Morosi: Trading for Polanco was move Mariners ‘had to make’

Feb 2, 2024, 2:10 PM | Updated: 2:10 pm

Seattle Mariners Jorge Polanco...

Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins celebrates his solo home run on April 10, 2022. (David Berding/Getty Images)

(David Berding/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners made a big move this week, sending four players to Minnesota for veteran second baseman Jorge Polanco.

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Polanco, a one-time All-Star, has been one of baseball’s top second baseman over the last five years, but he has played less the last two years due in part to injury.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi shared what he thinks of the move during his weekly discussion with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

“They gave up a fair amount to get him, but I think this was the move they had to make,” Morosi said. “And especially because when you consider what he means to the Mariners lineup that he would not have meant to the Twins lineup, which is batting right in the middle. You’ve got a couple ex-Twins now in Polanco and (Mitch) Garver batting three and four.”

The Mariners had to get creative this offseason due to a more limited payroll, and Morosi thinks under those constraints, they did a solid job addressing the lineup.

“Look at their lineup on opening day. You may have anywhere from four to five players that were acquired since last July, and then four of them this offseason alone in Polanco, Garver, (Luke) Raley and (Mitch) Haniger. I mean, they had to remake things without a ton of flexibility,” Morosi said. ” … I think Polanco if you think about last year and the way things played out, Polanco I believe is going to be substantially better than what Kolten Wong gave them (at second base).”

In Polanco, the Mariners are getting a “very popular” clubhouse guy who is also a very productive player, Morosi said.

“He’s a balanced switch-hitter. I think he’s gonna give this  eam a little bit more of just a balanced at-bat and approach,” Morosi said. ” … He puts the ball in play more, and that has been, I think, the calling card of this offseason for the Mariners. ‘OK, we can’t spend lavishly, but we need guys that are going to control the strike zone.’ And for the most part, Polanco does that. He will draw walks, he can steal a base when he really has to … and he’s got power. And when he is really organized with his strike zone and when he is healthy … he had 30 homers a couple years ago. He’s a really good, productive switch-hitting middle infielder.”

Players like Polanco, Morosi said, aren’t “readily available all that often.” That’s part of why the Mariners had to trade four players, including an impact reliever in Justin Topa and a top-100 prospect in Gabriel Gonzalez.

“It was the right deal to make at this time, because they weren’t going to be able to find someone like this for cheap elsewhere on the open market,” he said. “They probably had to make a trade like this. And while he’s not perfect, he is only in his age-30 season. He’s a younger veteran is what I would describe him as … Yeah, injuries have been part of his story, but I don’t think they defined him. I think he’s a productive player and they sort of ran out of space on that Twins team (for him) … This was more a case of him just having more value to Seattle than he did to Minnesota right now.”

If Polanco stays healthy, Morosi feels he can be a major impact player for the Mariners.

“Of all the moves they’ve made around the margins to this team in the last couple of seasons, this is really the move that I like the best because I think they got a player with All-Star level upside,” he said.

Listen to the full discussion with Jon Morosi at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on new Seattle Mariners 2B Jorge Polanco

• Mitch Garver has interesting insight on Mariners’ pitchers, trade additions
• Mariners’ Dipoto: Why longtime trade target Jorge Polanco ‘fits perfectly’
• Drayer: Mariners weren’t done – How Polanco addition fits
• Mariners Trade Breakdown: Who is new 2B Jorge Polanco?
• Instant Reaction: Shannon Drayer on Mariners trade for Jorge Polanco

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Morosi: Trading for Polanco was move Mariners ‘had to make’