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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Mariners finalizing a trade that would send catcher Mike Zunino, outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays | The Seattle Times

Mike Zunino may not have to go far from his home in Gainesville, Fla., when the 2019 season begins.

Multiple Major League Baseball sources said the Mariners are finalizing a deal with their favorite trade partner, the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle would send Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia and minor league left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer to Tampa in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and minor league outfielder Jake Fraley.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 05:21 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: guillermo heredia, mallex smith, mariners, mike zunino, trade

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   1. sotapop Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5784276)
Not thrilled about this one. Rays are still trying to make up for not drafting Buster Posey way back when. Meanwhile, though I know some may downplay this, Smith was legitimately good at manufacturing runs in games I watched. Really important with the Rays' good-pitch, low-power structure.

The other downside is that now I can see the Rays putting Kiermaier back in leadoff, where he'll try to steal bases, and probably end up breaking his fingers, comma, again.

EDIT: OK, not all injuries were to his fingers, but two came while sliding into bases. From the Tampa Bay Times, back in July: There was the left hand he broke diving for a ball in 2016 that cost him 48 games. There was the right hip he fractured sliding into first in 2017 that cost him 61 games. And there was that right thumb ligament he tore going headfirst into second this April that cost him 57 games.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5784280)
Mariners are finalizing a deal with their favorite trade partner, the Tampa Bay Rays.
No kidding. If Baseball Reference is right, this will be their 7th trade in the past 2 years. Mallex Smith had already been in one of these.
   3. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5784299)
This is an interesting deal in that the rebuilding team is acquiring the player who was the best of the bunch last year, in Mallex. Otoh, if you were to argue that TB is buying low / selling high, I probably would agree.
   4. aberg Posted: November 08, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5784315)
Seems like the evaluation of this trade turns out how sticky you think 2018 was. Zunino was about as good as you can be with a .259 OBP, but he had a .259 OBP. Really good reflexes, good arm, seems to frame and call games well. He obviously hits the ball really hard when he connects. But, .259 OBP.

Smith's speed means he will probably have a higher BABIP than most guys, but can he sustain .366? He's two years younger, so it's probably safer to bet on him sustaining than Zunino improving. Plus, 2 more years of control. Heredia is a non-factor to me. He was awful last year and got worse the more he had to play.

As it stands now, Smith slots into CF, which allows Gordon to go back to 2B. That would also mean Cano to 1B/DH, where he played more at the end of last year. Of course, who knows who will be on the roster by opening day? I'm curious whether they're trying to convince the Mets that they should acquire the new GM's old client.
   5. sotapop Posted: November 08, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5784341)
Der-K: Yes. It seemed to me (as a Rays fan) that Smith played way over his head last year. Can't find his BABIP but that would be interesting. Also, despite his speed, he's not a great outfielder. I saw him take a lot of... odd routes last season.
   6. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 08, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5784347)
I decided a few years ago that Heredia would be a nice 4th outfielder and have been remarkably indifferent to his lack of performance in maintaining that assessment. I'm likely wrong.
Co-sign on Smith's routes. I think he's best in center, to give his speed time to overcome some of his other issues - Seattle should allow for this.
The Rays catching situation was pretty dire, so I get why Zunino tempts them.
   7. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: November 08, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5784348)
Der-K: Yes. It seemed to me (as a Rays fan) that Smith played way over his head last year. Can't find his BABIP but that would be interesting. Also, despite his speed, he's not a great outfielder. I saw him take a lot of... odd routes last season.


This is a bizarre trade on the face of it. The Mariners are buying high to fill a hole (CF) while creating another (C) all while ostensibly committing to a rebuild this week. So are they coming or going?

As it stands now, Smith slots into CF, which allows Gordon to go back to 2B. That would also mean Cano to 1B/DH, where he played more at the end of last year. Of course, who knows who will be on the roster by opening day? I'm curious whether they're trying to convince the Mets that they should acquire the new GM's old client.


I don't understand why they are so eager to piss of Cano. Dee Gordon, love the guy's attitude but he is essentially a fungible 1 WAR talent. So why bend over backwards to get him at 2B? Do they really think he's going to hit more than 290/310/370? He's not. Always be wary of the fast guys that rely on their legs for value once they pass 28. But Dipoto loves these types.
   8. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: November 08, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5784351)
Here’s Michael Plassmeyer’s bbref page. He’s the prospect heading back to Tampa.

