Detroit Tigers: Exploring a trade with the Mariners
By Andy Patton
The biggest storyline for the Seattle Mariners right now is Robinson Cano’s 80-game suspension. While the Tigers don’t have a second baseman to trade, there are still plenty of ways these two teams could make a deal. Here are the players the Mariners might be interested in:
Starting Pitching: Mike Fiers and Francisco Liriano
Outside of James Paxton, the Mariners have not had much success from their starting pitchers. Mike Leake has a 5.72 ERA. Marco Gonzales is at 5.31. The formerly great King Felix Hernandez is at 5.66. The Mariners could desperately use a steady presence in their starting rotation if they want to make the play-offs.
Either of Fiers of Liriano could easily fill that role for Seattle. While they don’t have nearly the prospect capital to go after Fulmer, they could certainly part with a mid-level prospect and maybe a lower level guy to acquire one of Fiers or Liriano to provide stability to their rotation.
Relievers: Shane Greene and Alex Wilson
Edwin Diaz is one of the best closers in all of baseball. James Pazos and Chasen Bradford have looked solid in the middle innings as well. However, the Mariners could definitely use some reinforcements in the bullpen. Juan Nicasio was brought in to be their eighth inning guy, but his 6.16 ERA has really hurt. Likewise Nick Vincent has underperformed and Marc Rzepczynski, nicknamed scrabble, has been atrocious.
Alex Wilson has not looked great this year (and is currently hurt) so he’s likely not on the table. Greene however could be a great fit in Seattle. While he would cost the Mariners one of their better prospects it would be worth it to acquire a lock-down bridge to Diaz in the ninth inning.
Another option that hasn’t been talked much about is Blaine Hardy, whom the Mariners could make a pitch for. He would cost them very little, but they have had horrible performances from their left-handers and could really use a veteran lefty in their pen.
Hitters: Jose Iglesias and Leonys Martin
I don’t see any reason why the Mariners would make a push for James McCann with Zunino behind the plate. And they’re even less likely to trade for Martinez since they have their own old (but significantly better) DH in Nelson Cruz.
Martin and Iglesias are each a bit more likely, although the hinge is what they decide to do at 2B without Cano. Initially it looks like they will use journeyman Gordon Beckham at second base. He’s a career .239 hitter however, so there’s a good chance that doesn’t last. Taylor Motter and former Tiger Andrew Romine are both on hand as well, although they are better suited for utility roles and not full-time starting positions.
Their last, and likely best option, is to move Dee Gordon back to second base. Gordon has been playing center field for the Mariners ever since they traded for him this offseason. Gordon would need some adjustment, but should be able to regain his footing as an infielder in short order. That, however, would leave a hole in center field for the M’s.
The Mariners have already gone down the Leonys Martin path, so they may be hesitant to pick him up again. Especially after he slashed an ugly .234/.291/.362 with a 78 OPS+ in a Mariners uniform. Still, if they do move Gordon to 2B he’d be a nice piece for them to add to their outfield.
If they choose to keep Gordon in CF, Iglesias could be an infield option as well. Jean Segura is a natural SS, so the fit isn’t quite as obvious here. With Iggy’s lackluster performance and big contract, this seems like one of the least likely options for the Mariners to explore.