The Mariners have reportedly told other teams that Teoscar Hernandez is available
Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
The Seattle Mariners are in the murky middle.
They came into the season with high expectations following last year’s success, which saw the franchise’s first playoff appearance and series victory since all the way back in 2001, but things haven’t gone according to plan.
With the August 1 trade deadline right around the corner, the Mariners own a 54-51 record, six games back of the Texas Rangers for the top spot in the American League West. Seattle’s four-and-a-half games behind the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros, who are tied for the final two Wild Card spots in the AL, and they’d have to jump over the L.A. Angels, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox to get there.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Mariners have “informed teams that closer Paul Sewald, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, and first baseman Ty France are available in trades.”
General manager Jerry DiPoto appeared on MLB Network Radio and was asked about a possible Hernandez trade and said that the team has a foot in both camps when it comes to buying and selling. They don’t want to give up on the 2023 season but they have their eyes set on 2024 as well.
The Mariners acquired Hernandez from the Blue Jays in the off-season in exchange for reliever Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko. The plan for Seattle was that Hernandez’s big bat could strengthen a good-but-not-great lineup that finished the 2022 season just below league average with 4.26 runs scored per game.
Hernandez’s offence hasn’t transferred from Toronto to Seattle as the Mariners hoped. He’s slashed a .238/.288/.408 line and has hit 16 home runs for the Mariners thus far and leads Major League Baseball with 141 strikeouts.
Since he’s a free agent at the end of the season, it would make sense for the Mariners to move Hernandez ahead of the deadline. Given how his year in Seattle is gone, there’s no guarantee they would even issue him a qualifying offer, which would automatically give him a one-year contract at around $20 million if accepted.
From a Blue Jays perspective, Hernandez remains an interesting trade target. The team actively tried to make their lineup more left-handed in the off-season and now they struggle mightily with left-handed pitching. Hernandez owns a .900 OPS against lefties for his career and that figure sits at .883 this season despite his struggles.
The Blue Jays have solidified their bullpen with the additions of Genesis Cabrera and Jordan Hicks and the team’s pitching staff will get another boost when Hyun Jin Ryu and Chad Green are activated from the 60-day Injured List. The biggest need left for the team is a big right-handed bat. Maybe Hernandez can be that guy.
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