• Strike While It's Hot: Target The Mariners?

    This off-season has been a crazy one. Many of the big name free agents are already off the board and we're not yet at the winter meetings. The number of significant trades has also been interesting.

    The Mariners just signed Robinson Cano to a 10 year, $240 million contract. This was a curious move because they are coming off a 71 win season. Pitchers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, along with third baseman Kyle Seager, are the only impact players on their team. So what's their plan? Even with the Cano signing, the M's still have about $40-50 million dollars to spend. They also have plenty of young players with upside....

    Unfortunately, with a narrow window, they can't afford to wait for those players to develop. The M's have been linked to David Price, to form a trio that would compete with any front three in baseball. Their other needs include a couple right handed power bats, a back of the rotation innings eater and a closer.

    That sounds like a pretty good trade partner. Let's start with something like this....

    Trade Glen Perkins, Josh Willingham and Kevin Correia for SS Chris Taylor, RHP Brandon Maurer, UT Stefen Romero and RHP Tom Wilhelmsen.


    This proposed trade fills several needs for the Mariners, while only increasing their payroll by $16M. This leaves them with money to acquire Price and another bat like Kendrys Morales or Nelson Cruz. At the very least, it gives them another option and trading partner.

    From the Twins' perspective, Perkins is obviously the biggest piece in this trade. Glen is one of the ten best relievers in baseball, with or without the "closer" tag. Perkins would have much more value to the M's and the fact that he will make roughly $12M in the next three years, makes him one of the bigger bargains in baseball.

    Willingham and Correia are both players who have one year left on their contracts. With Cano and King Felix eating up $50M for years to come, the M's will look for as much financial flexibility as possible. Hammer is coming off a down, injury-riddled season. Although I hate the thought of selling low, I feel supply and demand will increase his value. Right-handed power is in short supply and Josh also fills their need for a corner OF. Correia would be a perfect fit as an innings eater in that ballpark.

    Now for what the Twins are getting. None of these proposed guys are can't miss players, but they all have upsides to be useful major league players. With the M's pitching depth and a crowded middle infield, they are all players they can afford to trade.

    Chris Taylor is the key piece for me in this trade. He is currently the M's minor league player of the year. Known for his glove, he has great hands and feet. He also has an average to above average arm. So far, his offense has kept up with his defense. At age 22, Chris spent 2013 at A+ and AA putting up a .314/.409/.455 slash line with 38 stolen bases. He has the potential to be an everyday shortstop who gets on base, provides good defense and steals 25+ bases.

    The other pieces are interchangeable. The M's have plenty of young talent. So instead of Maurer and Romero, it could be some other combination. Wilhelmsen is a deal sweetener; you can also replace him with another prospect.

    The Mariners have a limited budget to work with, they have needs to fill and they have the prospects to trade. Now is the time for the Twins to strike and maximize the value received on our players.
    This article was originally published in blog: Strike while it's hot: Mariners Trade started by JP3700
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      The only major league player I'm interested in getting from Seattle is Brad Miller.
    1. MinnesotaMike's Avatar
      MinnesotaMike -
      Not to be negative but no way. There isn't anything there of real value for me to give up a cheap, cheap contract that Perkins has. If you're talking Perkins the conversation has to start with one of their top pitching prospects,
    1. DuluthFan's Avatar
      DuluthFan -
      Have to say no to your offering up of Perkins. He is now an established closer being paid at a set-up man price. While you can argue for the need for a closer with our current team, it will not always be that way. He is under contract through 2016 if you include the option year. By that time the Twins' big prospects should be at the major league level and the team should be ready to compete. We could then offer Perkins a closer's contract for 2017 & beyond. Since he is a Minnesotan, he may be willing to sign at a hometown discount. Also consider, the Hughes contract is over after 2016 and the Nolasco contract would be entering the 4th year with the 2018 year an option. There are no major contract commitments other than Mauer at that point. The rest of the roster would be young cheap players at that point (pending a free agent signing).
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I'd love Franklin or Miller - Franklin might force us to consider moving Dozier back to SS, which is a good thing IMO. Franklin graded out well by the defensive metrics also.

      If the leadership incompetence in Seattle is as profound as the article posted today indicates, this could be a great idea.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      The only major league player I'm interested in getting from Seattle is Brad Miller.
      I'd like Miller as well, but that would defeat the purpose. The M's are looking to contend, and you'd be taking away their starting shortstop.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaMike View Post
      Not to be negative but no way. There isn't anything there of real value for me to give up a cheap, cheap contract that Perkins has. If you're talking Perkins the conversation has to start with one of their top pitching prospects,
      Nothing wrong with negative. I hate giving up Perkins as well, but he's a relief pitcher.

