Notebook: Mariners make a trade and Narváez’s name appears in rumors
The Mariners’ roster spots left vacant at the the Rule 5 deadline are being gobbled up quickly (and oh yes I did just make a Thanksgiving pun).
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has a history of being active during the week of Thanksgiving, and this year looks to be no different as he has now officially locked up a foundational player, made a trade and provided fuel for the hot stove with news from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that a Mariners catcher could soon be on the move.
Lots to get to, so let’s start with what is official.
Mariners add an arm
The Mariners have acquired left-handed reliever Nestor Cortes Jr. from the Yankees in exchange for international slot money. Cortes, 24, appeared in 33 games for the Yankees last season, going 5-1 with a 5.67 ERA, 28 walks and 69 strikeouts. He threw two innings or more in 18 of his 32 outings and has starter experience.
“He’s got roughly all the pitches and a very deceptive style,” said Dipoto in a press release. “He’s not going to overpower you with velocity, but he has a really effective fastball quality and feel. He is an optionable young pitcher that gives us another flexible piece on our 40-man roster.”
This appears to be another targeted bullpen addition like many that we saw last season. The Mariners use analytics to target pitchers they believe they can improve. Unlike most of the additions last year, Cortes, who was drafted by the Orioles, has two minor league options remaining so he can be sent to the minors. For more on how the Mariners use analytics and technology to target and improve pitchers, check out our video with Brian DeLunas, the Mariners’ former director of pitching development and strategies and their current bullpen coach.
Evan White contract now official
First baseman Evan White, Seattle’s 2017 first-round draft pick, has been signed to a six-year Major League contract with club options in 2026, 2027 and 2028. News of the deal was first reported last Friday. A press conference with White and Dipoto was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday. We will have more on the signing and what went into both parties decisions later on 710Sports.com, but for now, Baseball America contributor Joe Doyle has the contract breakdown.
Evan White deal:
Year 1: ~$1.33m
Year 2: ~$1.33m
Year 3: ~$1.33m
Year 4: $3m
Year 5: $7m
Year 6: $8m
Team Option: Year 7: $10m ($2m buyout)
Team Option: Year 8: $11m ($1m buyout)
Team Option: Year 9: $12.5 ($1m buyout)#Mariners
— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) November 25, 2019
With the trade and signing, the Mariners 40-man roster is now at 37, with the team expected to take a player in the Rule 5 draft Dec. 12.
Could we see more trade activity this week? Passan seems to believe so.
Mariners trade rumors
Amid the early and heavy movement in the catching market, one name in trades keeps coming up: Omar Narváez. The Seattle Mariners have shown a desire to move him, sources tell ESPN, and a deal could be completed soon. Narváez really can hit. His glove remains a major question.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 25, 2019
Omar Narváez’s name is coming up in rumors, and this should not be surprising. Although Dipoto spoke of the Narváez/Tom Murphy combo being penciled in at catcher for the start of 2020, the catching market this offseason is tough and Narváez in particular has value.
With the emergence of Murphy and the discovery of Austin Nola, who the pitchers at both Tacoma and Seattle liked, the Mariners should be covered until prospect Cal Raleigh is due to arrive. With free agents Yasmani Grandal (White Sox) and Travis d’Arnaud (Braves) coming off the board early, the catcher market has heated up quickly with anywhere from eight to 10 teams needing catchers. Dipoto is in position to take advantage of that market.