by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
In a bit of a surprise, the Mariners and Rays kicked off the MLB trading season with the Rays sending RHP Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners in exchange for RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. Obviously the biggest fallout will be in the Rays’ bullpen, where they will need a new closer. Let’s take a look at who is primed to take over that role, as well as the rest of the fallout:
Obviously Colome gives the team a safety net in case there are struggle from Edwin Diaz, but he’s going to be used in an 8th inning role (which has a significant negative impact on his value). If your league doesn’t value HLD, Colome is no longer a great option and can be cut.
The addition of Span is possibly more intriguing, as he can play CF and allow Dee Gordon to slide to 2B full-time (once he’s healthy). With Robinson Cano out due to a suspension you knew Seattle would do something, so this makes sense.
The departure of Span opens a job in the outfield. Tonight they deployed Mallex Smith, Johnny Field and Rob Refsnyder, though you have to think they will summon someone to help boost the group. While he’s not currently on the 40-man roster, could Jake Bauers finally get the call? Of the options at Triple-A he’s been the most productive, hitting .284 with 5 HR (as well as 13 doubles) and 8 SB. He’s also shown an ability to draw a walk (10.3%) and while a 23.4% strikeout rate isn’t tremendous his 9.8% SwStr% shows his upside. A year removed from hitting .263 with 13 HR and 20 SB, there definitely is some potential value. If he does get the call he’ll be worth grabbing in all 14+ team leagues, as well as keeper formats (and some 12-team leagues, depending on your need).
As for the closer’s role, it would appear Jose Alvarado would be in line to claim the role. While being left-handed could work against him, he’s posted an impressive 2.95 ERA thanks to strikeouts (9.70 K/9, courtesy of a 13.7% SwStr%) and groundballs (64.0%). He hasn’t been showing spectacular control (3.80 BB/9), but with the other skills that would be more than enough. It’s not a lock that he grabs the role, but he’s the player that we’d target.
- Droppable – Alex Colome
- Worthy Additions – Jake Bauers, Jose Alvarado
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com
Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings? Make sure to check it out by clicking here.