DANNY AND GALLANT

Dipoto: Mariners ‘see something under the hood’ in trade pickup Jake Bauers

Jun 10, 2021, 9:40 AM | Updated: 11:53 am
Mariners Jake Bauers...
The Mariners sent cash to Cleveland for former top 100 prospect Jake Bauers. (Getty)
(Getty)

As the Mariners were preparing for their series finale in Detroit against the Tigers on Thursday morning, the front office was busy behind the scenes making a move.

Servais: M’s demotion of Kelenic, Gilbert’s growth, injury updates

The move was sending cash to the Cleveland Indians for first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers, a 25-year-old former top 100 prospect who has been a key part of a pair three-team trades during his career. Bauers is in the Mariners lineup on Thursday against the Tigers, hitting seventh and playing first base.

A seventh-round pick by the San Diego Padres out of high school in 2013, Bauers was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014 in a 10-player deal that notably landed the Padres outfielder Wil Myers and the Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner. Bauers made his MLB debut with the Rays in 2018.

After the 2018 season, the Rays traded Bauers to Cleveland in a deal that involved the Mariners acquiring first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnación.

Bauers is someone who hasn’t quite lived up to his promise as a onetime top prospect, as he currently has a career slash line of .211/.309/.365 with 25 home runs in 256 career games. In 2021, he’s slashing .190/.277/.280.

So what exactly drew the Mariners to Bauers from Cleveland? Thursday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s weekly Jerry Dipoto Show, the Mariners general manager broke it down.

“Jake is 25 years old and he has always been a name or in prospect rankings that we’ve thought very highly of,” Dipoto said. “He still fits.”

Dipoto noted that Bauers has less than two total years of MLB service time, and despite the lack of sustained success at the big-league level, he sees a lot to like in his latest acquisition.

“He’s done a lot of really interesting things along the way,” he said. “And like with a lot of our players, we see something under the hood in his pitch selection and his exit velocities that intrigue us enough that giving him some run here while we have opportunities is a wise thing and hopefully it leads to good outcomes for both of us where he’s here for a while.”

According to Statcast, Bauers is striking out less than the MLB average, has a higher hard-hit rate than the league average, has roughly an average walk rate, and his average exit velocity is above-average among MLB players. And while he’s hitting just .190 this year, his expected batting average (xBA) is .260, which is above the MLB average xBA of .220.

The Mariners are currently without first baseman Evan White, who is starting a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Tacoma coming off a hip injury. And with center fielder Kyle Lewis sidelined due to injury and top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic in Triple-A after a recent demotion, Bauers likely has the opportunity to play nearly every day for the foreseeable future.

Bauers also offers some defensive flexibility, which is something that Dipoto and his staff covet.

“Positionally he fits for us. He plays first base and both corner outfield positions and he’s a left-handed hitter that gives us a good bit of versatility that we’ve always been fond of,” he said.

You can catch The Jerry Dipoto Show every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. Listen to the latest edition at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brando Gustafson on Twitter.

M’s Table Setter: As Kelenic gets a breather, Fraley gets his shot

Danny and Gallant

Seahawks Alex Collins...
Brent Stecker

Huard: What do Seahawks do at No. 2 RB with Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny?

Alex Collins was impressive this preseason, but was it enough to earn the job as the Seahawks' backup to Chris Carson over Rashaad Penny?
1 year ago
Seahawks Darrell Taylor...
Paul Gallant

Gallant: 4 takeaways after Seahawks wrap up preseason with win

Paul Gallant takes stock of the Seahawks after they wrapped up the preseason with a 27-0 win over the Chargers on Saturday night.
1 year ago
Seahawks TE Gerald Everett...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: Why TE Gerald Everett will be Seahawks’ most impactful offseason addition

When it comes to every new player the Seahawks added this offseason, Michael Bumpus is counting on TE Gerald Everett to stand out the most.
1 year ago
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...
Paul Gallant

Gallant: Will Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, a pioneer of mobile QBs, adapt into his 30s?

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has been a mobile QB for his whole career, but Paul Gallant hopes he'll consider a few things as he loses a step.
1 year ago
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...
Brandon Gustafson

Jerry Dipoto Show: His future with the Mariners, Flexen’s consistency, Lewis’ return

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto joined Danny & Gallant to talk about the playoff race, his future in Seattle, and the close return of a key player.
1 year ago
Seahawks John Reid...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: What the addition of John Reid means for Seahawks’ CB room

The Seahawks traded for second-year CB John Reid this week. Michael Bumpus breaks down what that means for Seattle's CB competition.
1 year ago
Dipoto: Mariners ‘see something under the hood’ in trade pickup Jake Bauers