Win now! That’s the obvious message, implied in the trade made today as well as said directly by manager Scott Servais.
Incoming: reliever Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span
Outgoing: starter Andrew Moore and starter Tommy Romero
Colome has been one of the best closers in all of baseball the last 2+ seasons. The Mariners already have an elite closer in Edwin Diaz, so Colome figures to slot into that 8th inning role, bumping back Juan Nicasio and Nick Vincent. Colome is also, obviously, closer insurance in case Diaz falls apart or needs a break because he’s gone too many days in a row. He’s also got 2 more arb years left on him, so it’s not just a 2018 rental.
(not for nothing, but that also means we can flip Colome at any time, if this thing falls apart)
Span is an aging veteran outfielder who gets on base a lot and that’s about it. Not a lot of power, not a lot of speed, not a lot of great defensive ability, but he walks a lot I guess. I dunno, I’m not super jazzed about the addition. He’s over-priced – so it’s a bit of a salary dump for the Rays – but they did give us a little over $4 million in return, which just so happens to be the cost of buying out his contract after this season. He would otherwise be set to make $12 million in 2019, and there’s just no fucking way that’s going to happen.
Span is apparently going to take over for Ben Gamel, which feels somewhat appropriate given Gamel’s struggles since the All Star Break last year. The hope being that Span gets hot and his batting average creeps up to his career average (.282). He’s hitting .238 right now, so if he does approach his career average, that could be quite the boost to this team. He’s 34 years old though, so maybe don’t count on it.
I love the deal. I worry that Colome might be somewhat disgruntled taking a backseat to another closer, but he’s apparently saying all the right things, so I’ll reserve any judgment until I see him in action. If he kicks ass, then this could be a HUGE boost to this bullpen. You have to figure Nicasio isn’t going to suck forever, and with Vincent working his magic, and Pazos and Cook being potentially dependable fireballers, we could be looking at one of the top bullpens in the American League.
I also don’t mind the loss of Andrew Moore. He’s another in a long line of soft-tossing starters we’ve cultivated in our farm system and I just don’t think he’s going to be anything special. He certainly wasn’t going to help us this year, and he probably wasn’t much of a long-term viable rotation option. He could prove me wrong, but right now I’m not broken up about it. As for the other guy, he’s still in A-ball, so whatever.