M’s and Padres Consummate 7 Player Deal

marc w · August 30, 2020 at 10:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I think by now long-time readers know the general tone, the outlook of this particular blog. For all of the wheeling and dealing Jerry Dipoto has done, I’m skeptical that he’s a great judge of talent, and I’m skeptical he has some rare ability to get more than fair value in trade. If anything, I think I could be *too* skeptical; ask me to judge a Mariners trade in a week where both Ryan Yarbrough and Pablo Lopez have made yet another start in stellar years, and you may not get a neutral, balanced view of Dipoto’s work. But I want to bring up that context, that baggage, because Dipoto just traded Austin Nola, Austin Adams, and Dan Altavilla to San Diego, and I am ecstatic about it.

I mentioned in today’s post that the plan had clearly been to cash in on the early success of Austin Adams last year, or of Dan Altavilla’s velo uptick, but all of that seemed to have been scuppered by Adams’ injury and Altavilla’s inconsistency and lack of results. I…I guess not? The M’s packaged both – two guys who’ve combined for not quite 12 innings in 2020 with an ERA near 8 (all of that’s Dan’s, as Adams hasn’t been able to pitch yet) – with C/1B Austin Nola for a blockbuster return headlined by OF Taylor Trammell. Trammell has been a top-100-in-baseball prospect for several years, originally with Cincinnati and then with San Diego. He’s a tools scouts dream, with top-notch athleticism, speed, and has flashed remarkable bat speed and thus power at times (most notably at the Futures Game a few years ago), but who’s been slowed by AA pitching thus far. But the Padres also added 3B/2B/IF Ty France, who is hitting about as well as Austin Nola in 2020. His versatility gives the M’s some options at 2B, and at 3B should Kyle Seager get moved tomorrow, and at 26, he’s a younger utility guy than Nola or Dylan Moore.

The M’s also get catcher Luis Torrens, last seen allowing a ton of stolen bases to the M’s last week, but who raked in the PCL in 2019 and has a very promising bat for a catcher. Given Nola’s progression with the M’s, the club has to be pretty excited to get someone like Torrens to work with; Nola had been a contact-first batter without power before a brief power surge just before the M’s got him caught their eye. They improved his consistency at the plate AND his defense at catcher, and a fraction of that level of improvement would make Torrens a viable C, especially in a back-up role to Tom Murphy when Murphy returns to action.

But it gets better. The Padres threw in RP Andres Muñoz, a 21 year old with 100 MPH velocity who was pretty successful last year for San Diego, but who’s sidelined with Tommy John surgery now. Muñoz is the classic lottery ticket who could very well end up closing games thanks to his sinking, low-angled fastball and a good slider. There’s a lot of 2016-era Edwin Diaz in Muñoz, though of course we’ll have to see what he’s looking like after rehab.

All of these players are a bit higher risk. France is the high-ceiling guy, but he came out of nowhere as a mid-30s-round draft pick, and hasn’t grabbed a starting job in San Diego. That said, there’s no shame in having your starting job pipped by Manny Machado. Trammell hasn’t solved AA by any stretch, but there’s a reason people believe in talent like this despite AA struggles, and that reason is Kyle Lewis. In parts of two seasons in AA, Kyle Lewis slashed .253/.335/.392, with a strikeout rate over 27%. Trammell hasn’t gotten nearly the playing time in AA, but has a slash line there of .234/.340/.349, with a K% of just under 24%. Lewis hit for more power, but Trammell flashed some in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, which Lewis skipped to underwhelm in the Cal League. I’m not saying Trammell is destined to follow in Lewis’ footsteps, but rather that the scouts that had Kyle Lewis as a top-100 prospect for a while and who *still* have Trammell in the top 100 might be on to something, something that hasn’t yet manifested itself in a slash line.

