Mariners' rebuild with trade deadline deals
September 3, 2020
The Mariners marketing department must be wondering if it is still a good idea to sell jerseys with names on the back. Dan Vogelbach, Taijuan Walker, Taylor Williams, Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla, and Austin Nola will all be wearing different uniforms next season. The Mariners were very active during this year’s trade deadline and have made deals with the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres.
Here is a breakdown of the trades starting with the two Toronto moves. Mariners acquired cash from the Toronto Blue Jays for Dan Vogelbach. Despite hitting thirty home runs for the Mariners last season, Vogelbach has struggled over the last two years to be more than an all-or-nothing hitter. Ultimately, he will not be part of the team’s rebuild. Taijuan Walker, once a top prospect the Mariners re-acquired this past offseason, was traded to Toronto for a player to be named later. No doubt, the Mariners were hoping for more in return when they signed Walker to a one-year contract this offseason.
Now for the seven-player trade with the San Diego Padres. Seattle acquired OF Taylor Trammell, INF Ty France, C Luis Torrens, and RHP Andres Munoz from San Diego Padres for C Austin Nola, RHP Austin Adams, and RHP Dan Altavilla. All of the players the Mariners picked up in this deal are intriguing.
Catcher Luis Torrens was a highly touted catching prospect in the Yankees farm system but was left unprotected as a twenty-one year in the Rule 5 draft a few years ago. The Yankees thought that no one would be interested in a single A catcher enough to draft him and promote him to the major leagues. Since the Padres’ minor league system was one of the worst in baseball, they signed Torrens, playing him at the major league level all season. He didn’t perform well as a hitter, having skipped so many levels at once. The next season the Padres played him on their double-A team for further development. In ninety-seven games at the double A level last year, he hit .300/.373/500 with fifteen home runs. Still only twenty-four years old, he may turn out to be the best player in this trade.
Andres Munoz was consistently averaging ninety-nine miles an hour on his fastball and topping out at 103 mph. Munoz underwent Tommy John surgery (Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) in 2019 missing the entire 2020 season, so this is a bit of a gamble by Seattle but an interesting one. Munoz also has a mid-80s breaking ball to go with his fastball and has the potential to be the Mariners’ future closer. Munoz will be twenty-two next season.
Ty France is a versatile infielder that can play multiple positions and had a great season hitting .399/.477/.770 at triple-A El Paso. In twenty games this year, he hit .309/.377/.491 with the Padres.
Finally, Taylor Trammell is the centerpiece of this deal. Trammell has the potential to be a leadoff hitter similar to a Brett Gardner. He has currently ranked the sixty-eight prospect in all of baseball and probably becomes the Mariners starting left fielder next season. All in all, not a bad return for Austin Nola, who was having by far his best year in the majors.