Despite a promising 2018 win-loss record, the Seattle Mariners essentially called it quits on the 2019 season. They made several trades in the last few weeks which effectively amounted to a “roster dump.” This is when a team trades away several of their star players for an abundance of minor-league prospects who could emerge as elite players in the major league in a few years. The Mariners likely found themselves unable to compete with the Houston Astros and Oakland A’s in the next couple of seasons, so they decided to make moves that will hopefully benefit them in the long term.
Although they gave up a lot of current talent, the Mariners were able to lock in Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana and Anthony Swarzak – a few veteran players who may prove essential for the team to rebuild. They can provide a little offensive support in place of the departed players over the next few years, but more importantly, they can help provide leadership and mentoring to the younger players as they develop.
In addition, the Mariners acquired a multitude of highly rated prospects that give fans a lot to be optimistic about. From the Mets, the Mariners acquired major prospects in Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and a potential sleeper pick in Gerson Bautista. Kelenic and Dunn were both drafted in the first round and rated among the top 100 prospects in baseball in 2018, while Bautista was unimpressive in his debut season but possesses a dangerous 101 MPH fastball.
From the Yankees, the Mariners received a pair of young pitchers who will compete for a spot in the starting rotation next season. Justus Sheffield ranked as the Yankees’ top prospect, while Erik Swanson posted impressive numbers at Triple-A despite quickly advancing through the ranks of the minors last season. Both players will likely join the Mariners during the 2019 season and bring their pitching prowess to the majors sooner rather than later.
The Mariners also traded for J.P. Crawford who was once a top prospect, but he has had his share of struggles in the major league. If he can reach his potential, he will lock in as Seattle’s shortstop for the long run. Another significant player the Mariners added is Mallex Smith, an outfielder who had a breakout season last year with 40 stolen bases and a .296 batting average. Smith looks to be a valuable leadoff hitter while the Mariners carry out their rebuild. All in all, the Mariners may have given away the core of their current roster, but in return, they received a masterful group of rising stars who can benefit the team greatly in the next few years.