Juan Then for Edwin Encarnacion
re-imagining a lower payroll for 2019


Q.  Is Juan Then valuable?

THE GOOD:  Here is Scott Servais on the 19-year-old Then:

“Juan is a great kid and his stuff has really jumped, velocity and breaking ball, we really like it,” Servais said. “He has chance to be a starter. He’s a young pitcher that kind of fits in the mix of guys we just drafted. It’s a nice arm to bring back.”

THE BAD:  Then was 50% of a trade package to acquire ... Nick Rumbelow.  Yes, the Nick Rumbelow.  The one we just cut.  So it's not like he was on anybody's radar as the next blue-chipper down the pike.

THE UGLY:  Then had reasonable stats in rookie ball, 8k / 2bb / 0.4hr, but I can't find anything on him for 2019.  No idea what he's been doing this year.  Little help here maties?

DR'S DIAGNOSIS:  There's a bag of balls, and then one good notch above that you have guys like Then.  


Q.  How much cash did the Yankees pick up on Encarnacion?

A.  Ryan Divish gives $8.5 to $10M, just about enough to pay his salary the rest of this year, not quite.  He has a $20M salary for next year or a $5M buyout; am guessing er hoping that 2020 is the Yankees' responsibility.  Since we would simply pay the $5M buyout instead of the $20M to play in NYY, obviously.

So, the Mariners found somebody who would take Encarnacion's salary off their hands.  Pretty good, huh.  You can now give away the AL's home run leader for nothing if you work hard enough at it. 

Perhaps the Yankee money moved from $10M down to $8.5M in return for sending Then.  That's the new way for trades to get done; these GM's calculate how much money the basic deal is worth, and then calculate how much a prospect is worth to them, and titrate the money to cancel out whatever prospects will change hands.


Q.  Is that an accomplishment, to give Encarnacion away for nothing?

A.  Well, I never got the original trade.  Recall that it was Jean Segura and two good relievers for J.P. Crawford ... and a salary dump player.  First Carlos Santana and his $20M; later Encarnacion and his $20M.  Then Dipoto got to work feverishly on dumping EE.  Why in the world he took the salary dump guy on in the first place, you tell me.

But whatever their rationale in the first place, M's fans can give thanks that:

(1) Encarnacion hit extremely well and made the powerflush possible.

(2) A roster slot opens up for Evan White, Jake Fraley, or somebody.

Although your guess is as good as mine, when they'll start bringing up interesting prospects instead of Mac Williamson and Austin Nola.  Until then, we'll just have to console ourselves with 'Bach and Crawford.


Dr D




Where they don't really report or scout, he was about to be added to the Yankees short season team, he just got added to the Aqua Sox roster for the Mariners.

I think the problem with Encarnacion is that teams don't highly value high slugging hitters that are limited to 1B/DH, Carlos Santana was a salary dump, EE was a salary dump, Domingo Santana was acquired for a 4th outfielder, Vogelbach was acquired for a bullpen long man, Ryon Healy cost a middle reliever to acquire, Nelson Cruz had to wait till February to get a contract with a 2nd year option.

I look at the Segura trade as primarily returning JP Crawford (who through his first 80 PA is already outhitting Segura).  The other half of that trade resulted in shipping out James Pazos (who spontaneously combusted and was last seen getting roasted in Albuquerque) and Juan Nicasio (much reviled by Mariners fans, and now pitching as a 4+ ERA middle reliever) for essentially 20 homers, and 2 young pitching prospects.  So essentially;

Plus (but not Plus Plus) Offense SS expected to be a 2B by '20 + 7th Inning Reliever + Junk Reliever =

Young SS ~= to Old SS + 2 B Prospects (Campbell, Then) + 3 x $14 mil/season to throw at SP in the offseason.

It's not necessarily a heist...unless one of those prospects turns into something.

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