The Seattle Mariners have suffered a rash of injuries to their outfield. Could they swing a deal for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton?
The Seattle Mariners knew that Mitch Haniger would have a late start to his spring due to a hand injury. Haniger was just cleared to swing a bat and is still a few days away from appearing in a game. Ben Gamel is out for four-to-six weeks with an oblique strain. Depending on the severity, Gamel could stay out until May. Guillermo Heredia is still a week or two away from swinging a bat. The Mariners need a healthy outfielder. Should they target Keon Broxton from the Milwaukee Brewers?
How’s Broxton doing this spring?
Broxton is killing it. He’s rocking a .286/.474/.571 slash line with a homer, a steal, and five(!) walks in 19 plate appearances this spring. Broxton is playing like a guy who doesn’t want to go back to Triple-A.
It’s unclear how much Broxton has to do to win a bench spot with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a Minor League option left, which means he can get sent down to Triple-A without going on waivers. He looks like the fifth outfielder right now, but that depends on how many relievers the Brewers decide to go with. Even with a fantastic spring, there’s a chance that Broxton doesn’t make the 25-man roster.
Other than the injuries, do the Mariners really need an outfielder?
Actually, yes. Haniger is solid in right field, but starting the season with Gamel in left probably isn’t the best route for a team that could contend. It’s rumored that Ichiro Suzuki is making a return to Seattle, but he’s not going to start every day at age 44. The Mariners clearly need an outfielder.
What could the Brewers expect in return for Broxton?
Even with Broxton’s hot start to the spring, the Milwaukee Brewers wouldn’t get much in return. That’s good news for the Mariners because they don’t have a great farm system. Flipping Broxton for a capable Minor League arm such as Max Povse or Art Warren might make sense.
Dealing Broxton is more about clearing a roster spot to allow Brett Phillips or Jesus Aguilar to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers. If GM David Stearns can convince the Mariners to send an intriguing arm back to Milwaukee, that’s a bonus. The Brewers and Mariners make sense as trade partners, but it really depends on how motivated the two sides are to make a deal. If the Mariners decide to roll with a banged up outfield and Ichiro on the bench, there’s not much the Brewers can do about it.