Mariners and Brewers Swap Bench Depth, Finalize 40-Man

Jay Yencich · November 20, 2015 at 10:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Three posts in a row by me? Madness. So, the Mariners have announced a trade of OF Ramon Flores to the Brewers in exchange for IF Luis Sardinas, thus exchanging two players that you have likely never heard of.

Flores is a guy whom you probably wouldn’t be as aware of had you tuned out mid-season. For those of you just joining us, welcome! We have a new GM who does not espouse a depressing baseball philosophy! Flores was acquired with right-hander Jose Ramirez as part of the Dustin Ackley trade that sent the former first-rounder to the Yankees. Also, Dustin Ackley is gone. Ramon Flores has a similar offensive profile to that of recently-added outfielder Boog Powell with some added power, except that Flores has the unflattering profile of being a tweener, neither providing enough offense for the corner nor possessing good enough wheels to justify playing him in center on a routine basis. Being that he was out of options, I had tentatively penciled him in to be the team’s back-up outfielder, but given that he broke his ankle at the end of the season, he was neither expected to be ready in time for spring training nor capable of playing to the best of his abilities once he got there. It’s not a ligament injury, obviously, but ankle is still part of the larger leg thing and for a guy who had range questions in the first place, well…

Sardinas is formerly of the Rangers system, where you can make further connections to our existing staff, Bogar, etc. He was signed in 2009 for seven figures and was regarded as one of the top defensive shortstops on the market at the time, which has held and made him a component in the Gallardo trade. His promotion scheme over the years has been Zduriencik-like insofar as he’s been at least two years younger than league-average everywhere he’s played so far and reached triple-A around the time he reached legal drinking age. He’s proven himself over the years to be a guy with a choppy swing who doesn’t tend to hit for more than doubles power. More positively, he’s also a switch-hitter and plays a plus defensive shortstop with good wheels to boot.

This will likely read as a move for bench depth, but we ought to bear in mind that Sardinas is still just 22, turning 23 in late April. To consider his offensive development as fully realized under the circumstances would be presumptuous. Hence, I look at him as a guy who could, if it comes to it, push for competition with Marte as to who starts at the major league level. Sardinas has an option year left and Marte has a few, so it certainly seems possible that he could be an okay piece to have around. Those of us who came of baseball-watching age in the late-90s/early-00s offensive boom among shortstops may be a little more lukewarm on the whole thing, but offense is down league-wide and so the projected production out of Sardinas isn’t terrible, as such.

While I was typing this up, the Mariners also finalized their 40-man roster, and I’m not so ambitious as to make two posts out of it considering the news is somewhat minor. OF Boog Powell and IF/OF Patrick Kivlehan, the two “locks” I identified earlier, were the two players that were added to the 40-man. To clear an additional roster spot, the Mariners designated former first-round pick LHP Danny Hultzen for assignment. Hultzen was a fairly obvious target for designation because he’s out of option years despite having pitched all of eight innings in the last two years of regular season, affiliated ball. The shoulder has proven to be a continuing issue for him, preventing him from having made his major league debut despite being drafted in 2011 and being thought of as near-major league ready then. Let us now fondly remember the meltdown that ensued after I drafted several possible write-ups on who the #2 pick would be, none of which were Hultzen. As major league baseball still had the ability to sign drafted players to major league contracts then, he thus burns through all his options without debuting. The good news is that that’s over with. The other maybe good news is that he could be safely outrighted provide nobody wants an almost-26 left-hander with a balky shoulder. Pause for laughter.


10 Responses to “Mariners and Brewers Swap Bench Depth, Finalize 40-Man”

  1. Microsoft Zunino on November 20th, 2015 11:19 am

    So we’re two weeks out from the winter meetings, and Jerry’s filling as many roster holes as he can while retaining as many tradable prospects as possible. When other people come up with offers, Jerry can say “I like our guy” a lot more credibly. This also makes me feel better about shoving Brad Miller over based on half a season of Marte.
    I like, I like.

  2. Jay Yencich on November 20th, 2015 11:25 am

    We’re retaining some prospects, but it’s not as if the system is flourishing at the moment. It’s Flores-ing. Or was.

  3. Microsoft Zunino on November 20th, 2015 11:44 am

    Jay, you raise an interesting point: there are suddenly a lot of prospects in this system that wouldn’t seem to fit with DiPoto’s stated philosophy (spitballing: DJ Peterson, Gareth Morgan, Alex Jackson). Do you expect Jerry to turn over the farm system as quickly as he’s turned over the ML roster? On one hand, they wouldn’t seem to have much of a future with this club so they’re arguably dead weight, on the other hand, clubs know this, and have to see them as easy pickings. How do you foresee DiPoto using them, strategically?

  4. Jay Yencich on November 20th, 2015 11:53 am

    This is something that could go into a whole post that I don’t presently have time to write, but the short of it is that I would think that DiPoto is smart enough not to sell low on the prospects currently in the system. Additionally, the different emphases in player development now, the OBP-friendly take that Edgar has, the mental preparation emphasis that McKay has, you’d probably like to see how players respond before getting rid of them. Anecdotal evidence has pointed to D.J. Peterson perhaps being stubborn in previous years and to Alex Jackson being jumpy and nervous and trying too hard at the plate in the latter stages of this season. I would suspect that the front office would like to see how well they take to the new methods because that’s the most direct way to build up their value again.

  5. Rengaw on November 20th, 2015 12:09 pm

    I’ve been concerned that if Marte doesn’t pan out, who do we turn to? Chris Taylor was the only name to come to mind. Sardinas could be a valuable addition as a player who can flash a quality glove all over the infield.
    Hopefully, Edgar can squeeze a few more hits out of Sardinas who already has the speed to pinch run, maybe bunt and stay out of double plays.
    Dipoto, in just a short time, has addressed starting pitching (Karn), relief pitching (Benoit), centerfield (Martin), and utility infielder (Sardinas). I’m guessing catcher and another outfielder is where he is shopping next.

  6. seattleslew on November 20th, 2015 12:45 pm

    With Trumbo potentially staying put and play first base, I wonder what happens to Montero? Trade along with Trumbo for Tino Martinez?

  7. Westside guy on November 20th, 2015 1:19 pm

    Actually, Jay, in your last comment you touched on something I hadn’t actually thought much about – Edgar’s hitting philosophy seems pretty darn close to what Dipoto preaches (and what saber-heads like, of course). Edgar had a career OBP of over .400.

    That doesn’t make him a good hitting coach… I have no idea if he is or not. I’d like to believe that he will be, just because he was always one of my favorite players AND the job is probably his for as long as he wants it anyway. But, philosophically, he does seem to mesh quite nicely with the new regime – even though he came on board under Jack Z.

  8. Shawnuel on November 20th, 2015 2:05 pm

    “AND the job is probably his for as long as he wants it anyway.”

    Just ask Andy Van Slyke.

  9. Westside guy on November 20th, 2015 2:09 pm

    I believe Jeff Sullivan made that same point when Edgar was first hired. 😀

  10. Westside guy on November 20th, 2015 2:19 pm

    Ah, here it is:

    in retrospect maybe Lloyd McClendon should've given more thought to accepting an unfireable hitting coach— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) June 23, 2015

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