Analysis: M’s trade for 1B

In acquiring first baseman Adam Lind from the Milwaukee Brewers, the Seattle Mariners improve their everyday lineup, and do so without committing long-term dollars or sacrificing any of the few near-ready prospects left in the organization. Right-handers Carlos Herrera, Daniel Missaki and Freddy Peralta head to Milwaukee in exchange for one season of Lind, who will earn $8 million in 2016.

Lind has had a nice run the last three seasons, going back to his days in Toronto. He’s compiled a career .332 on-base percentage while batting .274, but the last three seasons have resulted in .288/.357/.497, .321/.381/.479 and .277/.360/.460.

He’s struggled versus left-handed pitching (.221/.277/.298 in 2015), so perhaps there’s a move to be made that produces occasional bench time for Lind in favor of a right-handed bat, but looking for a platoon isn’t sensible unless that player offers legitimate assistance at another position on the field, such as behind the plate or the outfield.

Lind, 32, appears to have plenty left in the tank and he should be able to post American League average numbers for first baseman — .253/.329/.443 — if not better.

To get Lind, the three young arms heading back to the Brewers are longer-term talents. Peralta and Herrera have more upside and Missaki has battled some injuries in his career. Peralta can touch 95 and his slider projects as above-average.

Herrera spent last season in the Dominican Summer League at age 17, throwing a lot of strikes with a fastball that’s touched 90 mph and a slider that’s shown late break and some tilt. He’s projectable at 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds and is a years away from the majors if he ever gets there, but there’s upside in this type of arm that teams should insist upon in trades more often.

Missaki is 6-feet and 175 pounds, but attacks the strike zone with fringe-average stuff, including a fastball in the 87-89 mph range. He may be best suited for the bullpen considering his stature and with the right tweaks to his delivery in a relief role the velocity could tick up some. He’s issued just 26 walks in his 106 career innings as a pro and only four fly balls have left the yard against him. He’ll be 20 in April and likely to start 2016 in Class-A Wisconsin.

Like with the deal for Joaquin Benoit, the Mariners surrender not one piece of talent that hurts there chances in the near future, and certainly not now, including in the aspect of making even more trades this offseason. They’ve moved four arms under the age of 21 in two-plus months, but it’s their strength and they still have the best of those, including Dylan Thompson, Nick Neidert, Nick Wells, Jacob Brentz and Luiz Gohara.

Lind’s not a good defensive first baseman, but he should be about as good as Logan Morrison, likely better than Mark Trumbo would have been and is much more likely to produce acceptable first-base numbers at the plate. PI’s Luke Arkins demonstrates here how seldom Seattle has had a first baseman that projects to produce what Lind is expected to in 2016.

For all the talk by some, mostly in Milwaukee, that Lind would certainly mean Alex Jackson or D.J. Peterson was headed to the National Central, well, I guess sometimes others know the markets better, eh fellas?

The Mariners’ current projected lineup is actually pretty exciting. I toss out a possible lineup and bench right here. The one thing you’ll notice is the lefty-heavy 1-9. Whether that’s still to be remedied remains to be seen, but versus a left-handed starting pitcher, Franklin Gutierrez replaces Seth Smith and likely moves up a spot in the order to provide more balance, but there’s nothing wrong with having a lefty-leaning roster at Safeco Field, especially one that plays defense.

It’s December 9 and GM Jerry Dipoto has completely remade the Mariners’ roster. Post-Lind deal, the club now has $112.357 million committed to 12 players and a projected $119.357 million committed to 15 players including the three arbitration eligibles on the roster.

Here is the roster and payroll breakdown, including by unit.

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Jason A. Churchill

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