Making Heads Or Tails Of The Mariners’ Latest Trade

Going Away:  Carlos Santana & $6 million to the Indians
Coming Here:  Edwin Encarnacion and a 2019 draft pick (77th overall) from the Indians
Coming Here:  $5 million from the Rays

Obviously, this is a 3-team deal of sorts, but I don’t care about what the Rays or Indians moved around.  Here’s what we know:  Santana is a bat-first first baseman who is guaranteed to earn $35 million over the next two years ($500,000 of that is a buy-out for 2021).  Encarnacion is a bat-first DH (who plays minimal first base) who is guaranteed $25 million over the next one year ($5 million of that is a buy-out for 2020).  So, the money part makes sense; the M’s gave away $6 million to the Indians to help mitigate the hefty cost over the next two years, in return the M’s got back from the Rays what’s essentially the 2020 buy-out.  On its face, it looks like the M’s are down a cool mil, but over the long haul, we’re actually saving … carry the denominator … I don’t know, math is hard!

The point is, for now, we don’t have an aging first baseman for the 2020 season.  Just one for the 2019 season.

Saving money and jettisoning veterans is the name of the rebuilding game.  I’m not going to go into what Encarnacion brings to the table, because quite frankly I don’t expect him to be here for very long.  Odds are, that $5 million will probably go with him in any trade for, ideally, a prospect and not another useless veteran.  I say “useless” here ironically, because Encarnacion actually does have some pop left in the tank.  But, for a team that’s trying to lose as much as possible in 2019, you don’t want even REMOTELY good players on your roster.

I guess the best part of the deal for the M’s is the extra draft pick.  That gives the Mariners 4 picks in the Top 100 in the 2019 MLB Draft.  That’s pretty sweet!  Let’s hit on all of them and have a great team by 2023!

Otherwise, the offseason prattles on.

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