With an eye on 2018 and the tightly-contested pursuit of Japanese righthander Shohei Ohtani, the Mariners acquired Dee Gordon and $1 million in global bonus pool space from the Marlins Thursday afternoon in exchange for a trio of minor league prospects.
The Marlins are in cost-cutting mode under new ownership and are also expected to soon deal reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. He was Seattle's second round pick in 2015. The speedy Gordon hit.308 with 33 RBIs and 60 stolen bases. He went 10-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 19 starts (104.1 innings pitched) but struggled after being promoted to Double-A.
The Mariners sent minor league pitching prospect Nick Neidert, right-handed pitcher Robert Dugger and infielder Christopher Torres to the Marlins in return, team officials said. He was with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2011-14 before being dealt to the Marlins in a seven-player deal. But general manager Jerry Dipoto has not met a trade he didn't like over the last couple offseasons, and having Robinson Cano entrenched at second base was apparently not a factor in swinging a deal for Gordon.
The Mariners intend to shift Gordon to center field, where his elite speed could in time make him a fierce defender.
After fielding one of the worst outfield defenses in the majors two seasons ago, the Mariners acquired Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger last offseason and, as a result, finished with the fifth-best outfield defense according to defensive runs saved (21).
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first tweeted about the trade.