Image credit: Gabriel Gonzalez (Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
The Mariners acquired a new starting second baseman, landing Jorge Polanco from the Twins in a deal that saw four players head to Minnesota.
In exchange, the Twins acquired a pair of prospects, OF Gabriel Gonzalez and RHP Darren Bowen, along with righties Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Topa.
This story is being updated as we receive more information.
Jorge Polanco, 2B
Polanco missed significant time last year with a nagging hamstring injury, which meant he played only 80 games, his smallest number in a full season since 2018. He still hit .255/.335/.454 with 14 home runs. When healthy, he’s a consistently productive switch-hitter who plays a solid second base. If he plays a full season, he’s usually good for 20+ home runs with an average hit tool. He should bolster and deepen the Mariners’ lineup. Polanco is in the final year of his current contract and is slated to make $10.5 million with a $12 million team option for 2025.
Gabriel Gonzalez, OF
Gonzalez ranked as the Mariners’ No. 5 prospect in the just updated Mariners Top 30 Prospects list. He has two standout tools, as he has plus power and a plus-plus arm. He’s slowed down pretty quickly since signing his first pro contract and is now a well below-average runner. That limited speed also limits his range as a corner outfielder. For his limitations, Gonzalez’s bat speed, power potential and bat-to-ball skills give him a chance to be an above-average offensive force if he can improve his pitch selection. A full report of him is available here.
Justin Topa, RHP
Topa had an excellent first full season in the Mariners’ bullpen. A sinker-slider righthander who mixes in a changeup and cutter, he should be a reliable, relatively high-leverage option in the Twins bullpen.
Anthony DeSclafani, RHP
DeSclafani is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract. The 33-year-old has struggled to match his outstanding performance in 2021, but injuries have hampered him each of the past two seasons. An ankle injury cost him much of the 2022 season, and he missed the final two months of the 2023 season with a flexor strain. He gives the Twins rotation depth for a team that lost Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda from last year’s rotation.
Darren Bowen, RHP
Bowen ranked as the Mariners’ No. 25 prospect. He was picked in the 13th round out of UNC Pembroke in 2022 and is about to turn 23, but he’s promising because of his potential to continue to develop. Bowen was one of the better athletes in the Mariners’ system, and it’s that athleticism that gives hope that he’ll refine his presently below-average control. If he can, he has the stuff to work as either as a starter or reliever. He has a 92-94 mph fastball with run and ride that should continue to improve as he gets stronger. He throws a sweepy slider that could end up as an above-average pitch and his cutter that needs a little more separation from his slider. His changeup has some deception and sink, but he doesn’t yet command it well enough for it to be a weapon.
A full scouting report is available in the Mariners Top 30.