Mike Leake’s name surfaced in trade rumblings surrounding the Mariners and Padres yesterday, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal today that Seattle has approached Leake about the possibility of waiving his no-trade protection. The club has not yet taken that step with shortstop Jean Segura, however. It’s not known whether Leake has made a decision on the matter, but if he does approve a deal, he’ll quickly become among the game’s likeliest trade candidates. The Mariners are taking a step back and “reimagining” their roster while also paring back the payroll, and although the Cardinals are on the hook for a notable portion of Leake’s salary, the Mariners still owe him $27MM over the next two seasons. Leake already waived a no-trade clause once to approve a deal to Seattle, and speculatively speaking, perhaps he’d welcome a move to the Padres as a San Diego native. Importantly, though, Rosenthal notes that Leake is “mulling other potential options,” so it seems other destinations could be in the discussion phase.
As for Segura, the 28-year-old (29 in March) has batted .302/.341/.425 through 1198 plate appearances as a Mariner and has another four years and $58MM remaining on his contract. Like Leake, he can block a trade to any team.
A bit more on the Mariners…
- The Mariners announced that they’ve hired Jared Sandberg away from the Rays as their new Major League field coordinator. In his new role, Sandberg, who’d managed the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate for the past four seasons, will be a part of manager Scott Servais’ staff. “Jared brings a lot of experience in building relationships with young players, having managed successful teams in Durham,” said GM Jerry Dipoto. “He has a demonstrated track record of using a wide expanse of tools, from data analytics to sports psychology to traditional baseball education, and allowing each of those things to affect his decision-making. We think he is going to impact our staff in the ability to create order, deliver messages and convey plans, both among our staff and our players.” He’s managed at five different levels in the Rays’ system since retiring as a player back in 2007.
- Seattle also announced that 2018 bullpen coach Brian De Lunas has been promoted to director of pitching development and strategies. Jim Brower, an assistant coach in ’18, will be the team’s new bullpen coach in 2019. Meanwhile, former Rangers pitching prospect Cody Buckel, is moving up from a role as an organizational pitching coach to the role of pitching strategist. Dipoto explained in a press release that De Lunas “will work with pitchers, pitching coaches and analysts both in Seattle and throughout our Player Development system” in an effort to “optimize development and performance.” He’ll also weigh in on pitching evaluations and acquisitions. Buckel will assist him in all of those facets while focusing on using technology to further the team’s development processes.