      Maurer IS one of their top pitching prospects. If he still had his prospect status that is. He sits at 92-95 and tops out at 99. Also has a wipe out slider, with a curve and a change. His problem is command. He's only 23 though, so there's still plenty of upside there.

      I'm also very high on Taylor. As I mentioned, he profiles as an everyday SS to me.

      Romero is a little old, but he can hit. His floor should be utility player with some pop. Ceiling is an everyday player with some versatility. Martin Prado like.

      If you can just get one above average player, whether it be a pitcher or a position player, it would be more than worth it.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      The Mariners would never consider a trade like that... it's laughably lopsided.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DuluthFan View Post
      Have to say no to your offering up of Perkins. He is now an established closer being paid at a set-up man price. While you can argue for the need for a closer with our current team, it will not always be that way. He is under contract through 2016 if you include the option year. By that time the Twins' big prospects should be at the major league level and the team should be ready to compete. We could then offer Perkins a closer's contract for 2017 & beyond. Since he is a Minnesotan, he may be willing to sign at a hometown discount. Also consider, the Hughes contract is over after 2016 and the Nolasco contract would be entering the 4th year with the 2018 year an option. There are no major contract commitments other than Mauer at that point. The rest of the roster would be young cheap players at that point (pending a free agent signing).
      I like Perkins as much as anyone. He's a joy to watch pitch, especially compared to the starting pitching we've been throwing out there. But, as I mentioned, he's a reliever. Relievers and their results are highly volatile. To think that he's still going to be the same pitcher, for the next five years, is just not realistic. Plenty of relievers are proven, until they're not.

      Dave Cameron wrote a great article on relievers in July this year. Here is an excerpt..

      "Let’s just look at where the top 10 under-30 relievers from the 2010 season are now, just for fun? Remember, this is good young relievers, most of whom were under club control for many years.

      Carlos Marmol, +2.8 WAR: DFA’d, traded in salary dump, in minors
      Brian Wilson, +2.5 WAR: Surgery, hasn’t pitched since start of last year
      Hong-Chih Kuo, +2.3 WAR: Surgery, inability to throw strikes, out of baseball
      Neftali Feliz, +2.0 WAR: Surgery, hasn’t pitched in 2013
      Sean Marshall, +1.9 WAR: Has pitched 7 innings this year due to sore shoulder
      Joakim Soria, +1.9 WAR: Surgery, hasn’t pitched since 2011
      John Axford, +1.8 WAR: Lost closer job, pitching middle relief, likely non-tender
      Daniel Bard, +1.6 WAR: Lost strike zone, sent to AA, now on DL
      Jonny Venters, +1.6 WAR: Surgery, out for the season
      Juan Oviedo, +1.4 WAR: Surgery, out for the season

      This isn’t a cherry picked list of guys who were good and then washed out. This is the top 10 under-30 relievers by WAR just a couple of years ago. There isn’t a single pitcher on that list that has any real value in 2013. The Brewers are likely to trade Axford for a pittance, as some team takes a shot on him finishing strong as a setup guy, but everyone else is either rehabbing or trying to get back to the big leagues in some form. John Axford is the success story of the group."


      Just think about it, how many relievers are good, from year to year?.. It's hard to think of many..
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Prefer to trade with San diego for Burch Smith and Wisler ,both played in AA last year with great stats, the Padres are looking for a lefty reliever and a lefty bat , Parmelee and perkins , with maybe Worley or diamond and a 10-20 prospect should be more then enough for these 2 , who would be in the top 7 for the Twins , and should be ready around the same time as Meyer
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      The Mariners would never consider a trade like that... it's laughably lopsided.
      Is it? Wish you'd give some points to support that. Mine were mentioned in the article, but let me just break it down a little.

      Nelson Cruz is the remaining outfielder in free agency, that fits what they're looking for. Bats right handed, and supplies power. He's most likely going to command 4yrs, $60+ million. He turns 34 in July and his career wRC+ is 114. Josh Willingham is owed 1yr, $7M. He's going to be 35 on opening day and his career wRC+ is 123. Which player makes sense to the M's?

      The remaning "proven closers" on the market are Grant Balfour(36), Joaquin Benoit(36) and Fernando Rodney(37). All are are seeking multi-year contracts worth at least double Perkins's AAV.

      Maurer has upside but he is most likely going to start in AAA coming off his bad year. They can't afford to throw a young pitcher out there to get shelled. That's why someone reliable like Correia makes sense. The fact that he is signed for only one year is a bonus.

      Taylor and Romero are both blocked at their positions so they are trading a surplus. As I mentioned in the article, the names are interchangeable. They have plenty of young talent.

