Marlins fire sale begins? Mariners get Dee Gordon in trade from Marlins
Gordon joins a team who doesn't need a second baseman
Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto loves to make trades. The newest example came of that when the Mariners acquired second baseman Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins, as they announced on Thursday night. The Marlins received minor leaguers Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert and Christopher Torres in the deal. Seattle was also given international slot money from the Marlins. According to reports, that money amounts to $1 million in pool funds.
As for where Gordon fits in with Seattle, the Mariners evidently intend for Gordon to move to center field, given Robinson Cano is in place at second base.
"We're going to play Dee in center field," Dipoto said via the Mariners' website. "It's a conversation that's already occurred. We're very excited about bringing on this kind of athlete…his athletic ability is obvious to those who watch, but his ability to close ground, and more specifically, his launchability, that first-step burst that Dee gets is on par with the elite center fielders in baseball. We feel like that gives him a chance to be a separator in center field."
Gordon had been rumored to be on the block due to his contract, as he's owed nearly $40 million guaranteed through the next three seasons, including a buyout for the 2021 season. He hit .308/.341/.375 in 2017, marks good for a 94 OPS+. Gordon doesn't have much experience in the outfield, though it's worth noting he certainly has the wheels and athleticism to make a quick transition:
This is a case where the Mariners are trying to fulfill multiple needs with one move. Adding Gordon gives them a center-field option -- a creative one -- who could in theory provide a speed-orientated boost to their lineup. (For those wondering, Stephen Oh at SportsLine has the Mariners improving by 1.6 wins, or gaining eight percentage points of playoff probability with this deal, pushing them to 84.2 and 39 percent respectively.) That the Mariners were also able to land more money to offer Ohtani has obvious potential ramifications. Seattle now has the league's largest bonus pool to offer to Ohtani:
Whether or not that proves meaningful is anyone's guess. But credit Dipoto for trying to knock out multiple goals with one swing.
As for the Marlins side, this deal represents a pseudo salary dump. They did get a few potentially useful pieces, but the real draw is ridding themselves of the outstanding financial commitment to Gordon. Neidert, the best pitching prospect in Seattle's system, per MLB.com, profiles as a mid-rotation starter due to an arsenal that could feature three average or better pitches. Torres, ranked seventh in the system, is a polished teenager who should stick up-the-middle and who is expected to have just one below-average tool: power. Dugger, meanwhile, was unranked by MLB.com.
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