Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is feeling bullish about his team, judging by the medium-interesting trade he made today for reliever David Phelps, which will send four low-ranked prospects to Miami.
The Mariners are 48-48 and have no shot at the division—the Astros put that shit away at the beginning of May, basically—but they’re just 1.5 games back in the wild-card race, and if your heart is set on that why not go get a solid reliever with a 117 ERA+ (and a 172 ERA+ in 2016)? Phelps has a 3.45 ERA in 47 innings this season with 51 strikeouts. He’s under club control through 2018.
In exchange for Phelps, the Marlins will receive three minor-league pitchers— Lukas Schiraldi, Pablo Lopez, and Brandon Miller—along with outfield prospect Brayan Hernandez. None of those guys are on the top 100 prospect lists from MLB.com or Baseball America.
For the Mariners, it’s basically a matter of why not? Phelps can contribute to an already strong bullpen that follows a pretty sorry rotation. The team is hot on the heels of the Twins and Yankees, and they haven’t tasted postseason baseball since 2001. Nobody is likely to bet on the Mariners making a deep playoff run, but there’s no harm in trying.
An earlier version of this post said Phelps would become a free agent after 2017 instead of 2018.