Drayer’s trade breakdown: Hard to see deal with Padres hurting Mariners

Aug 30, 2020, 11:25 PM
Mariners Austin Nola...
Days before becoming a Padre, Austin Nola tagged out his new teammate Eric Hosmer. (Getty)

The reshaping of the Mariners continues as Jerry Dipoto and San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller pulled off a stunning seven-player trade Sunday night.

M’s, Padres make seven-player deal | A look at four players Seattle got

With the Padres in win-now mode and the Mariners looking to continue to add young talent at or close to the major leagues, two of the top three-ranked farm systems were a good match.

The trade sends immediate help to San Diego in the forms of Austin Nola, Dan Altavilla and Austin Adams (who is on the injured list but recently resumed throwing off the mound) in exchange for now and not-too-later help for the Mariners. The prize, the not-too-later help, is outfielder Taylor Trammell, Baseball America’s 78th ranked prospect, giving the Mariners their seventh entry on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list.

Those seven players are:

8. Julio Rodríguez
12. Jarred Kelenic
54. Emerson Hancock
56. Evan White
63. Logan Gilbert
78. Taylor Trammell
99. Noelvi Marte

Trammell gives the Mariners an outfielder who likely slots in between Kelenic and Rodríguez in big league readiness. With Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger also on the roster, the Mariners obviously can’t play them all, so what happens going forward remains to be seen. But top prospects are top prospects, and they have value. Part of building and sustaining a good farm system is having assets to trade for other needs, and after Sunday’s trade, there is more value in the the Mariners’ farm system.

Dipoto also adds a fireballer in Andres Muñoz, who last year last year averaged 101 mph on his fastball and touched 103 mph on the radar gun. While over the years Dipoto has brought in others who can hit triple digits, those relievers also had command issues. Muñoz is not a project, however. At just 21 years old, he has already seen time in the big leagues, posting a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings pitched with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks. Prior to his final two outings in 2019, Muñoz gave up only four runs in 20 appearances, and in early August the Padres moved him into the setup role in front ofc closer Kirby Yates. The downside, he is recovering from Tommy John Surgery that was performed in March.

The Mariners also picked up two players they saw last week in San Digeo: infielder Ty France and catcher Luis Torrens. We shall learn in the coming days if they will join the MLB team after intake testing.

The 2020 Mariners will miss Nola. Losing his bat leaves a hole in the order and what he brought behind the plate was remarkable considering he had never caught on an everyday basis at any level prior to this year. His manager and pitchers trusted him behind the plate and he played a big role in bringing along the younger arms in the Mariners’ rotation. He was an incredible find for Dipoto, an eight-year minor league veteran and free agent utility infielder who signed with the Mariners prior to the 2019 season because they agreed to let him catch. A tough loss for this year, but this year has always been about the future.

Four players aged 26 or younger with a combined 20 years service time remaining were acquired by the Mariners for Nola, Altavilla (who is out of minor league options) and Adams, who has electric stuff but has an injury history.

If Nola was the price for Trammell, the Mariners are picking up either a piece of the future or an asset for the farm system. With Altavilla and Adams, the Mariners trade question marks for promise in Muñoz, France and Torrens. At a minimum, it’s hard to see this deal hurting the Mariners. On the other side? We shall see.

Follow Mariners insider Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

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