dee gordon-miami marlins-seattle mariners

Hot stove season has arrived in earnest – on Thursday afternoon, the Miami Marlins traded second baseman Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners.

Where Gordon will play in Seattle is anyone’s best guess, though SiriusXM’s Jim Bowden claims he’ll play center field (which Rosenthal also confirmed).

Gordon doesn’t seem to have a place in the Mariners infield, with Kyle Seager, Jean Segura, and Robinson Cano locked in at third, short, and second, respectively, newly acquired Ryon Healy poised to play every day at first base, and Nelson Cruz returning as DH. The Mariners don’t have much of anything in the outfield – Mitch Haniger did a good job in right field when healthy (.282/.352/.491 with 16 homers), but Jarrod Dyson couldn’t hit, Ben Gamel couldn’t field, and rookie Guillermo Heredia wasn’t too hot in either department.

The 29-year old Gordon slashed .308/.341/.375 last season with 60 stolen bases, his third time in four seasons at the top of the NL in that department. He’s played exclusively at second and short in the majors, winning a Gold Glove for his work at the position in 2015.

Gordon also comes with a significant financial commitment – he’s guaranteed just shy of $39 million through 2020, and can be controlled through 2021 if an option is exercised or vests. The Marlins indicated a willingness to trade Gordon in recent weeks because of that financial commitment, and they could be alright with infield depth due to the presence of Derek Dietrich at either second or third, JT Riddle at short, and potentially, veteran Martin Prado at the position Dietrich doesn’t play (assuming Prado also doesn’t get traded).

Assuming Seattle takes on Gordon’s entire contract, Miami has chopped their projected 2018 payroll to just over $120 million. That’s not where they want to be in the long run, but it’s a start, and trading Giancarlo Stanton and the $25 million he’s owed next year (and perhaps Prado and his $13.5 million owed) would get the Marlins much closer to their overall payroll goal while keeping both Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich in the fold.

The return for the Marlins is interesting – 2015 second-round pick Nick Neidert, who was the 2017 California League (high-A) pitcher of the year, is the highlight of the trade.

In 104 1/3 innings in high-A this year, Neidert pitched to a 2.76 ERA (positive, given the hitter-friendly nature of the California League), striking out 109 and walking just 17. He did struggle in AA over six starts, notching a 6.56 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks. MLBPipeline ranked him as the second-best prospect in Seattle’s organization at the time of the deal.

19-year old Christopher Torres is also an interesting piece, ranking as the seventh-best prospect in the organization before the trade. Over 48 games with Everett of the Northwest League, he hit .238/.324/.435 with 13 stolen bases and 20 extra base hits.

In the trade, the Mariners also got $1 million in international pool money, undoubtedly to bolster their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani.

Bring on the Winter Meetings!

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.