The Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins are connected to both major dominoes waiting to fall in baseball’s hot stove season — the Giancarlo Stanton trade and Shohei Ohtani’s free agency — but that didn’t stop them from striking a different deal Thursday.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Seattle acquired speedy second baseman Dee Gordon from the Marlins, who are starting their fire sale there instead of with Stanton. The Mariners — who have Robinson Cano playing second base to the tune of $24 million per year — plan to move Gordon to center field. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the deal.
Source: Dee Gordon has been traded to the Seattle Mariners, who plan on using him as a center fielder. Considering just how much emphasis the Mariners placed on outfield defense last year, an interesting move.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2017
The full trade, once the Mariners announced it, sends 21-year-old pitcher Nick Neidert to the Marlins, he was Seattle’s No. 2 prospect, along with No. 7 prospect Chris Torres and pitcher Robert Dugger. The Mariners are also getting $1 million in international bonus allotment from Marlins in their pursuit of Ohtani. That gives Seattle $3.55 million to offer Ohtani, edging the Texas Rangers’ $3.53 million, which had been the most. Seattle also traded for $1 million in international bonus money Wednesday.
Gordon is 29 and has never played the outfield in his seven-year big league career. He did play shortstop in his early years with the Dodgers. The Mariners are betting on Gordon’s speed to trump experience there, hoping it’ll help him adjust.
He doesn’t hit for power, but Gordon hit .308 last season and stole a league-leading 60 bases. Between Gordon and 2017 lead-off man Jean Segura (who hit .300 and stole 22 bases), the top of the Mariners’ lineup figures to be quick and on-base minded.
Gordon signed a $50-million extension with the Marlins in 2016. He’s under control for three more seasons with a club option for 2021. He’ll make $10.5 million this season, $13 million in 2019 and $13.5 million in 2020.
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