Last week's chat, I was asked which MLB player would be the next to be moved through trading. I immediately thought of a place: the Mariners. GM Jerry Dipoto's reputation precedes him. And he is in a handling mood, has already turned a deal on an expensive veteran and tried to train another. But when it came to naming the specific player, it seemed that pedestrians guessed the starter Mike Leake who has already come into conversation or chooses an easy-to-use, easy-to-relieve.
Instead, I went with veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion a long-term star who has been out of the spotlight too late. He beats well, but EE even has a strong market right now? Let's take a closer look.
M's ended with Encarnacion when the music ended in a dizzying game of lumbering slugger music chairs over the offseason. It seemed at a time he was supposed to be sent elsewhere over the winter, but couldn't. He earns a $ 20 million salary this year. There is also a $ 5 million purchase option on a 2020 option, although the complicated trading that entails Encarnacion to Seattle included a $ 5MM payment to cover that amount.
With the kind of coin still owed, Encarnacion's contract is undoubtedly under water. He is 36 years old and was just fine on the plate last year. He has mostly been limited to DH tasks in later seasons, although he has lined up at the first base so far in 2019 with tasty measurements.
On the other hand, Encarnacion can really meet. He has returned to business so far, which means that the 18-output looks like a minor blip. Through 283 platform events, Encarnacion has a .246 / .360 / .542 slash – it's great for a healthy 143 WRC + – and leads the American League with 21 round trippers.
M will not owe any remaining money guilty, but they could well dump a significant portion of it. There is even an argument that the "20-club option may be worth considering. Given the strong buyout price, the $ 20MM salary is effectively a $ 15 million decision. Twins spent $ 14.3MM on Nelson Cruz this winter and is said not to regret it.
The supply situation generally seems favorable to Seattle, for teams looking for serious lineup beats it is a relative lack of obvious goals, the market has not yet expired, but it is hard to imagine a better winner-now DH / 1B candidate made available at this stage of the season (if at all, at least at a good price).
How much money that Seattle org will save, and / or what it can achieve when it comes to prospects, will depend on Dipoto's ability to drum up interest from several teams. So how do things look from the demand side?
American league goals provide a natural fit, considering Encarnacion's defensive limitations, but it is possible that the NL clubs will also consider him, especially since they have had a chance to see him play the first base to a large extent this year. Most credible could Brewers pull the stopper on the fighting Jesus Aguilar and replace him with Encarnacion. Some would argue that the team would prioritize pitching, but there is also real potential for improvement here. Plus, it would respond to rival Cubs' latest signing of Craig Kimbrel – and giving Brew Crew a big right-handed slit against Cubbie's left-heavy rotation. You really have to crush to see some other national league outfits that match right now, but several may be meaningful due to injuries and other developments over the next few weeks.
When you turn to the AL side of the big book, Encarnacion would actually match itself with the team that just took him away. Carlos Santana has been successful since he made his own return to Indians but the team desperately needs more strokes and could leave the DH racket directly back to the EE. While he fits on the roasts, Encarnacion will probably not squeeze into the payroll.
There may also be an argument for Rangers to take a look. If they will swallow themselves into the wild card set, they may as well go completely, and Ronald Guzman has been the sub average on the plate. But it would be a bit of an odd move for a team that is desperate to start pitching and probably doesn't want to invest too much money (and will definitely not give up the future value) in a season that may well
Yankees has not received the bounce they were hoping for from Kendrys Morales but he's also just a temporary fix. It would be an unexpected challenge to go to Encarnacion with Luke Voit who first contained the bracket, several large bats on the rehab track and needed somewhere else.
How about scuffling defending champs? The Red Sox is actually a somewhat interesting fit, but only if they are willing to use Encarnacion at the first base and further increase their high spending levels. Steve Pearce has collapsed on the plate. Mitch Moreland has done well from the left but is injured. Michael Chavis has struck a lull; He would also still be an alternative in the second base with the addition of Encarnacion.
How about the rays bound on the AL east with Yanks and will have to maximize their resources down the stretch? Tampa Bay org gets solid value from Ji-Man Choi at first base, with Yandy Diaz sliding over from third to handle lefties. There is no great need for DH because the club has a little overrun with Avisail Garcia Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows . That said, there is a window for a deal since Choi and the top apt outlook Nate Lowe are both lefty hitters. The club will certainly also consider adding their money and opportunities to work to add pitching, but a move for Encarnacion is well worth considering.
Astros Astros can be the best fit, anything considered. It is a law that sometimes seems to have everything, but there are precautions. Right now, "Straw is not healthy", and it would be preferable that the crime continues to produce while the team is waiting for some star players to return. More importantly, there is a rather remarkable roaster opening in the sluggish department. Encarnacion was led on the Houston radar before the season and he should be an even bigger target now, with Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White who both produce in relation to each other. Although Yordan Alvarez grabs the DH point, Encarnacion could enter at the first base. This opportunity is particularly tempting to think about as it can help the Houston organization to form a historically exceptional range in time for the post-season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.