All of this is to say that the M’s did exceedingly well in this deal. I’m flabbergasted the M’s could get so much given that the Padres were able to grab a starting catcher an hour or two earlier by trading for the Angels’ Jason Castro. I’m stunned that the M’s were able to apparently get such interest in Adams and Altavilla, despite a short track record of big-league success. I’ve beat up the org and this front office so often for trades, so I’m a little lost for words. Good…good job? That was actually quite a remarkable deal the M’s just pulled off.


9 Responses to “M’s and Padres Consummate 7 Player Deal”

  1. Stevemotivateir on August 30th, 2020 10:18 pm

    Trammell is really interesting. I’d be surprised if he’s playing in Seattle next year, but he’s closer than Rodriguez right now.

    France absolutely demolished AAA last season. If Hill and company help him handle the hot corner regularly, perhaps Marte gets a longer look at SS and potentially pushes Crawford into a utility role at some point?

    Seattle probably shouldn’t wait that long to find out, but it’s an involuntary thought.

  2. eponymous coward on August 30th, 2020 10:33 pm

    For all of the wheeling and dealing Jerry Dipoto has done, I’m skeptical that he’s a great judge of talent, and I’m skeptical he has some rare ability to get more than fair value in trade

    Oh hey, it me. Though my statement would be “he’s an average-ish mediorce GM so far”.

    That being said, 14 MLB GMs have to be below average, so why shouldn’t the M’s have one who isn’t top 10?

    But I want to bring up that context, that baggage, because Dipoto just traded Austin Nola, Austin Adams, and Dan Altavilla to San Diego, and I am ecstatic about it.

    OK then. I have to say this looks like good return myself. Someone must REALLY like Austin Nola for a couple of years as a cost controlled super utility guy?

    I don’t know if they’ll be able to flip Seager when they’d maybe have to send a $10 million check for that 2022 poison pill to get anything interesting (and the M’s kind of could use that $10 million to improve the team Real Soon Now™, and taking away a 2-3 WAR player for 2021 at a position without a very clear successor might not do that)… but then you’d think they wouldn’t have gotten this many interesting prospects in a deal centered on trading away their crappy, injured bullpen and Austin Nola.

    The 2020 team is definitely more of a a mess to sort though for sure.

  3. eponymous coward on August 30th, 2020 10:52 pm

    Also, the fact that I won’t see Dan Ayal-I mean Altavilla wearing a compass rose any more makes up for the fact that that grinding sound you’re hearing is Servais and Dipoto seeding stories in the media about the goalposts moving into 2022…


    (I’m thinking the M’s will still be spending a lot of, if not all of, 2021 sorting through things and figuring out the core of the next good M’s team… it’s just looking that way. 2019-2020 are just not going to do the trick by themselves.)

  4. bookbook on August 30th, 2020 10:59 pm

    I think Seaver has more value to the M’s than anything they can get in trade. France May force Long into the OF/DH role for now. Long hasn’t taken possession of 2b yet, obviously.

  5. marinerbullpen on August 30th, 2020 11:11 pm

    I first saw 7-player trade.

    I knew Nola, but wondered who else we threw in. Altavilla and Adams. Great.

    Now, What was the return.
    I was hoping for France, then saw the others.
    Trammell, top 60MLB, top 6SDP. Nice.

    My first thought was, and reading more is, we WON this trade. Finally.

  6. Shizane on August 31st, 2020 5:35 am

    First comment in quite some time (i.e. years). Just want to say I’ve still been reading and really enjoying your content Marc.

    I also like this return for the Mariners. I’d like it even better if France could play a little 2B a la Moustakas…..do we know if this is a possibility?

  7. Paul B on August 31st, 2020 1:27 pm

    I too love this trade.

    France started 17 games at second base for the Padres last year. And zero this year. So maybe that says something. We will probably see.

    France is also your position player emergency relief pitcher, lol.

    I do not think he has played any OF above A ball, but would not surprise me to see him get a look out there.

  8. Stevemotivateir on August 31st, 2020 2:48 pm

    One more for the road: Taylor Williams for a PTBNL.

  9. Stevemotivateir on August 31st, 2020 3:03 pm

    Did I say a PTBNL? The return was Matt Brash.

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