SEATTLE -- Looking to improve their team speed and baserunning ability, the Mariners made a bold move in that direction on Thursday as general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired two-time National League All-Star Dee Gordon from the Marlins and another $1 million in international slot money in exchange for top pitching prospect Nick Neidert and two other Minor Leaguers.
Neidert, 21, was the Mariners' No. 2 prospect per Infielder Chris Torres, their No. 7 prospect, and right-hander Robert Dugger are also headed to Miami.
The additional international slot money could also help Seattle's pursuit of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who is only able to earn an MLB-minimum salary of $545,000 next year, in addition to whatever slot money teams have available.
The Mariners now have $3.557 million in slot money, moving them slightly ahead of the Rangers' $3.535 among the remaining contenders.
Gordon played 13 games in the outfield for Licey in the Dominican Winter League in the 2013-14 offseason. That is the extent of his pro outfield experience.
The Mariners put a big emphasis on defense in 2017, acquiring Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Haniger after finishing 21st in the Majors with -8 Outs Above Average (OAA) the year before. With added outfield range in 2017, they jumped to fifth in the Majors with +12 OAA. Giving significant playing time to someone who has never played center in the Majors before could put a dent in that improvement.
Though overshadowed by the talk involving National League MVP teammate Giancarlo Stanton, Gordon has been the subject of trade rumors this winter as the Marlins look to shed payroll.
Gordon is under contract for three more seasons for a combined $37.9 million, with $10.8 million this coming year and then $13.3 million in '19 and $13.8 million in '20. He also has a $14 million team option for 2021 that becomes guaranteed if he accumulates 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 plate appearances in 2019-20.
Greg Johns /

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