What a potential Mariners trade for an impact bat could look like

May 21, 2024, 5:03 PM

Seattle Mariners trade potential Eloy Jiménez...

Eloy Jiménez of the Chicago White Sox after a home run against the Seattle Mariners in 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have a lot of things going for them right now.

They have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, and even a little depth beyond their starting five. They also have a farm system that is loaded with promising hitters, particularly in the lower levels.

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The M’s also have a very clear need, even though they’re currently leading the American League West, and that would be proven, producing bats in the middle of the order.

With the numbers so far this year from offseason additions Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver lower than their career marks, a lack of power early on from superstar Julio Rodríguez, and the lineup striking out more than any other in MLB, Seattle entered Wednesday tied for 24th out of the 30 teams in the league with just 182 runs scored.

As you might expect, speculation about potential trades has already picked up steam even though the annual MLB trade deadline isn’t for over another two months. It’s something Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy discussed Monday with Eno Sarris, who covers MLB for The Athletic and Fangraphs, and during the conversation he thought up a trade idea to indicate what kind of moves the M’s could be looking at before the July 30 deadline.

“I do think that going and getting a bat would be huge. I don’t know where to get it, but maybe the White Sox and Eloy Jiménez would be an interesting fit for them,” said Sarris, who co-hosts the Rates and Barrels podcast.

The 27-year-old Jiménez is a sixth-year MLB veteran who broke onto the scene with 31 homers in 2019 as a rookie. Primarily a designated hitter now whose natural defensive position is left field, Jiménez has never had an OPS lower than .740 in a season, and he seems a likely trade chip this season for a struggling White Sox team.

“I do think the way this team is set up, there is some versatility where you can get somebody that’s kind of a DH and move other guys around,” Sarris said about the Mariners. “It would cost Mitch Garver playing time, of course, but I think getting a bat in like that would be really exciting.”

How would a Mariners trade look?

Bump and Stacy producer Curtis Rogers, who was filling in as co-host Monday, then asked about how the Mariners should go about making a trade for an impact bat. Should they be willing to trade rookie starter and former first-round pick Emerson Hancock, who began the year in Seattle’s rotation and is currently with Triple-A Tacoma, or should they reach into the lower levels of the minors?

“I think it’s more important for them to get an impact bat than to play around in the margins,” Sarris responded, “because this is a team that has some pieces that can move around, has some OK players that can play better. But in terms of like, ‘Hey, could we get another middle of the lineup bat in here?’ that would make everybody else better – push them all a seat to the right, if you know what I mean. And I think that would be worth it.”

Sarris then returned to the Jiménez idea, and added an interesting wrinkle that could make trading an arm like Hancock more palatable.

“With the White Sox – just building a potential trade offer – I think it would be worth even risking somebody like (rookie outfielder) Jonatan Clase to add with Emerson Hancock if you got something like Eloy Jiménez, who’s under team control for a little bit, and maybe Erick Fedde, who is a good starter (for the White Sox). That brings you back that starting depth that you might lose in Emerson Hancock and it gets you a kind of a win-now package.”

Hear the full Bump and Stacy conversation with Eno Sarris of The Athletic in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Catch Bump and Stacy live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the Seattle Sports app and SeattleSports.com.

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What a potential Mariners trade for an impact bat could look like