The Seattle Mariners have a rather enormous offseason ahead of them. A lot of the club’s tasks include maximizing roster spots without sacrificing future assets, but unquestionably trades will be a part of what GM Jerry Dipoto does to build a team, even after the executive said he’d probably slow down the movement.
The club is thin in trade assets, but here are the Top 10, which includes three prospects.
10. Evan White, 1B
White has a ways to go but figures to move relatively smoothly through the minors once he shakes the leg injury that bit him this past summer.
9. Nick Neidert, RHP
Neidert doesn’t have the upside of fellow 2017 draftee Sam Carlson but he’s pushed his way to Double-A by age 20 and the probability attached to his profile makes him low-risk, even if the reward isn’t that of a frontline starter.
8. Mike Leake, RHP
The Mariners will pay Leake $33 million over the next three seasons, a bargain for a mid-rotation arm with a track record of 180-190 innings per season.
7. Ben Gamel, OF
Gamel, so far, is a one-year big leaguer with some risk and a little upside to stack on his 2017 campaign. But he’s under club control for five more seasons and won’t make any real money for at least three more years.
7. Kyle Seager, 3B
Seager’s value dropped this past season — mostly due to his salary jumping from $7.5 million in 2016 to an average of $18.67 million over the next four years. But he’s a steady performer and turns only 30 in November.
6. Jean Segura, SS
Segura is an average glove and above-average bat for the shortstop position and is now under contract through 2022, his age-32 season, with a club option for 2023. He’ll earn $70 million guaranteed with a chance at an addiitonal $16 million if the option is exercised. That’s five prime years of an above-average player.
3. Mike Zunino, C
Zunino just had a very good 2017 and has three arbitration years before qualifying for free agency. He finished No. 4 among catchers in MLB with a 3.6 fWAR and No. 3 among backstops with at least 400 plate appearances. Try finding that on the trade or free agent markets. The one drawback: it’s just one season of strong performance at the plate, suggesting a risk he’ll regress.
3. Kyle Lewis, OF
Lewis’ only knock is the knee injury that ended 2016 prematurely and abbreviated his 2017, spelling a loss in developmental time he sorely needs at the plate. He’s a great athlete with plus physical tools but still lacks the polish in the batter’s box he’ll need to max out as a hitter.
3. Mitch Haniger, OF
Despite the two stints on the DL, Haniger had a terrific 2017, and with five years of control remaining carries loads of value moving forward. He’ll be 27 in December but is coming off a 2.5 fWAR, 129 wRC+ season and figures to be a big part of the Mariners immediate future.
Zunino, Lewis and Haniger carry similar values due to their mix of upside, control and the supply-and-demand for their values. The eye of the beholder would win out here.
2. Edwin Diaz, RHP
Diaz’s raw ability has not translated with consiostency but rather in flashes. He’s under control for five more seasons with at least one more season before he gets a salary boost. It’s closer stuff for cheap. Who wouldn’t that?
1. James Paxton, LHP
One can make an argument Diaz is worth more due to control years, but three years of a left-handed starter throwing 96 mph with a swing-and-miss breaking ball remains difficult to find, beyond the demand for power relievers.