The Seattle Mariners were a good team in 2018, but not good enough. And since they very well may remain that way with their current crop of talent, it appears they are entertaining starting from scratch.
A report surfaced from Yahoo’s! Jeff Passan on Tuesday at the start of the General Manager Meetings that the Mariners are considering a “full-fledged teardown.”
FanCred Sports’ Jon Heyman threw a little cold water on the situation, but not much.
Of those presumably available, is there anyone the Boston Red Sox could take a look at? The 2018 World Series champs have seven players set to hit free agency, and while some could be back, others may walk for better offers.
In terms of pressing needs, Edwin Diaz presents arguably the best option for the Red Sox, however he is one of those three players that Heyman said Seattle plans to hold onto. There are some compelling choices in the field, but the cost would be high for guys that Boston either doesn’t need or that wouldn’t make them much better (see: Dee Gordon).
That takes us back to pitching, where two options seem make some sense: James Paxton and Alex Colome.
Paxton put together an impressive 2018 campaign that featured a no-hitter on May 8. He posted an 11-6 record with a 3.76 ERA which came on the heels of a 12-5 showing with a 2.98 ERA in 2017. The 30-year-old left-hander would be under team control for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, however he likely will command a fairly decent haul.
The price Boston would have to pay depends on how committed the Mariners are to their rebuild, but if the Red Sox miss out on bringing back Nathan Eovaldi, trading for Paxton to be a high-end middle-of-the-rotation arm behind Chris Sale and David Price would at least be worth inquiring about.
Colome could fill a need in relief. He’s no stranger to the Red Sox, as he served as the Tampa Bay Rays’ closer from 2016 until he was traded to the Mariners during last campaign. In 70 appearances between the two teams in 2018, the 2016 All-Star was 7-5 with a 3.04 ERA.
The right-hander had a league-leading 47 saves in 2017 and has mostly been reliable since transitioning to a full-time reliever in 2016. Like Paxton, he’s also under team control for the next two seasons but wouldn’t cost as much in a trade. Particularly if either Joe Kelly or Craig Kimbrel (or both) were to depart in free agency, adding a veteran reliever like Colome is intriguing. Even if Kelly and Kimbrel both stayed, looking into Colome would help bolster what was a shaky Red Sox bullpen during the regular season.
All told, the Mariners are loaded with talent. But considering what they are willing to part with and what the Red Sox need, pitching may be the only thing that gets Boston to pick up the phone.
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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