By: Joey Segur
It may be a tad bit early to discuss trades before the August 1st deadline but after talking with some people about some potential moves, I wonder if the Mariners should in fact do anything. Jerry Dipoto has put together a team that us Mariners fans haven’t seen in a long long time. So far the Mariners have been on top of the AL West for most of the early season, so what players could the Mariners trade for and improve their roster while continuing to stay on top of the AL west?
A player that seems to be targeted a lot by fans is Atlanta’s first basemen, Freddie Freeman. Freeman has been doing fair this season, with 177 plate appearances, batting .260 with 8 homeruns, 15 RBI’s and 30 of his 46 hits being singles. Obviously his numbers would be a higher if he was on a better offensive team but the average is mostly on him. Now let’s take a look at Freeman’s contract. In 2017, Freeman will be making $20.5 million, in 2018 and 2019 he will be worth $21 million, and 2020 and 2021 he is worth $22 million. So if the Mariners were to trade for Freeman and keep him for his entire contract, the Mariners would have to spend a total of $106.5 million over 5 seasons and that doesn’t include signing bonuses. Obviously Freeman is a every day starter so trading for Freeman would mean the Mariners would have to get rid of one or both of their first basemen. With that being said let’s compare Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee to Freddie Freeman. Lind has made 120 plate appearances batting a .242 with 5 homeruns, 18 RBI’s and 20 of his 29 hits being singles. Dae-Ho Lee has 68 plate appearances with a .250 average, 6 homeruns, 13 RBI’s and 11 of his 17 hits being singles. Lind and Lee will both become free agents in 2017 but Lind is owed $8 million this year while Lee is owed $4 million.
IS FREEMAN WORTH IT?:
Overall I don’t think Freeman would be worth all that money nor be a good fit for the Mariners at first base. You might think that it takes two players to beat Freeman’s batting stats but you can sign Lind and Lee in a multi-year contract in 2017 and still save $6-$8 million every season while out producing Freeman.
Rich Hill is another player who has been talked about being traded to the Mariners. In the Mariners rotation there isn’t that many weak spots, but there is room for improvement. The way I see it, Iwakuma has the least value for the Mariners and I hate to say it, but I don’t see Iwakuma coming back next year. Rich Hill has started 10 games this season and holds a record of 7-3 with 65 strikeouts over 57.2 innings pitched. Hill has given up 21 walks, 14 runs and only 2 homeruns. To be a pitcher at Safeco and only have given up two homeruns this season would be a great fit for the Mariners. Iwakuma has been struggling this season posting a 4.33 ERA and a record of 3-4. Some of Iwakuma’s starts have been awesome through 4-5 innings, but once he gets late into games he seems to fall apart. The Mariners need a pitcher that can continue to produce quality innings late into games and Rich Hill might be that guy.
IS HILL WORTH IT?:
In my opinion Rich Hill is worth a trade, even though he is 36 years old I think the Mariners can sign him for a 2 year $16 million contract. Out of the 10 starts this season, 7 of those have been quality starts. Hill doesn’t give up many home runs and owns a normal if not above WHIP. With a offense like the Mariners, Hill could give up 3-4 runs and still walk away with a win. I think Rich Hill will prove to a be a great piece in the Mariners rotation if given the chance.
Every week or so leading up to the deadline I’ll name a player or two who might be worth a trade to Seattle. So who do you think is worth a trade to Seattle? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts and why?