Did San Diego Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski almost become a Seattle Mariner?
One of the most discussed talking points of San Diego Padres baseball has been the crowded outfield situation. While Wil Myers remains out for an extended period of time with a strained oblique, Hunter Renfroe appears ready to return within the next few days. At least one of the five outfielders on the current roster is going to have to move.
According to Seattle Times Mariner’s beat writer Ryan Divish and MLBTradeRumors.com, the Seattle Mariners were interested in Travis Jankowski before trading for Denard Span (and Alex Colome) from the Tampa Bay Rays.
From Divish on why the this never came to fruition,
"But the Mariners can’t buy his contract since he’s under club control. They’d have to give up a prospect and the Padres don’t have much interest in Seattle’s farm system."
San Diego has control of Jankowski through the 2021 season.
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For those unfamiliar with the Mariner’s farm system, it’s light years away from being a quality
system. Their only top prospect in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 is outfielder Kyle Lewis (64th). Since being drafted in 2016, Lewis has torn his ACL and reaggravated it after his return.
The Padres could have sent Jankowski to Seattle in return for a few mediocre prospects, knowing Jankowski may not have a future role with the team and needing immediate space for the return of Hunter Renfroe.
Jankowski has a lot of value out on the trade market. He is a left-handed outfielder who can play all three positions. Through 24 games, Jankowski is slashing .321/.396/.407 with eight stolen bases. The strikeout rate is down nearly 6% from his last full season in 2016 and his walk rate is approaching 10%. When he gets on base, Jankowski can be a game changer with his quickness and speed.
This San Diego Padres offense is bad. While trading away one of the few (only?) players who can get on base will hurt this offense, even more, the Friars would be smart to continue shopping around Jankowski. As injuries around the leg continue to pile up, the right team will pay up for the services of the speedy, controllable outfielder.