The Tuesday reports that Seattle plans to explore all trade options this offseason caught us all off guard, but it makes sense at a base level.The Mariners haven't made the playoffs since their 116-win 2001 season, and this current iteration isn't quite good enough, as they've proven repeatedly (and they'll be losing Nelson Cruz).
These four trades the M's can make this winter will make a lot of sense, if they're truly serious about maximizing their assets.
4. Felix Hernandez to the Astros
While it may seem crazy to trade within the division, it makes sense for the Houston Astros to go after former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. Felix's contract expires after the 2019 season, and with Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton hitting free agency this winter, importing a veteran mentor for Josh James and Forrest Whitley makes sense. It's a one-year audition and helpful depth for King Felix, who may even be able to step in for the injured Lance McCullers Jr. as a swingman.
This would be the hardest bullet to bite.
3. Jean Segura to the Brewers
If the Mariners are serious about doing a fire sale, then it would make sense for them to trade All-Star shortstop Jean Segura while the iron's hot. With the Brew Crew only getting a strong month or so from Orlando Arcia last year (of course, that month was October), look for them to strike a deal and add a true impact bat. Segura has great trade value, as he hit .304 during the 2018 season.
2. Edwin Diaz to the Braves
Instead of the Atlanta Braves bringing back closer Craig Kimbrel in free agency, they can acquire the younger and less-expensive Edwin Diaz to strengthen their bullpen for far longer. Diaz had a great 2018 for the Mariners, recording 57 saves with just a 1.96 ERA. The Mariners can get a powerful haul back for the 24-year-old.
1. James Paxton to the Yankees
It is no secret that the New York Yankees are in need of starting pitching this winter. Look for Brian Cashman to strike a trade for Mariners left-handed pitcher James Paxton. The M's can get back prospects such as starting pitcher Justus Sheffield and possibly outfielder Estevan Florial in this deal.