Jan. 06, 2017
Where Art Thou Drew Pomeranz?
as been nearly 2 weeks since Jerry Dipoto has made a trade, which leads me to ask: is he still alive? There have been very few news related items involving the Mariners, unless you believe the unfounded belief that the Mariners are suddenly interested in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion( I don't). But Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, recently reported that Drew Pomeranz is on the Mariners "trade target list".
Reports say the Sox are reluctant to trade Pomeranz, possibly because they prefer to trade Clay Buchholz. The Mariners need to add a middle of the rotation arm, and Boston is one of the few teams that has indicated they are willing to trade some of their pitching depth. The teams apparently came very close to a trade that would have sent Seth Smith to Boston, but it is unlikely that deal would have netted them Pomeranz. But since there is little significant Mariner news, lets go Around the Bases with Drew Pomeranz
The Player- Pomeranz is a 28 year old Left-handed pitcher who pitched for both the San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox in 2016. He was traded to the Red Sox in July for talented RHP Anderson Espinoza, in the midst of a breakout season. He set a career high in innings pitched (170), and strikeouts (186), while maintaing a 3.23 ERA.
Pomeranz has always had some upside, but injuries and below average command have held him back. Pomeranz still doesn't have pinpoint control, walking almost 3.5 hitters per 9 innings, but still has the 2.5 K/BB ratio Dipoto loves. He gets hitters to hit the ball on the ground roughly 45 % of the time, and also has a knack for stranding runners on base, at least in 2 of his past 3 seasons.
Pomeranz is a 3 pitch pitcher with an average fastball velocity of 91 MPH and a changeup that sits at 85. His wipeout pitch is his knuckle-curve which has 11-5 drop as seen below.
The luck metrics suggest that Pomeranz had his fair share of luck last season, but his 3.80 xFIP is still sound.
The Fit- Pomeranz fits the mold Jerry Dipoto likes in his starters, particularly his K:BB ratio. Pomeranz will pitch this entire season at 28, meaning he is entering his statistical prime and has 2 full seasons of control left before hitting free agency. Pomeranz has top of the rotation abilities, and would likely slide into the #2 or #4 spot in the rotation since Mariners Manager Scott Servais has a stated preference to break up lefties from taking back to back starts in a series.
Pomeranz has spent most of his professional career on the West Side of the country, and there are no know clubhouse concerns surrounding him.
The Cost- This is, without a doubt, the most difficult factor in the equation. Pomeranz is scheduled to make $4.7 million in arbitration this season, which is easily absorbable by the Mariners. The real question comes down to what the Red Sox want, and what the Mariners are willing to give. Pomeranz appears to be a ticking time bomb on the injury front, and at the very least is considerably risky for the acquiring team.
The Red Sox really have no holes to speak of on the Major League roster, except perhaps 3rd base. They could seek to add some bullpen depth, and I am sure they are asking about Edwin Diaz to pair with Craig Kimbrell, Carson Smith, Tyler Thornburg etc, etc. Perhaps the Red Sox are looking to add some depth back to their farm system, and guys with upside like Luiz Gohara are intriguing.
The Verdict- Overall, there isn't an obvious trade or fit between the two teams, and Pomeranz should still be considered a red flag medical guy. It is hard to imagine Dipoto trading his limited minor league assetts for a unreliable pitcher. Unless the price drops, or there is a 3 team deal in the works, I think Dipoto ultimately balks at the opportunity to grab this talented but injury plagued starter.