Jerry Dipoto might be in some sort of Crank scenario, where he has to make trades with a certain regularity or else he dies. Because the dude makes a ton of trades. Like, easily more than the next team since he took over as GM of the Seattle Mariners in 2015.
But don’t take my word for it! Take this graphic, from MLB.com!
That’s a lot of trades! And now we can add one more, a rare pre-Memorial Day big leaguers for prospects trade between Seattle and Tampa that nets the Mariners veteran outfielder Denard Span and reliever Alex Colome.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 25, 2018
Mariners are giving up Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero in the deal
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 25, 2018
Colome is probably the more valuable piece; the former closer had 47 saves last year, but this year has struggled with a 4.15 ERA. His FIP is actually better than last season, though, sitting at 2.69, and he seems like a candidate for a solid remainder of the season should his results come more into line with his peripherals. Colome is also under team control through 2021.
Span is 34, and likely not going to be much more than an average player at best, but that’s still useful to Seattle, a team that’s outperformed expectations so far; sitting at 29-20, Seattle is currently projected as a possible AL Wild Card contender, and making this move now signals a commitment to a pursuit of that playoff berth, Robinson Cano suspension/injury aside.
Making the move now also gives Seattle more time to evaluate their roster; if things trend positively, they’ll have time to add, and if they go the other way, it’s not inconceivable they flip Span and Colome for more than they sent out today. That’s because Tampa’s return is, well, not that great. Andrew Moore made his rookie debut last year and exhausted his rookie eligibility by nine innings; if not, he’d have been one of Seattle’s better prospects, though rated by some as just a back-end starter type.
Those certainly have value, especially to a team like Tampa, but they’re also not the rarest of arms. They did get 20-year-old lefty Tommy Romero, who is currently lighting up the Midwest League, but A-ball pitchers are basically all lottery tickets. It’s fair to wonder whether they could have gotten more, especially for Colome, by waiting. You also rarely see teams start to sell this early in the year, although in Tampa’s case, it’s not like they have to worry about fans being demoralized to the point of not showing up.
They weren’t going to be there anyway.