Four Possible Trades For Carson Kelly
We took a look at two National League teams, now let's do the same with two American League teams. The Seattle Mariners have made a ton of moves to go from laughable to competitive. But, competitiveness has left them a few games short of the playoffs for the last few seasons. They have gotten good at getting younger and cheaper and now they have signed or traded for a few stars making them on the cusp of winning their division. They have improved in the infield by signing Torres and Suarez. Then they got Winker and their new sensation Rodriquez. They even bolstered their rotation by bringing in Robbie Ray. But the one place they have not improved is the catching position. Their best offensive catcher, Tom Murphy, has a dislocated left shoulder and is out until sometime in July. He did start the season off well hitting .303 in his first 33 at-bats, but he is a lifetime .235 hitter, and that included 4 years of hitting in Colorado with the Rockies. Currently, the Mariners' number one catcher is Cal Raleigh and he is batting .152. But, do they have a player who would match what the Diamondbacks need?
Follow me with this one before you get mad and move on to the fourth possibility. There is a pitcher toiling in the Mariners farm system who was a "can't miss" prospect only a few years ago that I would like to get with Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Stromb. He was taken in the 1st round of the 2014 draft by a team in the Cleveland Guardians (Indians back then) that has a reputation for spotting good pitching talent. Unfortunately, he is not doing exceptionally well at AAA Tacoma. He is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA in 23 innings. But he still has struck out 26 batters while walking only 8. Plus, because he is not off to a great start, I think the Mariners would be more likely to cut ties with him. His name is Justus Sheffield, a left-handed strike-thrower who is starting in AAA but I would make him a long left-handed reliever out of the Arizona bullpen. Overall he has spent parts of 5 seasons in the show, the first with the Yankees in 2018 and the next four with Seattle after he was part of the return for James Paxton. His overall record is 11-12 with a 5.43 ERA, 150 strikes, and 86 walks. Also, his ground ball percentage for his career is over 6% higher than the MLB average, and his fly ball percentage is roughly 5% under the MLB average. I know it is a cliche, but I think he is an excellent "change of scenery" guy.
Lastly, I am wondering if the Diamondbacks can capitalize on a perfect storm with the New York Yankees. According to multiple reports, Miguel Andujar has asked the Yankees to trade him after he was sent down to AAA on June 4th. He looked at one time to figure prominently in the Yankees' future after coming in 2nd for the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year voting. But, since the start of the 2019 season, Andujar has played in pinstripes only 90 times. In the Diamondback's favor is his .234/.260/.329 slash line in sporadic playing time over 319 plate appearances from 2019-22. Miguel is under team control until the 2024 season earning a modest $1.3MM this season, his first year of arbitration.
Would the Yankees want Carson Kelly? Well, the Yankees' primary 2 catchers, Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka combined are providing New York with the following offensive slash line from behind the plate; .222/.275/.341. The Diamondbacks may have to throw in another marginal prospect to get the deal completed. But, I would do it. I would put him at 3rd base and hope his offensive prowess would outweigh his shortcomings defensively at 3rd base. He is a career .277 hitter with 55 doubles, and 34 home runs in 244 games. In 2018 he played 136 games at 3B with a .948 fielding percentage and 15 errors. He has since played left field and some first base, but the Diamondbacks are pretty settled at those 2 positions.
So there you have it, 4 possible and realistic trade proposals for Carson Kelly. You could get a 5th starter, a high-ceiling infield prospect, a left-handed reliever, or a guy who can hit but is a little short defensively. In the comments below let me know which trade is the best for the D-backs. Then challenge your friends to do the same.