Topsy-Turvy at Second Base

MLB-TR reviews some of the logical trade targets the Mariners might chase if they are seeking a 2B and keeping Gordon in CF.  I'm not sure this is the direction we go, but it is worth visiting available Cano replacements. 

Logan Forsythe, Dodgers:  It appears that Forsythe is available, but  he's been in a two-year slump and it is probably only 50/50 that he's much better of a hitter than Beckham.  Forsythe was a + 2B bat in '15 and '16 (.804, .778) for the Rays, but fell to .678 last season and has been terrible this season.  His $9M salary is just about what the M's are saving with Cano suspended, so he very affordable, which include the likely low trade demands the Dodgers will have.  He generally a + glove, so he has that going for him.  All the same, betting on Forsythe is like drawing to the inside of a straight.  It's possible we go this direction, but he's not my favorite bet.

Brandon Drury, Yankees:  Drury is very positionally flexible and a decent 2B glove.  On the surface, his .766 career OPS looks quite nice but it is a bit of a desert mirage.  The bulk of Drury's 3+ years were spent in Arizona.  His career Road line is .243-.286-.376/.663.  He can play a bunch of positions but there are better 2B bats to add.  As a bench guy, he's a treat, but not as a starter.

Neil Walker, Yankees:  He's slumped badly in pinstripes, hitting .210-.300-.257, but he was a good bat in Pittsburg and with the Mets.  Just last season he was a .801 guy.  He's only 32 so it is unlikely that he's forgotten how to hit.  He's been a decent glove (until last season) and a quality MLB'er.  He's not my first pick, I suppose, but I think he's a betting favorite if we go the 2B route.   I would expect the Yankees to ask for something decent.

Devon Travis, Toronto:  His bat has totally disappeared over the last two seasons as he has been fighting injuries.  He's cheap ($1.4M) but i suspect the Jays would want something useable in return.  He's only 27 and once was a pretty good stick.  He's worth a bit of a gamble but gambling is not really what the M's should be doing.  He's not our guy.

Cory Spangenberg, Padres:  Lifetime .715/95 OPS bat.....but vs. RHP he's a .750 hitter.  A year lost to injury in '16 is sandwiched by two good '15 and '17 years.  Indications are that he's available.  He's controlled until 2021 and he plays 3B/LF.  He could be a cheapish utility guy when Cano returns.  OK, OK, he's hitting .190 at this point in '18, with 2 whole homeruns, so he's not on form, but I still consider him one of the most likely candidates if we go for a 2B dude. 

Yolmer Sanchez, White Sox:  He's been a 97 and 112 bast over the past two seasons, but his career # is 82.  He's principally a 3B this season, but was at 2B most of the time last season.  Because it appears that he's figures something out at the plate, I would imagine the White Sox would want something prospecty and valuable for him.  He's going to get $5-6M expensive next season, maybe more if he keeps hitting.    He's played some MLB SS, so he's a potent utility guy, even if he doesn't start.  He's started to sort of rake vs. RHP, but he's also a home dog who struggles away from Chicago.  He's worth getting, but at what price?

Starlin Castro, Marlins:  He gets nearly $12M this season, so he fits inside the Cano savings.  Next year he is going to cost $18M unless you release him for $1M.   He was a good SS, back before he made the switch to 2B, and he's a .282/98 hitter with double digit homer pop.  Castro is a great guy to get, and he's not going to cost you TOO much, as Miami is unlikely to pay his $18M salary next season.  First guy into the Castro sweepstakes might get him.  I like our shot here.   He's not my first choice, but he might be my 2nd.

Scooter Gennett, Reds:  Here's the critical thing about Gennett:  He's not just a Cincy band-box hitter.  His bat has played well on the road, really well.  Last year he hit '815 away, this season it is at .848.  He's not a + glove, but his bat more than covers for that.  You would have him through '19, but at an arb price north of $10M.  Interestingly, his most similar batter through age 27 is Neil Walker.  He played 10 games in the OF last season, so he has some stay-in-the-lineup ability even when Cano comes back.  He's a career .815 bat vs RHP, albeit in Milwaukee and Cincy.  All the same, he would be a heck of an addition.  He will require a significant offer, in terms of prospect cost, and you only get him for 2 years, but Scooter Gennet is my first choice if we go bold as we grab a 2B. 

Were I a betting man, I think I might bet first on Spangenberg (Dipoto betting on a bounce), then on Walker and Castro, as the most likely guys on this list.  For me, give me Scooter. 

But were I a betting man, I would bet we go get a COF. 

Your mileage may vary.

Moe

Comments

1

As for those middle infielders, pass. 

I, for one, expect the $$ to be spent on pitching, rather than 2b/OF as everyone suspects.

2

I want Gordon at second, because he's amazing there.

I don't want him in center, because high fly balls over his head make him look like he's stumbling down the basement stairs.

If you don't like Gamel and Anderoli and Miller in left, find a replacement level player somewhere.

Then spend the money on pitching.

What happens when Cano is back?  

Assuiming Gui holds his own at the plate, tell Dee to run out to left field...plant his heels on the warning track...and then race in on every ball in front of him.  Eliminate the problems he has with balls over his head.

3

I could see that happening, but it would likely mean that we go with a Tacoma guy at OF #4. 

Miller or Andreoli would fit there.

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