      The premise of the article is in the last paragraph. It's a combination of things, that make a trade make sense. Not just what's being exchanged. The Shields trade was laughable. The mid-season Garza trade was laughable. The Robinson Cano signing itself, is extremely laughable. It's surprising what teams will do when they are trying to contend, and are limited in options.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Prefer to trade with San diego for Burch Smith and Wisler ,both played in AA last year with great stats, the Padres are looking for a lefty reliever and a lefty bat , Parmelee and perkins , with maybe Worley or diamond and a 10-20 prospect should be more then enough for these 2 , who would be in the top 7 for the Twins , and should be ready around the same time as Meyer
      I looked them up on the Padres site and I have to say they are attractive targets. Not sure what it would take but it would be great to add AA pitching talent of this caliber to our system.
    1. Kirbek's Avatar
      Kirbek -
      Why sell low on Willingham? There is a reasonable chance he will bounce back this year. Perkins and his contract are good enough to get all that for just him. I do like the sell high on Correia is good, but I don' know who would buy.

      Thumbs down to this one.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      If the Mariners want to trade away some guys, they have 29 options (per player), not just the Twins, who in fact are less active than many clubs on the trade market. And they certainly have no reason to throw away young players for nothing. Here's what the Oliver projection system says about this proposal:

      Twins get:
      9.4 WAR over next 5 years from Taylor, minimal salary
      5.4 WAR over next 5 years from Maurer, minimal salary
      Romero and Wilhelmsen basically worthless.

      Mariners get:
      0.8 WAR over 1 year from Correia, $5 million
      1.8 WAR over 2 years from Perkins, for $7.5 million
      1.6 WAR over 1 year from Willingham, for $7 million

      So let's see... the Twins get way more production for way less money for way more years. Sounds great. Too bad no GM in baseball is anywhere near stupid enough to make a deal like that.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      If the Mariners want to trade away some guys, they have 29 options (per player), not just the Twins, who in fact are less active than many clubs on the trade market. And they certainly have no reason to throw away young players for nothing. Here's what the Oliver projection system says about this proposal:

      Twins get:
      9.4 WAR over next 5 years from Taylor, minimal salary
      5.4 WAR over next 5 years from Maurer, minimal salary
      Romero and Wilhelmsen basically worthless.

      Mariners get:
      0.8 WAR over 1 year from Correia, $5 million
      1.8 WAR over 2 years from Perkins, for $7.5 million
      1.6 WAR over 1 year from Willingham, for $7 million

      So let's see... the Twins get way more production for way less money for way more years. Sounds great. Too bad no GM in baseball is anywhere near stupid enough to make a deal like that.
      I had no idea Oliver projections were set in stone. Why would the Mariners ever trade away Taylor? He's going to be worth $40+ million in surplus value over that time frame. Why would anyone ever trade any prospects?

      Why did the Rangers trade 6 years of Edwards(top 100 prospect), Olt(former top 100 prospect), Grimm and Ramirez for 13 starts of Garza? He had put up 1.5 WAR in the first half of the season with the cubs. So let's just say he projected to be worth another 1.5 WAR with the Rangers. They traded how many wins for 1.5 wins? He ended up being worth -.1 by the way. Jon Daniels must be a GM that's "near stupid enough".

      The point is, this is what trades involving prospects are all about. The team getting the major league players, are acquiring them to win now. The team acquiring the prospects are banking on those players having more value in the long run. Even if that trio is only worth 3.3 WAR in 2014, that's 3.3 more than they would get out of the trio of prospects. If they're currently a .500 team, that gets them to about 85. That's what you do when you're contending. You add as many wins as possible.

      As for there being 29 teams. It comes down to how many teams are willing to move a right handed corner outfielder with a career 123 wRC+? How many teams are moving a top ten reliever making $12M over the next 3 years?
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Deadline deals are obviously different from the off-season. Free agency, for one, and also a much more accurate idea of how much value a marginal improvement can produce.

      If guys like Willingham & Correia had any real trade value, they would already be gone. The Twins wouldn't hesitate to trade Perkins for a big return either.

      It's not happening because everyone in baseball knows Willingham has no defensive value and is declining as a hitter, that Correia stinks, and that you don't give up good prospects for a good closer.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      Deadline deals are obviously different from the off-season. Free agency, for one, and also a much more accurate idea of how much value a marginal improvement can produce.

      If guys like Willingham & Correia had any real trade value, they would already be gone. The Twins wouldn't hesitate to trade Perkins for a big return either.

      It's not happening because everyone in baseball knows Willingham has no defensive value and is declining as a hitter, that Correia stinks, and that you don't give up good prospects for a good closer.
      Deadline deals are different because trades are generally the only avenue to upgrade your team during the season. It goes back to supply and demand. The Mariners aren't the Yankees or Dodgers. They can't just sign free agents for inflated salaries, on long term deals.

