Seattle Mariners Dump More Salary (with Help from the Rays and Indians)

Yesterday’s three-way trade between the Mariners, Rays and Indians was wonderfully complex.  The Mariners continued their rebuild, trading away Carlos Santana‘s age 33 and 34 seasons for Edwin Encarnacion‘s age 36 season and the 77th pick in the 2019 Draft (the Indians’ Round B Competitive Balance pick), while saving a total of $10 million of future salary commitments.

The Indians got Santana and also also 23 year old 1B/LF Jake Bauers from the Rays.  Bauers got a lot of playing time with the Rays in 2018, but he was pretty awful, and he looks like he’ll need a full year in AAA in 2019.  Still, he’s young and he’s got some talent.  Although the Indians took on salary in the trade, it actually frees up salary space for them in 2019, because Santana will cost the Tribe about $10 million less this coming season than Encarnacion would have.

The Rays got 3B Yandy Diaz and right-handed reliever Cole Sulser in the exchange and sent $5 million to the Mariners to almost balance out the $6 million the M’s sent to the Indians to defray part of the $35 million still owed to Santana.  Got all of that?

Yandy Diaz looks like the most interesting player in the trade.  Although he is already 27 and hasn’t played much in the majors, a lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s Cuban defector who lost a couple of seasons in the immigration process.  He looks like he can play adequate defense at third, and his career AAA slash line is .319/.415/.432 in more than 1,200 plate appearances.  If he can add some power, he could still potentially be a dark horse All-Star candidate at the hot corner.

It’s anticipated that the Mariners will soon trade away Encarnacion, possibly to the Rays in a future transaction.  If so, I’d guess the Mariners will have to include about $10M to get much of value in return.

We already knew that the M’s were firmly committed to rebuilding and dumping salary, but the trade is also a clear sign that both the Rays and the Indians intend to compete in 2019 within the limits of their small revenues.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays

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