So Long Santana
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Santana out, Encarnación in. For now.
Well, that didn't take long.
Just ten days after acquiring him in a trade with Philadelphia, Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto has traded first baseman Carlos Santana and $6 million to Cleveland in a complicated deal also involving the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Mariners receive designated hitter Edwin Encarnación from the Indians in exchange for Santana, which, on its face, makes no sense. But as with the rest of Dipoto's recent deals, this was more about the budget; the M's shed Santana's two-year, $42 million contract in favor of getting Encarnación's one-year, $22 million deal. Seattle also gets $5 million from Tampa Bay, the Rays' contribution to make their swap with Cleveland happen—the Rays are sending 1B/OF Jake Bauers to the Indians for infielder Yandy Díaz and RHP Cole Sulser.
Why these deals, which appear to have no relation to each other, were grouped together seems odd; the only component involving all three is the cash and there are reports suggesting that the Rays were after Encarnación, and that they're now working with Dipoto on a separate deal to get him. Dipoto likes dealing with the Rays, having made six trades with them already since becoming Seattle GM, so there might well be truth to those reports.
For now, the 2019 roster is more expensive than it was yesterday but the 2020 roster is less so as Dipoto keeps working to mold his vision into that year's Mariner season. Here's the breakdown:
Current 40-man roster
1 $1M team option for 2020
He's still got a ways to go, it seems. Bruce ($14M), Seager ($19.5M), and Leake ($15M) are the principal drains on the 2020 payroll, and if indeed Encarnación is dealt his buyout would come off the '20 ledger as well.
Stay tuned, as we used to say.
Who's next to go?
Which Mariner will get traded next?