The Seattle Mariners shocked the baseball world with a late-night trade that sent Jarred Kelenic, Marco Gonzales, and Evan White to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for two young pitchers. Essentially, this deal was a salary dump for the Mariners. It's the second salary dump Seattle has executed this offseason.
Considering the fact that the Mariners disappointed last season by winning just 88 games and failing to make the postseason, them parting with Eugenio Suarez and Jarred Kelenic without acquiring much in return is a bit odd. Seattle potentially losing Teoscar Hernandez to free agency makes things even weirder. The only way Jerry Dipoto dumping money like this makes any sense is if another move is on the horizon.
Shohei Ohtani would be the most intriguing one, obviously, but that doesn't seem likely. Assuming that doesn't happen, what about a Juan Soto trade with the San Diego Padres? We all know the Padres will likely be moving Juan Soto in a deal this offseason to try and save money while also salvaging some value in return, and the Mariners make a lot of sense as a potential partner. He'd be one of few players they could add that'd justify the dumping of money in exchange for not much of anything.
If a Juan Soto trade with the Mariners were to go down, A.J. Preller should be demanding any combination of these three players to come back in return.
1) Logan Gilbert could be part of a Mariners-Padres trade
George Kirby is easily the most appealing player the Padres could acquire in a Juan Soto trade, but considering how good he already is and the years of team control he has left, it's just not happening. The second-best option for the Padres is Logan Gilbert, who could be a bit more realistic.
Gilbert is entering his first year of arbitration this offseason and is under team control through the 2027 season. He's not as good, young, or controllable as Kirby, but he's as close as they can get in all three of those regards.
The right-hander just wrapped up his third MLB season and posted a 3.73 ERA in 32 starts and 190.2 innings pitched. In his short career he's proven himself to be a durable, reliable innings eater which is pretty rare nowadays. At just 26 years old with four years of control it's hard to know if they'd be willing to deal him for a rental, but this is Juan Soto we're talking about here. The Padres have to shoot for the stars.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), the Mariners were reportedly open to dealing one of their controllable starters at the deadline in exchange for a controllable hitter. Juan Soto certainly is not that, but again, it's Juan Soto. He'd help transform Seattle's offense and would create possibly the scariest lineup duo in the game alongside Julio Rodriguez. It's something the Mariners would at least have to think hard about. If they don't pull that trigger, there are other arms that could entice San Diego.