Well, in answer to the question: “Will Edwin Encarnacion Garner The Mariners More In Trade Than Jay Bruce?“, the answer is a resounding: we’ll see.
As we all remember, the Jay Bruce deal got us an A-Ball prospect by the name of Jake Scheiner, who plays the corner infield and corner outfield spots. In return, the Mariners had to give a good chunk of change to the Phillies to compensate for Bruce’s high salary. We all expected a similar situation with Encarnacion, and lo and behold, here we are.
The Mariners recently participated in the MLB Draft, in which they spent a crazy number of high-round draft picks on pitching, because not only does our pitching stink at a Major League level, but it stinks at all levels throughout the minors. In recent days, highly-touted prospect Justus Sheffield was demoted down to AA, after consistently and thoroughly stinking for the Tacoma Rainiers. I was lamenting this fact over the weekend, as we were bamboozled once again by a “sure thing” prospect from the Yankees, wishing out into the universe that the Mariners never trade with that fucking team ever again (because all their prospects are FUCKING OVERRATED), and in return the universe farted in my face.
Edwin Encarnacion was traded to the Yankees for Juan Then, a 19 year old pitcher who figures to be in A-Ball this year. In return, the Mariners had to pay about half of the remaining salary owed to Encarnacion.
It should be noted that Juan Then originally signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Mariners as a younger teenager. We traded him with another low-level prospect for Nick Rumbelow, a reliever with the Yankees who was supposed to be worth a damn, except SURPRISE, wasn’t worth a damn because Yankees. Figure anyone the Yankees opt to give away in a deal is someone who sucks and will never fucking amount to anything.
It should also be noted that there are rumors that the Mariners could have gotten more from other organizations if only the Mariners were willing to take on more of Encarnacion’s salary. I find this remarkably easy to believe, and even though you’ll find record of me praising the organization for eating money on these deals to acquire prospects, know for the record that I don’t have all the information. While I suppose it’s true we could’ve easily just traded these guys for nothing, in a straight salary dump, it’s also true that if the Mariners ate 100% of the money, we’d probably be looking at better (or more) prospects in return.
The ultimate take-away from this deal comes from a Buster Olney tweet I saw this morning, where he notes the Mariners have only $65.5 million in committed money for 2020, $41.5 million for 2021, and $0 for 2022. And, if the team ever figures out a way to trade Mike Leake (which shouldn’t be too hard, if he keeps pitching as well as he has the last four starts), those millions should go down considerably.
From there, you figure the team will be looking to move Dee Gordon, while at least listening to offers for Wade LeBlanc, Tim Beckham, and any other veteran not nailed down.
I’ll get into what we’re looking at the rest of the way in another post, but for now, let’s send Encarnacion off with a hearty goodbye and good luck. In 65 games, he hit 21 homers, 49 RBI, and was good for 2.0 WAR while playing a very competent first base. The Mariners have had FAR WORSE Rent-A-Players in their history; indeed, Encarnacion might be among the very best. It’s just too bad he was squandered on such a wretched team.
Still, it’s not every day you see a professional like Encarnacion make the best of a bad situation. We literally couldn’t have asked anything more from a delightful human being. His parrot rides will certainly be missed.