News that the Seattle Mariners were pursuing Adam Frazier before the All-Star landed with the San Diego Padres provides a glimmer of hope to Mariners fans. Their team appears willing to add difference makers prior to Friday’s MLB trade deadline. Still, a key detail from the Frazier trade reveals a challenge facing Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto this week.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports the Mariners were willing to absorb all of Frazier’s salary for this season to acquire him from the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, Pittsburgh preferred sending enough money to the Padres to cover most or all of the veteran’s 2021 salary.
Mariners also made offer for Adam Frazier and did not ask Pirates to put cash in deal, sources tell @TheAthletic. Pirates sent $1.4M to Padres in part because they value Marcano highly. If he evolves into Frazier type, Pirates get six years of him for 1-plus of Frazier.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2021
Why would the low-revenue Pirates be willing to help with Frazier’s pay? By doing so, Pittsburgh was able to receive better prospect value from the Padres than what Seattle was willing to deal. Essentially, the Mariners were attempting to avoid a higher prospect price by offering to take on the Mississippi State alum’s salary. That brings us to the challenge facing Dipoto with the trade deadline looming.
How does Dipoto improve his current roster without jeopardizing his organization’s future?
It’s no secret the Mariners have one of the better farm systems in MLB. Therefore, dealing promising young minor leaguers is inevitable. But becoming a free spender with his team’s prospect equity could potentially sink everything Dipoto and his staff have accomplished since beginning to rebuild the organization after the 2018 campaign.
Granted, Frazier is having a great season. He would’ve immediately helped the Mariners at a position of need – second base. But how much of its future should a team trade away for a 29-year-old having career year, who’s under club control for just one more season? From Dipoto’s perspective, the Padres’ asking prices exceeded what he was willing to pay.
Considering Seattle’s tenuous position in the AL Wild Card standings and the fact the team is fully committed to its rebuild, the sixth-year GM probably made the right choice regarding Frazier. The front office taking a balanced approach during deadline season should please Mariners fans.
Still, achieving both goals – making the 2021 postseason and preserving the future – would be the preferred outcome for all involved. Wouldn’t you agree?
My Oh My…
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