It seems not a day can go by without Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto making a trade. On Thursday, the Miami Marlins traded second baseman Dee Gordon to Dipoto's Mariners, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported the trade.
Gordon spent the last three seasons with the Marlins and after serving an 80-game suspension in 2016 for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, he played in 158 of 162 games last season.
In 695 plate appearances, the 29-year-old posted a .308/.341/.375 slash line, .312 wOBA and 92 wRC+. Amongst his peers, Gordon finished 10th in OBP, 18th in wOBA,12th in Offensive Rating (2.1), first in Defensive Rating (8.8) and seventh in Wins Above Replacement (3.3). Naturally, given its his calling card, Gordon led all of baseball with 60 stolen bases.
The transition to SafeCo Field and the American League should go over smoothly for Gordon and he'll find himself in a great lineup. Seattle finished 15th in runs last season and could easily join the top 10 run-scoring lineups in baseball this season with the addition of Gordon and a turnaround season from Kyle Seager.
While initially many questioned where Gordon would play defensively, SiriusXM's Jim Bowden reported Seattle plans to play center field. The move will allow Robinson Cano and Jean Segura, who the team will owe a combined $38 million next season, to remain in the middle infield.
Gordon's experience in the outfield is quite limited. In fact, the only time it's documented he played center field came in 2013 when the Los Angeles Dodgers planned for him to test out center field in the Dominican winter league, according to the Los Angeles Times. Gordon never played center field the following season, so it's clear the experiment at least didn't yield positive results at the time.
All of that said, center field isn't a terrible fit for Gordon. The mindset of many operators and decision makers in the game is now putting more emphasis on speed in center field and Gordon is one of the game's fastest players.
We'll just have to wait and see how it works out next season. over time, Seattle could shift Cano to first base and push Gordon back to his natural position at second base.
Amongst center fielders, Gordon would rank 10th in OBP, 15th in wOBA and 12th in Offensive Rating. Given the lack of production Seattle received from its center fielders last season, it represents a substantial upgrade offensively.
While it's not key known what the Marlins will acquire, the team will shed significant payroll and fulfill its biggest goal for the offseason. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Miami will save $38 million in the deal with the Mariners eating up the remainder of Gordon's contract.