Seattle Mariners: Make 6 Player Trade to Rays Including Brad Miller

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Brad Miller

The new Seattle Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto, made his first big splash yesterday, making a 6 player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.  The deal shows a stark change in philosophy from the old regime, so let’s take a look at it and what it means.

Who We Gained

C.J. Riefenhauser

The Mariners got a total of 3 players on the deal.  First is reliever C.J. Riefenhauser.  Riefenhauser is a 25 year old relief pitcher who bounced between AAA and the big league club last year.  He made a total of 17 appearances and had an ERA of 5.52, but notably did not give up any runs in his last 8 MLB appearances last year.  He will be organizational depth in the bullpen mostly.

Boog Powell

The second player acquired is 22 year old outfield prospect Boog Powell.  Powell started last year in AA and moved up to AAA mid-season after a good performance.  He is fairly athletic and is good defensively, but importantly he has carried an over 10% walk rate at all levels of professional baseball.  This has led to a .385 OBP and 18 stolen bases last year.  While he does not have much power, he does show potential as a defensive CF/leadoff type hitter down the line.

Kate Karns

Finally, for the big piece of the deal the Mariners acquired SP Nate Karns.  At 27 years old, Karns was a late blooming rookie last year, but he posted solid numbers including a 3.43 ERA (albeit with a 4.09 FIP) and almost a strikeout per inning.  He will be looking to slot in to the 4 or 5 slot in the rotation and will add some much needed depth in that area.  He is also under club control for another 5 years, which means he is a badly needed cheap salary player to fill a role on the squad.

Who we Lost

Danny Farquhar

So obviously to get all that we had to give some things up.  The first piece is reliever Danny Farquhar.  After a strong 2013 and solid 2014, he fell off a cliff last year and ended up being sent down to AAA Tacoma.  While there is every reason to think he may make a comeback, his loss was not too tremendous.

Logan Morrison

Next on the list is 1B Logan Morrison.  Logan was always a try hard player as a Mariner, but he was always way too inconsistent in his time here.  1B will definitely be an area of focus this offseason, and with Morrison heading into his last arbitration season, it was time to part ways.  Maybe the Rays can find more value in him than we were able to.

Brad Miller

Last on the list is the most painful; Brad Miller was the main piece of this trade.  It sucks to see Miller go, as he has been one of the few bright spots in the Mariners recent string of horrible prospect development.  Miller has developed into a SS with a league average bat, and clearly has the ceiling to develop into more.

The problem is he is not a great defensive shortstop, and with the emergence of Ketel Marte and still having Chris Taylor on the roster, he was not going to be a shortstop here in Seattle.  This meant either continuing to try to shoehorn him into a corner outfield position or trade him for some value.  DiPoto clearly took the latter option.

SSU’s Take

Obviously, this is not a trade that will make or break the Mariners.  While the loss of Brad Miller screams Ben Zobrist type potential down the line, I think overall they got rid of some pieces that did not fit or were just not good and replaced them with pieces they need.  You can never have too much starting pitching depth and that is the main thing the M’s added here.

Another glaring weakness of the organization was a lack of minor league depth in the outfield, which Boog Powell represents.  Overall, this appears to be a good first step to a very different view on roster construction, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out over the rest of the offseason.

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One comment

  1. I feel like this is the beginning. I bet even more Jackie Z prospects like Paxton and Hultzen are on the trade list.

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