1. He had 12 starts but only 24 innings pitched. They use Openers in the minors too, I guess?

2. In those 24 innings he had 44 Ks and 4 walks. That’s.....that’s pretty good.
   9. aberg Posted: November 08, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5784354)
I don't understand why they are so eager to piss of Cano. Dee Gordon, love the guy's attitude but he is essentially a fungible 1 WAR talent. So why bend over backwards to get him at 2B? Do they really think he's going to hit more than 290/310/370? He's not. Always be wary of the fast guys that rely on their legs for value once they pass 28. But Dipoto loves these types.


Yeah, agreed. We'll see if they're both on the team in a few months. Gordon does play a really solid 2B. Don't see any reason to expect him to compete for batting titles again, and that's his main offensive skill.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 08, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5784384)
I don't understand why they are so eager to piss of Cano. Dee Gordon, love the guy's attitude but he is essentially a fungible 1 WAR talent. So why bend over backwards to get him at 2B?

Yeah. You don't move the guy with the 136 OPS+ to get the guy with the 79 OPS+ in the lineup.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5784605)
Why assume a move to 1B/DH would piss off Cano? He's turning 36, a good time to make that move, maybe even late. It was good enough for Carew (at a much younger age) and Molitor (at a younger age) and they're sorta the first two comps I think of for Cano.

Smith had a really nice 2nd half. He had a sub-700 OPS in early June and 833 after that. Yes a 380 BABIP that he can't sustain, but speedy players can maintain in the 330-350 range. Rfield puts him well above-average in CF so maybe he's out-running those bad routes.

Based on #4, I'll assume the Rays think Zunino adds like 9 wins with his defense and framing.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 08, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5784620)
Why assume a move to 1B/DH would piss off Cano? He's turning 36, a good time to make that move, maybe even late. It was good enough for Carew (at a much younger age) and Molitor (at a younger age) and they're sorta the first two comps I think of for Cano.

Doesn't really matter if it pisses him off or not. He's still an average to above average 2B by both UZR and DRS. It's dumb to move a very strong bat off a middle position when you don't have to.

The Mariners should be able to easily find a 1B or DH that can out hit Gordon.
   13. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: November 08, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5784631)
Walt: in her nightly reports from the offseason local beat reporter Shannon Drayer, who usually tries to spin and soften things as nicely as possible for public consumption -- has strongly implied that Cano does not want to be moved off 2B. I suspect that it's at least partly because as Snapper pointed out he's a perfectly fine 2B, even at his age. His footwork is as good as ever and while his hands and agility are declining they are still plenty good given his overall athletic coordination.

The Mariners should be blowing this #### up while they still can imo. That would include doing everything possible to move Cano while he's still a legit star 2B.
   14. bookbook Posted: November 08, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5784661)
The Mariners should be able to easily find a 1B or DH that can out hit Gordon.


Said like someone who hasn’t watched the Mariners play for the last two decades.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5785097)
It's dumb to move a very strong bat off a middle position when you don't have to.

You move him when you've got him under contract for 5 more years. You want his bat to stay good and in the lineup and not hurt yourself defensively. Cano is not immune from aging -- maybe the defense remains average for another year (it's been average for 5, it's unlikely to remain there at his age) but that's not worth the extra risk. Now if it really would piss him off, then you consider leaving him there but the right baseball move is to shift him.

Plus Cruz is an FA, the Ms were replacement level at 1B last year, there's a 2B option on the team in Gordon, Segura may be moving there in a year or two and the FA market is overflowing with short-term 2B options.
   16. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 09, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5785111)
Cano has a better HOF chance if he remains at 2B.
   17. aberg Posted: November 09, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5785187)
Plus Cruz is an FA, the Ms were replacement level at 1B last year, there's a 2B option on the team in Gordon, Segura may be moving there in a year or two and the FA market is overflowing with short-term 2B options.


As of now, the Mariners opening day lineup would probably look like:

C: WTF knows (Freitas?)
1b: Cano
2b: Gordon (could definitely get traded)
3b: Seager
SS: Segura (Will probably be shopped)
LF: Gamel
CF: Smith
RF: Hanniger
DH: Healy/Vogelbach
   18. Bote Man Posted: November 09, 2018 at 10:01 PM (#5785278)
The Mariners should be able to easily find a 1B or DH that can out hit Gordon.

Bryce Harper is available.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5785576)
Cano has a better HOF chance if he remains at 2B.


Not really, by the stat guys he's already a hofer, by the idiots.... I mean writers, he needs counting numbers or some other crap like that, and he's going to get those by moving to a position that protects his health, and allows him to add more mass to his frame to up those offensive numbers.

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