What kind of bats could Mariners land if they trade Bryce Miller?

Dec 15, 2023, 12:58 PM

Seattle Mariners Bryce Miller...

The Mariners' Bryce Miller pitches against the Oakland Athletics on May 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

It’s been a quiet start to the offseason for the Seattle Mariners. Will that change soon?

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The Mariners need bats, and so far all the team has done is trade a few notable names to clear salary.

“What I’m curious to see here, guys, will be at what point in time do the Mariners get really involved?” MLB Network’s Jon Morosi told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday. “We understand the limitations they’re dealing with right now from a payroll perspective.”

“They’ve got the makings of, I think, a really competitive and compelling team,” Morosi later added. “But so far … they’ve done a lot of subtraction and not a whole lot of addition this offseason. And they need to start doing some things just to get back to being as good as they were when the season ended, which as we know, was not good enough. And I think that’s the next huge question for the Mariners.”

If the Mariners make a move for a bat, there’s a good chance that they trade one of their starting pitchers to do so.

Morosi reported on Thursday that Bryce Miller is drawing trade interest after a successful rookie season.

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So what could the Mariners get for him?

“I think he has high value. Maybe not as much as (Logan) Gilbert, but I do think that, for example, theoretically, if you were going to have a conversation with the Guardians about about Josh Naylor, you should be able to have that conversation with Miller,” Morosi said.

Naylor, 26, is a first baseman and outfielder with Cleveland who debuted in 2019. He had a big 2023 season, slashing .308/.354/.489 and finished 22nd in AL MVP voting. He also slugged 17 home runs and drove in 97, and he struck out just 68 times in 121 games.

If the Mariners and Guardians talk about a trade involving Miller and Naylor, Morosi thinks the M’s could get more in that deal.

“You should be able to get even more than Naylor from the Guardians if you’re willing to put Miller in there, just because of the years of control,” Morosi said. “Naylor is a big-time bat, but less years of control. I think Naylor’s bat would be a really good fit at T-Mobile (Park) because when he hits home runs, he hits them. They go.”

“I think you can get at least Naylor for Bryce Miller just based on the stuff, the years of control. The Mariners are in a position of strength here,” Morosi later added.

Twins outfielder Max Kepler is another rumored trade candidate for the Mariners and other teams, but Morosi thinks Seattle could get him without parting ways with Miller or Bryan Woo.

Ultimately, Morosi thinks that the Mariners may be able to get a good trade package if they wait and see how the free-agent pitching market shapes up.

Eventually some teams that need pitching won’t get the guys they want. There’s gonna be a lot of teams that don’t get (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto. And in that case, those are the teams you can pounce on,” Morosi said.

One team that stands out to Morosi is the Boston Red Sox, who really need to address their rotation this year. Morosi thinks Boston and Seattle could match up well, with young first baseman Triston Casas coming to mind.

Casas is 23 and posted an OPS of .856 with 24 home runs in his rookie season of 2023.

“If the Red Sox miss, then do you do you call up and say, OK, Miller and Triston Casas are on similar trajectories in terms of their their service time, would you do Miller for Casas?” Morosi said.

That type of trade likely wouldn’t make sense today, Morosi said, but could later on if the Mariners don’t add a bat or two in free agency and the Red Sox are unable to land their top free-agent pitching targets,

“They probably wouldn’t trade Miller for Casas today, but that might be something that you entertain down the line because of the way that the options fall in a sequential order,” Morosi said.

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full conversation with Jon Morosi at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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