Seattle Mariners: Zunino part of 5 player swap. What it means for the M’s.

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Seattle Mariners

Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Today the Seattle Mariners made a trade with frequent partner Tampa Bay. Heading to Florida are Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia. In return, Mallex Smith is coming to the Emerald City.

The Seattle Mariners 2018 season was a reflection of the two major players dealt today by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, in a five-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Both players at times were fantastic parts of a successful run, only to fall back to mediocrity. In both Guillermo Heredia and Mike Zunino‘s case, it was exciting potential-laden play at times, followed by historic struggles.

They tantalized fans with glimpses of success. Zunino’s 2017 season made it seem as if his offense had caught up to his fantastic defense. He had career highs in hits (97), batting average (.252), doubles (25), home runs (25), and OPS (.840). Unfortunately, Zunino fell back to his career norms as evidenced by his .669 OPS.

It was almost the same with Heredia, but for him, it was in a more condensed time period, six months. He came out of the chute hot in April and early May. When given his opportunity to be an everyday player starting in mid-May, he fell flat. It went downhill from there.

In baseball circles, Dipoto is known to be an aggressive and willing trade partner. He wasted no time reminding everyone that he’s more than ready to tweak, dismantle or adjust the Mariners vision prior to the 2019 season.

So what does this trade mean to the Mariners moving forward? Is this the signal of major moves on the horizon. Is it an adjustment to the team, while getting value for two players that have great potential, but lacked any real success?

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