I haven’t written about every single transaction the Mariners have made this offseason, because that would be crazy (there’ve been so many!). If it’s just a move for depth, particularly in the minor leagues, I tend to not bother. These sorts of players might get flipped again before they officially put on a Mariners uniform; if not, they’ll get a shot in Spring Training before likely spending the bulk of their seasons in Tacoma, only to be called up as injury replacements. Or ineffectiveness replacements. You get the idea.
For instance, the Mariners brought in lefty reliever James Pazos from the Yankees for some prospect. Will he make an impact with the big club? Who knows?
Then, you’ve got the two utility players we got from Tampa: Taylor Motter and Richie Shaffer; are these guys going to make a difference? I have no clue.
But, this trade here with Atlanta, this one might have legs. Alex Jackson was the final first round draft pick of the Jackie Z era. He’s yet to climb out of A-ball and looks to be yet another in a long line of duds the Mariners have drafted in the first round since Adam Jones back in 2003 (pending the careers of Taijuan Walker and Mike Zunino, but come on). The only other first rounder we have left from the Jackie Z era is D.J. Peterson, who’s probably as good as gone later this offseason, if the right deal comes along.
Alex Jackson might eventually pan out, but I’ll just go ahead and say I have my doubts. He was going to start this year in A-ball yet again, which means if he didn’t make significant strides this year, his value likely would have plummeted. In which case, we’re talking about selling a guy at the peak of his value. And, by all accounts, the Mariners were able to snag quite a haul.
Rob Whalen is a guy who’s most ready to compete for a starting spot in 2017’s rotation. He doesn’t have much Major League experience, just getting a cup of coffee in 2016, but he has extensive experience in the upper minors, and has good numbers to boot. He’s certainly nobody who deserves a guaranteed spot on the Major League roster, but he’s solid depth we can stash in Tacoma to start the season. And, who knows, if he blows up in Spring Training, then all the better.
Max Povse is the other pitcher we got in the deal, and he’s the one everyone’s raving about. He cracked AA last year, but he has a high ceiling with his awesome fastball. He becomes one of the top pitching prospects in our entire system, which sounds awesome, but is probably a testament to how shitty our farm is right now. He’ll likely start in AA again this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Tacoma by the time we reach the summer months.
It’s a nice little deal, but this doesn’t change anything when it comes to finding a replacement for Taijuan Walker. This just sets us up to be better in the event of injuries, and allows us to come from a spot that’s a little less desperate on the pitching side of things. Obviously, the off-season is still young, and we’ve got a long way to go before this roster is finalized.