Admit it. After the Seattle Mariners traded away Taijuan Walker and Matt Magill was placed on the IL, you thought Jerry Dipoto was done. It is okay to admit it. I certainly did. But trader Jerry woke from a longer than normal stupor and pulled off a heist that would make the crew of Ocean’s 11 blush.
On Sunday evening, the Seattle Mariners sent Austin Nola, Dan Altavilla, and Austin Adams to the San Diego Padres for Taylor Trammell, Ty France, Andres Munoz, and Luis Torrens. Let me know when you stop laughing.
To say Dipoto swindled or hoodwinked the Padres is a bit unfair. After all, the Padres are aiming to end their own playoff drought and have serious issues at catcher and in the bullpen. But what the Mariners got for a player who just 14 months ago was a journeyman MILB infielder, a reliever that was out of chances in Washington, and an incredibly inconsistent bullpen arm is staggering. Let’s run down what exactly the Mariners got.
The “prize” of this trade for the Mariners is outfielder Taylor Trammell. Keith Law’s 40th ranked prospect in all of baseball, Trammell will turn 23-years-old in 2 weeks and instantly becomes one of the best athletes in the whole organization. Trammell, who stands at 6’2″, 215 lbs, was the 2018 All-Stars Future Game MVP. He brings plenty of bat speed to the plate with 20-25 home run potential. There are some swing and miss issues that need to be addressed, but scouts are fairly convinced he can hit for a good average and he’s never had issues taking his walks.
Trammell is also a plus runner and has accumulated 110 steals in 4 MILB seasons. He isn’t a gold glove winner in centerfield, his primary position, but he can handle the spot just fine and has more than enough bat to profile as an above-average left fielder for the next decade. His lone unimpressive tool is his arm, which limits him to left field or center field.
In addition to Trammell, the Mariners also acquired third baseman Ty France. France is a minor league performer who has plus raw power, above-average raw power, and a strong throwing arm. France was never thought to be a great defender, but he performed quite well at both second and third base in his first taste of the big leagues, earning positive UZR/150 at both spots. France has appeared in 88 big league games and has hit .251/.311/.426 with nine home runs in 257 PAs. The hit tool will determine his future as an everyday regular.
Also coming over in the deal is young catcher Luis Torrens. At 24-years-old, Torrens has only a handful of opportunities at the big league level. He does have a strong arm and some bat-to-ball skills. With the Padres trading for Nola and Jason Castro on the same day, and with Austin Hedges still on the roster (for now), Torrens is redundant but gives the Mariners a stop-gap option with some upside for the time being.
The final piece to the trade is Andres Munoz, a 21-year-old reliever who is out with an elbow injury. But Munoz made his debut in 2019 and in 23 innings he was worth 0.4 fWAR, sporting an 11.74 K/9. How Munoz gets the strikeouts is not a mystery. He has a 100+ MPH fastball, a 95 MPH sinker, and an above-average to plus slider. Munoz very well could be the closer of the future and he has six full years of club control remaining.
The Mariners added a Top 50 prospect in baseball, a powerful infielder, a flamethrowing potential high leverage reliever, and a solid defensive backstop with decent upside at the plate. In total, they got 21 years of club control for their troubles. Jerry Dipoto took a paperclip and traded it up for a house in just over one calendar year. Spin it any way you want to Heyman, but Jerry just painted a masterpiece and Mariners fans should stand and appreciate the fine art.