Mariners keeping door open for Red Sox to make pitching trade splash?

Seattle has been taking calls for a few of its young pitchers.
Sep 22, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller (50) walks off
Sep 22, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller (50) walks off / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners have a lot of young pitching talent on their roster. The Boston Red Sox have a lot of young infielding talent coming to theirs. The two teams might be able to help each other.

It's been reported the Mariners have been taking calls for a few of their young starting pitching candidates, and recent buzz from MLB insider Jim Bowden confirms they're still shopping the hurlers. This is good news for the Sox, considering their single greatest offseason need is starting pitching.

The pitchers that have been named as part of Seattle's offers are Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller. Woo made 18 starts for the Mariners in 2023 and he logged a 4.21 ERA with 93 strikeouts across 87.2 innings. Miller registered a similar 4.32 ERA, but he pitched significantly more innings at 131.1.

In 2023, Miller logged 119 strikeouts and allowed just 26 walks in his 25 starts worth of work, placing his walk rate in the 95th percentile in the league.

Mariners keeping door open for Red Sox to make pitching trade splash?

There have been rumors that Seattle is taking calls for rising star Logan Gilbert as well. Gilbert gave the Mariners 32 starts in 2023 and he finished the season with a 3.73 ERA over 190.2 innings pitched. Gilbert also pitched 185.2 innings in 2022, so his arm certainly has a longevity many teams will covet. Even better? Gilbert walks very few batters, giving up only 36 free passes last year, placing him in the 95th percentile for walk rate, right beside Miller.

Multiple publications have listed the Red Sox as a good trading partner for Seattle, as the Mariners need infielders and Boston has highly-touted infield prospects coming up in its system. But The Boston Globe has previously reported the Red Sox approached the Mariners about a trade and were rebuffed.

Sure, the Red Sox would like a young pitcher with years of control left on their contract — both Miller and Woo are signed through 2026 — but Boston likely isn't willing to give up the prospects to get the deal finalized. The Mariners need infielders for the 2024 season, and trading them someone like Nick Yorke wouldn't give them the instant gratification their lineup needs.

CBS Sports suggested the Red Sox would need to offer Triston Casas to get a deal finalized with the Mariners, which would be off the table, and likely even more than any of the Sox's prospects.

Boston's current starting rotation's biggest lack is an ace, and neither of the pitching candidates Seattle has presented in Woo or Miller truly meet that need at this stage in their careers. Any quality pitching would be an improvement to the rotation, but that doesn't mean the front office will see it that way. Gilbert's experience is more compelling, but that means his price tag will be higher, and the Red Sox have shown no willingness to trade their best prospects this offseason.

If Luis Castillo was on the table, there could be a possibility that the Sox would work to get something done, but there would be no promises based on Boston's recent track record of holding onto prospects and refusing to inherit salary.

The Mariners and the Red Sox could help each other, but each team's needs and preferences right now might not align. The door remains open, however, so once somebody shifts gears, a deal has a chance of materializing.

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