aspects of this.  They trade a player who is locked into a favorable contract for 4 more years for a player who is close to being a first round draft pick bust, and they don't even get that much payroll relief!  The only justification for this trade I can see is if the Mariners were desperate to get Segura out of their clubhouse at almost any cost.


  1. ....and Matt Moore signs a 1 yr/$2.5 M contract with the Tigers. Again, wow! Matt Moore has been absolutely terrible for 2 consecutive seasons now. Tigers crib is much more pitcher friendly than the Rangers but yeah, if Matt Moore is worth $2.5 M, what must Derek Holland be worth in this market?

  2. Will Trader Jerry free Bay Area native Mitch Haniger?

    McCoveyChron outlines a prospective 2019 25-man roster and invites readers to project their own. Fun exercise.

    The Point: although any basis for success depends upon a remarkable rebound of the graybeard 5-man infield, credible relief pitching holding up, a workable rotation cobbled together (how much will Holland cost?), and then addressing this:

    LF - Mac Williamson ($555,000)
    CF - Steven Duggar ($555,000)
    RF - Austin Slater ($555,000)

    OF - Chris Shaw ($555,000)

    Another article demonstrates that Slater is probably the definition of "the replacement player" – the quintessential 0.0 WAR player. Not exactly what you want for the starting RFer on a contender.

    Would Mitch Haniger look good in this OF? Do the Giants have prospects to shake him loose short of including Helios or Bart? But wouldn't that be so non Zaidi? Hope so.

    What about a 3-way trade with a team desperate for a starting LHP providing something Dipoto wants? Is Haniger worth sending Bum somewhere there are prospects for Seattle? Can Bum be replaced well enough to contend?

    How CAN the starting OF be made credible? Would even Harper be enough? Short of a reincarnation, is there a conceivable OF attainable by SF that would make them a contender?

    1. It's a fun, but likely fruitless exercise.

      Sure, Mitch Hanigar would be a perfect fit in the Giants OF, but at what cost? On the other hand, Trader Jerry seems to be a bit out of control. Maybe thinks he absolutely has to have Austin Slater and would give up Hanigar for him?

      I hope Zaidi does not gut what little he has in the farm system for more veterans that may or may not win now. I think he can upgrade without doing that.

      How about an OF of AJ Pollock, Michael Brantley and Steven Duggar with Mac and Austin Slater on the bench in 2019? Or sub in Cutch for Brantley?

    2. Slater and Shaw for Haniger? And Strickland. Oops, he's gone.

      Although MLBTR's prediction for Pollack was a good bit less, reports are he's looking for $80M/5 years, plus the Giants would lose the #50 (+/-) June draft pick and $500,000 from its international bonus pool.

      In the last 5 years, Pollock has played just 469 games, only 94 per year average, less than 60%.
      How 'bout $80M/5 (or less) with incentives: $10M/year (or less) for 5 years, +$2M for each 20 games played above 102 ($12M @ 103, $14M @ 123, $16M @ 143). Maybe a club option for the 5th year with a buyout.

      Pollock's plenty good when he's on the field but he would have earned the max only once in the last 5 years and twice an extra $2M.

      Signing Pollock is rolling the dice (again) and how well has that worked out lately?

      McCutchen obviously would help but LF, please, he was inadequate last year in AT&T's center-like RF. 3 years at $15M is MLBTR's prediction. IMHO, that's premium.

  3. I'd like to see Michael Brantley in LF and Domingo Santana in RF, Avisail Garcia and Mac Williamson as 4th and 5th (Duggar in CF goes without saying). Might take Panik + a pitcher to get Santana from Milwaukee?