The Seattle Mariners had a real photo finish at Wednesday’s trade deadline.
General manager Jerry Dipoto told the media that his team hit send on a deal sending righty Mike Leake to the Arizona Diamondbacks with just 68 seconds left to go before the 1 PM PST deadline, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Leake, who went 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 22 starts for the Mariners this year, attended school at Arizona State, so the move to the D-backs is fitting. There, he figures to fill the lead right-hander role vacated by All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke’s trade to the Houston Astros.
These types of franchise-changing decisions can really come down to the wire though, as this other professional team can attest to.
It is not a very fun time to be a Seattle Mariners fan right now.
The Mariners, losers of four of their last five games and 12 of their last 15, put together another subpar showing on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, falling behind by ten runs before the sixth inning. As Seattle outfielder Mallex Smith lost track of an Albert Pujols fly ball in the sun, the home crowd started pelting boos on their team, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
There are many boos as Mallex Smith can't track Pujols' fly ball in the sun. It bounces over the wall for a two-run double. It's now 12-2.
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 2, 2019
After winning 89 games last season, the Mariners have fallen off a cliff in 2019 and are now in the American League West cellar at 25-36. The teamwide fire sale obviously hasn’t helped either with management trading away the likes of James Paxton, Mike Zunino, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Ben Gamel, Carlos Santana, Jean Segura, and now Jay Bruce in just the last six months alone.
The Seattle players who remain don’t seem all too happy either, as it is obvious that the franchise is at or near rock bottom right about now.
- Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are very eager to move on from Jay Bruce, and they’re willing to make some serious financial sacrifices to do it.
The Mariners agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday that will send Bruce to Philadelphia for a prospect. It had been reported that some money would change hands as part of the deal, but now we know the final figure, and it’s a hefty one.
Phillies will trade infielder Jake Scheiner to Seattle for Jay Bruce. They'll get about $18 million from Mariners.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 2, 2019
Seattle’s contribution covers a little over half of Bruce’s salary. He was due $14 million per year in 2019 and 2020, and the Mariners will be kicking in the bulk of that.
News of the trade came out on Saturday. Bruce will fit in as a left-handed bench bat with power for the Phillies who can occasionally step into the outfield.
Preseason predictions were meant to be defied. That’s true in every sport, but baseball can particularly throw you off, given the length of the seasons and how teams can be prone to lengthy hot or cold streaks. A bad month may be masked over a full season, and a bad team may have a good month that goes unnoticed, but both are harder to miss — and potentially more impactful — when they happen early on in the regular season.
Here are ten teams that have surprised onlookers so far in 2019 — either in a good or bad way.
10. Atlanta Braves
The Braves were expected to take a step forward this season after breaking into the playoffs last year, but they’ve instead loitered around .500 through the first month or so of the season. A big part of this is down to an unreliable bullpen and a pitching staff that, in general, has really struggled to settle into a groove. They have plenty of time to turn it around, especially with no one seizing the initiative in the NL East.
The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners completed a trade on Thursday that will see them swap first basemen.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reports that the Indians and Mariners have worked out a three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays that will send Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle and Carlos Santana to Cleveland.
Sources: Edwin Encarnacion close to being traded to mariners
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2018
Carlos Santana goes to indians
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2018
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic added that Yandy Diaz will go to Tampa as part of the three-team deal.
Yandy Diaz to #Indians in three-team trade.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2018
Santana never ended up playing a game with the Mariners after they acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies that also involved Jean Segura, JP Crawford, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos. The 32-year-old returns to Cleveland after spending the first eight seasons of his career there. He disappointed in Philly last season after signing a three-year, $60 million contract, as he batted just .229 but hit 24 home runs and drove in 86.
Encarnacion spent just two seasons with the Indians and is scheduled to earn more than $21 million next season. He hit .246 with 32 homers and 107 RBI last year. Diaz hit .312 while appearing in just 39 games with the Indians.
Cleveland has reportedly been looking to shed payroll this offseason, but they aren’t saving much by swapping Encarnacion for Santana. They could wind up making more moves this winter, though manager Terry Francona shed some doubt on that this week.
The Seattle Mariners may already be prepared to trade one of their new acquisitions.
According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Mariners have already discussed first baseman Carlos Santana with other teams less than two days after acquiring him from the Philadelphia Phillies.
The #Mariners are telling teams they're fine with holding onto Carlos Santana. But sources say they've already had conversations with multiple teams about moving him. The #Phillies had several teams interested if they ate $. So the presumption is Seattle would have to take some $
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 5, 2018
The Mariners appear fully committed to slashing payroll and starting over, so keeping Santana around doesn’t make a lot of sense for them. He got a pretty hefty contract from the Phillies last offseason, and it was initially unclear what the Mariners would do with him. The early answer is that they’re willing to listen to all offers.
The Seattle Mariners are tearing down their team and still have a piece to trade in Jean Segura. One team they’re talking about trading him to is the Philadelphia Phillies, and JP Crawford could be involved in such a deal, according to a report.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the Mariners have shown interest in Crawford for a potential trade involving Segura.
#Mariners have shown interest in shortstop J.P. Crawford as one piece from #Phillies in a possible deal for Jean Segura, sources tell The Athletic. Per @JSalisburyNBCS, PHI would still pursue Machado as a free agent (to play 3B) if they acquired Segura in a trade.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2018
Crawford, 23, was the No. 16 overall pick by the Phillies in 2013. The shortstop has struggled to hit for average his past three seasons after performing well his first three years in lower levels of the minors. Crawford has batted .214 in 72 games over parts of two seasons with the Phillies.
Segura, 28, is under team control through 2023 and making $14.25 million per season each of the next four years. He batted .304 with a .755 OPS — his third straight year over .300 — while playing solid shortstop.