Let’s Get Creative: What The Seattle Mariners Should Do

by TheMLBTalk101 | Posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
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Hisashi Iwakuma

People will think I’m crazy when they read this next sentence, and most will disagree. The Mariners should trade starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. There, I said it. This has been, in my opinion, my best trade idea. Sure, Iwakuma was incredible last season, however, now let’s delve into this idea and the madness behind it all.

First and foremost, Iwakuma is 32. By the idea of a players “Prime” Kuma has only a few years left. Also, my biggest concern is that Kuma has only this year guaranteed. In 2015, the Mariners have a team option for him. After finishing 3rd in the Cy Young vote last year Kumas value has never been higher. Therefore, trade him while the gettins good. Now of course, if we were to sign Tanaka this plan would be even better. Whats the one thing the Mariners are in desperate need of??? A power right handed bat? Maybe the strongest guy in the MLB? Some people see exactly where I’m going with this. This might be making people excited, while other people are now convinced I’ve gone off the deep end. What other guy could I be talking about? Lets trade for Giancarlo Stanton.

Miami Marlins Trade:

OF Giancarlo Stanton

Seattle Mariners Trade:

SP Hisashi Iwakuma

2B Nick Franklin

OF Abraham Almonte

OF Dustin Ackley

Sure maybe that is a lot of guys to trade, however, look at the stats. In 4 years Giancarlo Stanton has 117 home runs. That’s averaging at least 25 long balls a year! He was on the D.L. last year and he still averages over 25 bombs per season. He is 24 years old. He would be moving from Marlins Park (Largest MLB park) to Safeco Field, a much more friendly hitters park. Best of all, he’s cheap.

Stanton is signed through the 2016 season. 2014 is Stanton’s first arbitration eligible year. He is making less than $10M this year. He is a cheap guy to have. In fact, if we only traded Iwakuma for him our payroll would actually be less that it is now. Here is that lineup as well my projected rotation.


Miller SS

Seager 3B

Cano 2B

Stanton RF

Hart DH

Smoak 1B

Morrison LF

Zunino C

Gutierrez CF


Hernandez R

Walker R

Paxton L

Ramirez R

Beaven R

Looking at this lineup I’m no longer in fear of Cano. Stanton has me shaking in my cleats. His power threat is incredible. With the Mariners coming into some money the next few years because of their new television deal, there’s a great chance they could sign Stanton to an extension. There is a chance he could be a $300M player. If he could keep up his numbers he is well worth that money. This lineup could compete in the crazy AL West. Also, don’t sleep on that Rotation. The King is still the King. Beaven has been consistent. If Taijuan Walker is half of what he’s built up to be he’s a great 3 atarter. Paxton was solid in his few starts at the end of last season. Ramirez has pitched well recently in winter ball. I feel I made a good case as to why Hisashi Iwakuma should have a one way ticket out of Seattle. Dont get me wrong, I love the guy and what he’s done for the Mariners. I have his autograph. He’s a great guy, but its time to trade high. Still think I’m crazy??

Are the Mariners really out of money? That’s the question every fan in Seattle is asking. The only players being payed over 15 million next year are Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano, with Hisashi Iwakuma being the next highest payed at 14M. With a Payroll around $67M for the 2014 season it seems crazy to think that they may be running low on the dough.

It was reported earlier this month that, “The Mariners have to ask ownership before making anymore big moves”. As a reader pointed out earlier, all clubs have to get the consent of the owners to make a move at least in a general sense). I agree with him completely, but it could also be an indicator that they are low on cash. It has been reported in the early offseason that the M’s may have $120M+. Then, speaking with a Seattle reporter, I was told the Mariners payroll is at least $90M. To say that they are close to their payroll limit now may be a sneaky way to let players like Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana know that they have to bring down their price tag before the Mariners can make a realistic offer (Cruz wants around $75M and Santana wants $100M+ reported earlier in the offseason).

If its true that the Mariners are at their payroll cap at $67M, what does it mean? It means that Cano has a lot more pressure in 2014 to perform. Say the Payroll limit is maybe $80M. That means that they still have a chance to sign Cruz, Santana, and Jimenez if they lower their price tag. There is a chance that the Mariners trade for a cheap power bat like Giancarlo Stanton. The fact of the matter is the M’s might not have the power behind Cano to get him the best pitches. I’m not saying that Hart, Smoak, and Morrison are nobody’s, but nobody knows how well Hart will rebound and which Smoak and Morrison will show up each day.

So, if the Mariners are low on money, maybe they have to take big advantage of the big TV deal next year. Maybe they will get some money from their ownership to sign a new bat. Maybe they will make a trade for a power guy. Maybe, they will do absolutely nothing and bank on Comeback seasons for Hart and Morrison along with the progression of Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller, Mike Zunino, Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager. What is the common trend here? MAYBE. Nobody really knows what is going to happen or exactly what is happening right now in the Seattle Mariners front office, but there is one thing for sure. The rest of the offseason will be very crucial to the Seattle Mariners success in 2014 and the redevelopment of their fan base.

Written by Colton Swanson Of TheMLBTalk101

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Baseball Hot Corner and MLB Talk 101 have joined forces to bring you the best baseball coverage and player interviews on the web.

  • Garry

    Your $67m estimate for 2014 payroll is a little skewed…and Iwakuma’s 2015 option is not $14m, but it is $7m.

    COTS has Seattle 2014 Payroll base sitting at $70.6m at the present, but that doesn’t include the $4.65m incentives to Hart, and another $2m incentives to Gutz, which is another $6.65m…so basically $77.25m committed. BUT, I heard years ago from Jason Churchhill that Seattle only budgets 25% on “incentives” to players, and if that is true we have an estimated $73m on the books for 2014.

    We also have to consider that total doesn’t include Smoak (approx $2.8m) or LoMo (aprox $2m) Arb figures. Plus we have another 12 league minimum players to fill the 25 man roster, which will be approx another $6m. Smoak, Lomo, and 12 league min players is approx another $11m.

    So if Seattle truly budgets 25% of incentive contracts within the payroll figures, Smoak, Lomo & 12 low $ controlled players…we are sitting @ approx $84m at the present.

    If Ackley ($1.7m), Smoak (est $2.8m), or Saunders ($2.3m) are traded that will free up $6.8m for 2014…so trading any of these would provide salary relief in any trade.

    I can see Seattle landing FA’s: Rodney, AJ Burnett

    I’m all for Stanton, and locking him up longterm, but I don’t think we need to send Iwakuma. Paxton/E-Ramirez/Noesi/Mauer/Franklin/Almonte/Ackley/Smoak/Saunders? Or any type of combo that is needed between these players. Yes Yes Yes. I would even include Seager, since DJ Peterson is so close and has a better upside with his bat than Seager.

    I definitely see some kind of a trade coming, prior to the season starting. There has to be with Smoak getting moved and probably Ackley and Franklin too.

    One of the following Trade Candidates to be Acquired by Seattle: Stanton, Kemp, Bautista, or Gomez

    “If” Seattle could land: Burnett, Rodney, and Stanton…I could see another mid-season trade for a SP putting us over the top. Philly’s will be out by July making both Hamels and Lee available. Plus there will be many others at 1/2 the players 2014 salary by the July trading deadline.

  • Colton Swanson

    Thank you for clearing that stuff up. I really enjoyed your trade ideas and agree with you for the most part.

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