Last night, the Mariners completed a trade for 2-time All Star second baseman Dee Gordon.
With Cano obviously locked in at second base, their plan is to move the speedy Gordon to center field, a position he will have to learn in the next four months. In my opinion, this is a dumb, yet exciting, move defensively, because speed does not always translate to being a good outfielder. He will have to learn how to track balls, get good reads, hit cut-off men, proper decision making, throwing ahead of the runners, and so many other things that go into being an effective center fielder. Can he do it? I believe so. He’s a talented guy, and the Mariners have a plethora of good center fielders who are still heavily involved in the organization to help him out (See below).
The reason why I really like this move is what it does for the Mariners from a talentperspective. Baseball will never be like basketball, where players can essentially be “positionless”, but it’s turning into a game where athletes are capable of doing a little bit of everything.
Trading for an All-Star, regardless of his baggage (heavy contract and an 80 game suspension in 2016), and only giving up your #7 prospect and another pitcher in return is a steal, I don’t care what anyone says. Dee Gordon is one of the more talented players in baseball, and at 29 years old, still has 4-5 really good years left.
Here’s my projected lineup for them next year, with a few key stats to show they now have some decent depth:
- Dee Gordon (.308 BA, 60 SB, 201 H)
- Jean Segura (.300 BA, .349 OBP, 157 H)
- Robinson Cano (.280 BA, 23 HR, 97 RBI)
- Nelson Cruz (.288 BA, 39 HR, 119 RBI-also a man who I thought should have gotten more MVP consideration)
- Kyle Seager (27 HR, 88 RBI)
- Ryon Healy (see article as he was traded earlier this offseason)
- Mitch Haniger (.282 BA)
- Mike Zunino (25 HR)
- Ben Gamel (.275 BA, .322 OBP)
I think the Mariners are really going to surprise some people next year. Not only this trade, but they are currently in the running for Japanese superstar Shohei Otani, especially since in this trade they also acquired $1 million in international money.
Don’t expect them to be the Mariners of the late 90s/early 2000s, but in an AL West that belongs to the Astros for the next few years, the Mariners will make a strong case for that second wild card spot after finishing a rough 7.0 games out in 2017.