Seattle Mariners Offseason Plan – If The M’s Had The Rays’ Budget

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Oct 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder

Carl Crawford

(3) runs after hitting am RBI ground rule double in the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game one of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners trade Chris Taylor and Tyler Marlette to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Carl Crawford and $50 million.

This might be a little lopsided in the Dodgers favor, actually, as the Mariners are giving up a tremendous amount of surplus value to add a legitimate starting outfielder at $4 million a year for the next three seasons. Crawford brings the M’s a stable presence in left, allowing them to shift Dustin Ackley back to second base. This provides a pretty big defensive upgrade at both positions while adding a steadily above-average bat at the top of the lineup.

I’m betting on Brad Miller and his power over Taylor and his contact, as a young shortstop with pop is just too valuable and tantalizing to give up on. In reality, Taylor alone should be enough to get this deal done, but given the expected demand for Crawford I’m willing to also throw in Marlette, a catcher with some pop who reached AA last year. Marlette’s the kind of piece the Dodgers would covet. Adding him makes the M’s the likely highest bidders for Crawford’s services.

Given the three years of team control he has remaining, Crawford is a nice medium-term asset for the Cheapo M’s, especially with the Dodgers paying most of his salary. This move is essentially Los Angeles buying young talent, which is a luxury teams with high-priced guys can afford. They kick in money with Crawford, and in exchange fill a glaring hole on their big league club and add a nice prospect as well. The M’s deal from a position of depth and upgrade on both sides of the ball.