A Plan
Trying to sort out needs and resources

For my second submission, I present my take on the off-season plan. I've tried to keep it realistic, using RosterResource.com for ideas and info on relative salaries, Rule 5 status, etc.

1st Move -

Trade Dee Gordon to the Yankees for Sonny Gray

The Yankees think (know) that Gray isn't a good fit on their team and are anxious to trade him. But of all the RHSPs who are or might be available, Gray is actually the guy that has the most upside and is the best fit for the Mariners. A front three of Paxton-Gray-Gonzales would be a formidable group. With the loss of Didi Gregorious, the Yankees need a shortstop, which Dee has proved he can play decently, or they can use Castro at short and Dee at 2nd, where's he's World-Class. Either way, it's a nice match.

2nd Move -

Trade Mike Leake, Ryon Healy, and Dan Altavilla to the Rays for Kevin Kiermaier, Nathaniel Lowe, Josh Lowe, and Colin Poche.

This one is obviously much bigger. The Rays need a starting pitcher, preferably one that can be a staff leader, for their very young staff. But they are, as always, in need of a bargain. Leake is a steady, reliable, not much more than .500 but always competitive, type of pitcher who would easily slot in as their #1. Under this plan, Sonny Gray will take his rotation spot unless the Ms want to force the issue with King Felix. The Rays are discussing trading Kiermaier and using Mallex Smith in CF almost purely from cost considerations, although Kiermaier has also been less than durable playing on the rug-covered concrete in Tampa. Bringing him to Safeco has every chance of making him healthier and extending his career as a World-Class CF with a bottom-of-the-order bat.

Trading Healy allows the Rays to put a better fielder at 1st than C.J. Cron, and since Ryon is still pre-Arb, saves some money. In exchange, the Mariners raid the Rays bulging farm system for several strong prospects that can fill in the AA/AAA level. The Lowe brothers are Nathaniel, a 1st baseman with a strong bat but slow legs, and Josh, a CF of significant promise. Josh is the younger at just under 21 and played A+ last year and is ready for AA. Nathaniel is 23, played at AAA last year, but is blocked by Jake Bauers and uber-prospect Branden McKay, as well as by Healy/Cron. But as a bridge to Evan White and a potential DH later he would be a nice get. He and Joey Curletta can compete for duty at 1B, with one at Seattle, one at Tacoma. Colin Poche, while a ways down on the Rays prospect listings, was 5-0, 1.08 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP at AAA Durham last year. He's a LHRP who'd look real nice alternating with James Pazos. And like James, and unlike other near-term Ms prospects, he's effective against RH hitters as well.

The Rays also are in need of a Set-up Late Innings RHRP. Dan Altavilla sweetens the pot for them.

3rd Move -

Trade Daniel Vogelbach to the Twins for Zack Littell

Trading away Littell was, at the time, perhaps necessary. Since then, though, he's continued to prove why so many of us liked him. He's a gutsy, determined pitcher who could slot in as Tacoma's #1 and the M's #5 or 6 very nicely. With Mauer's retirement, there's opportunity in Minnesota for a 1B/DH and Dan might get a real chance there.

4th Move -

Sign Nelson Cruz

Self-explanatory, IFF the right terms can be agreed. I see something like 1st year - $14M, 2nd year vesting(500ABs)/club option - $12M, w/ $4M buyout, 3rd year - player opt-out, $10M with $2M buyout, vesting only with 500ABs (i.e., still effective). He's getting old, but he's still killing it. Keep him!

5th Move -

Trade Chuck Taylor and/or Ian Miller to the Giants for Pitching prospects (Juan De Paula, anyone)

Taylor and Miller either have to be rostered or they're Rule 5 bound. Same with Braden Bishop. I expect Bishop to get a 40-man spot. The Giants need outfielders, particularly MLB-ready fast ones. Actually a pretty good matchup. The Giants have some decent pitching prospects. DePaula is still in A ball, but is pitching to a sub-2.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Another one the Ms should try to get back.

6th Move -

Trade Prospects (Rizzo? Filia? Gerber?) to Oakland for Bruce Maxwell

This is my most controversial suggestion. Maxwell is a starting-capable catcher who has made some personal mistakes, has been replaced by Lucroy and Beau Taylor in Oakland, and needs a new start. He's a military brat, so I personally believe he's recoverable in the right circumstances, and that Seattle might be the place. Oakland appears to want to shed him, but a LH hitting, starting capable Catcher still has value, so they probably won't just cut him. Having Maxwell to give Zunino time when he's slumping would really strengthen the team.

OK, what do you guys think?



#1:  Get Gray and the 2nd trade makes sense.  Getting Gordon was always a creative risk/reward effort.  It didn’t pan out; trade him.  Getting Gray would be a steal.  However, Nathaniel Lowe hit .356-.432.-.588 at A+ last season and .340-.444-.606 at AA.  Why would they swap him for (in effect) Healy, who is coming off his worst season.  McKay was a #4 pick, but has hit .221 in two seasons.  Lowe looks to be the better bet, right now.  I can’t see that trade from their viewpoint. His brother, Josh, is a former 13th pick who has yet to show much of a bat.  If we trade away Taylor ((who is growing on me—nearly wrote about him a week ago) and Miller, he is a nice add.

But is he available for (in effect) Altavilla.   I would sure do that trade from our perspective, but from TBR’s?

#2:  Littel was decently tough in AAA last season.  But I am not in on resigning  Cruz, mostly because I can’t see him taking us to a WC bid.  And if we can’t get into the playoffs with him, then spend the cash elsewhere.  If we don’t sign Cruz, then you assume Vogs gets a long ST look at the DH slot.

#3: Maxwell is too toxic for a Seattle fan base.  

The guy I would like to see us dig after is Rusney Castillo, if you can get Boston to pay some of his salary.  Boston has to keep him in AAA to avoid the Luxury Tax hit on his  salary, but he’s hit .314 and .319 over the past two AAA seasons.  And he plays CF.  He wasn’t a total bust in Boston, accruing 1.6 WAR in 99 MLB games and 337 PAs.  He costs Boston $11.8M next season and $14.2M in ‘20 ( although he can opt out after next season).  Get the BoSox to foot 1/2 his bill and give him the cuts.  


Thanks for the updates on Jeff and the thoughts on the Mariners.....They need to get to a World Series for Jeff!!! 


Hope you all are doing great!


Rockies Jeff


Mike Leake was one of the worst full time starting pitchers in baseball in 2018 by quality of contact metrics. The rays are way too smart to give anything of value for that.


Gentlemen, thanks for the articles and updates on Jeff. I have tried to respond on here, filled out new accounts and nothing gets posted. I hope you all are doing well. Please know you are all thought of and missed! Keep the info on both sides coming please!

Rockies Jeff

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.