The Miami Marlins have traded All-Star Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-hander Nick Neidert, two other prospects, and international slot money, the Mariners have officially confirmed.
The 29-year-old Gordon had a very productive season for the Marlins in 2017. He posted a .312 wOBA and a 92 wRC+ to go along with a slash line of .308/.341/.375. Gordon scored 114 runs and stole a major league leading 60 bases across 158 games in 2017.
But after making $7.5 million in year two of a five-year extension he signed with Miami last January, Gordon will make $10.5 million in 2018, $13 million in 2019, and $13.5 million in 2020. His contract also includes a $14 million vesting option and a $1 million buyout. The option would vest if Gordon were to tally 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 combined plate appearances between 2019 and 2020.
That would have represented a large chunk of salary for a team that has made shedding payroll priority number one under new owner Derek Jeter. Miami chose not to wait for Giancarlo Stanton to start its rebuild.
Neidert was drafted with the 60th overall pick in the second round of the 2015 draft. The 21-year-old pitched well for High-A Modesto last season. He went 10-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 19 starts (104.1 innings pitched) but struggled after being promoted to Double-A. Neidert was 1-3 with a 6.56 ERA in six starts (23.1 innings pitched) for Double-A Arkansas. He was ranked as the Mariners’ top pitching prospect and number-two overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
The 22-year-old Duggar appeared in 31 games (18 starts) and was 6-6 with a 2.75 ERA in 117.2 innings pitched between Low-A Clinton and High-A Modesto in 2017. He also saved two games.
The 19-year-old Torres hit .238 in 48 games with Short-A Everett in 2017. He finished tied for second among Northwest League players in triples (6), tied for seventh in runs scored (44) and finished 12th in stolen bases (13). The shortstop was ranked as the Mariners’ number-seven prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Trade Impact on Mariners
The most interesting part about this trade is where Gordon will play. The Mariners will move him to center field, according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and The Athletic.
After fielding one of the worst outfield defenses in the majors two seasons ago, the Mariners acquired Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger last offseason and, as a result, finished with the fifth-best outfield defense according to defensive runs saved (21).
Gordon won a Gold Glove at second base in 2015 but at least on the surface, this move would seem to weaken the Mariners’ defense, especially with Dyson on the free agent market.
After acquiring infielder Ryon Healy in a trade with the Oakland Athletics last month, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto continues to make moves while in pursuit of Shohei Ohtani at the same time.
In the end, the Mariners now face a lot of pressure to sign Ohtani after giving up prospects for international slot money in a trade with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
For the Marlins, they cleared Gordon’s entire contract, which was the goal.