      The M's current outfield is Abraham Almonte, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders. The demand is clearly there. The only comparable player to Willingham on the free agent market is Nelson Cruz. He is just as bad defensively and on the bases. Steamer has them projected to be the same player next year and Josh will cost $50+ million less.

      Where in free agency, or in the trade market can they add a reliever like Perkins, who makes as little as he does? The M's had the second worst bullpen in baseball last year, only because the Astros are still considered a team. Their bullpen ERA was a full run higher than the league average. They need to add multiple relievers, on a limited budget.

      Also, keep in mind that not one of the players mentioned have been considered a top 100 prospect. It's not like the suggestion was Walker, Miller and Franklin.

      By the way, Willingham did have interest last year at the deadline. Even coming off of an injury. Orioles balked when TR asked for top 100 prospect, Eduardo Rodriguez. It was also reported that TR received plenty of calls for Perkins, but he wasn't interested in moving him.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Exactly, the Orioles would have been happy to take Willingham in exchange for nothing. That's the point. No one is giving up real value for him.

      I haven't seen any reports of significant value being offered for Perkins. Of course plenty of teams would like him- probably all 29 other teams, either as closer or lefty setup man. But none are going to give up long-term value for him.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      Exactly, the Orioles would have been happy to take Willingham in exchange for nothing. That's the point. No one is giving up real value for him.

      I haven't seen any reports of significant value being offered for Perkins. Of course plenty of teams would like him- probably all 29 other teams, either as closer or lefty setup man. But none are going to give up long-term value for him.
      The O's had also claimed Michael Morse, so they had another option. Albeit, an inferior one. If not for that, who knows what would have happened. Especially considering they still gave up one of their top 10 prospects for Morse. As in the case of Perkins, we just don't know what's been offered for Willingham.

      I do know that none of the players suggested are top 100 prospects like Rodriguez is. I also know the market is thin for corner power.

      Either way, I think we're going in circles here. Multiple people have already posted that the Twins are getting the short end of the suggested deal. You are stating the opposite. We all have opinions, which makes for good debate. I personally think it's a fair deal.
    1. twinsajsf's Avatar
      twinsajsf -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      I had no idea Oliver projections were set in stone. Why would the Mariners ever trade away Taylor? He's going to be worth $40+ million in surplus value over that time frame. Why would anyone ever trade any prospects?

      Why did the Rangers trade 6 years of Edwards(top 100 prospect), Olt(former top 100 prospect), Grimm and Ramirez for 13 starts of Garza? He had put up 1.5 WAR in the first half of the season with the cubs. So let's just say he projected to be worth another 1.5 WAR with the Rangers. They traded how many wins for 1.5 wins? He ended up being worth -.1 by the way. Jon Daniels must be a GM that's "near stupid enough".

      The point is, this is what trades involving prospects are all about. The team getting the major league players, are acquiring them to win now. The team acquiring the prospects are banking on those players having more value in the long run. Even if that trio is only worth 3.3 WAR in 2014, that's 3.3 more than they would get out of the trio of prospects. If they're currently a .500 team, that gets them to about 85. That's what you do when you're contending. You add as many wins as possible.

      As for there being 29 teams. It comes down to how many teams are willing to move a right handed corner outfielder with a career 123 wRC+? How many teams are moving a top ten reliever making $12M over the next 3 years?
      This is very well stated. Obviously, if Maurer and Taylor were GUARANTEED to put of those WAR numbers over the next 5 years, this would be a great deal for the Twins, but since Maurer actually put up Gibson-like nimber in his first foray into the ML, this is hardly guaranteed.

      Meanwhile, the Mariners can have much greater confidence that Correia, while not having nearly Maurer's upside, will strengthen the back end of their rotation (rather than the Maurer wild-card), and Perkins will be of tremendous value to a team actually competing for a playoff berth.

      This makes a classic get-better-NOW (almost definitely) for the Mariners vs. (maybe) cash-in-big-later for the Twins deal, which is how these things are supposed to work.

      to say that the Mariners would scoff at this as a horribly lopsided deal is quite laughable. That said, they may well get an even better deal from someone else, or maybe the Twins actually think THEY can compete now and don't want to give up Perkins.
    1. Marta Shearing's Avatar
      Marta Shearing -
      I dont understand the angst people have with trading perkins. For pete's sake, he's a relief pitcher. He started out hot last year but had his share of lumps as the year went on. Closer's are overrated to begin with, and one of the easiest positions to replace. With his affordable contract, Perkins could be a huge trading chip for this rebuild. Rebuilding teams dont need elite closers!
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