Edwin Encarnacion
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Report: Mariners still intend to trade Edwin Encarnación

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The Mariners acquired DH Edwin Encarnación as part of a three-team trade that involved the Indians and Rays back in December. The Indians received Jake Bauers and Carlos Santana, the Rays got Yandy Diaz and minor leaguer Cole Sulser, and the Mariners got Encarnación, cash, and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

After winning 89 games last season, the Mariners held a fire sale, trading James Paxton to the Yankees; Alex Colomé to the White Sox; Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets; and Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio, and James Pazos to the Phillies. According to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, Encarnación could be next. The club informed him of its intention to move him after bringing him to Seattle and it seems that is still the case.

Encarnación, 36, has one year remaining on his contract at $20 million along with a 2020 club option worth $20 million with a $5 million buyout. Last season with the Indians, he hit .246/.336/.474 with 32 home runs and 107 RBI in 579 plate appearances. The Mariners could pounce on an opportunity if a 1B/DH type on another team suffers an injury during spring training.

Until the Mariners do move Encarnación, he will be the main DH and occasional first baseman with Jay Bruce, Ryon Healy, Domingo Santana, and Dan Vogelbach backing up at those positions. GM Jerry DiPoto said, “Edwin Encarnación is proven productivity. He’s gonna play on a regular basis and hopefully be a staple in that lineup that we can grow around.”

DiPoto added, “And with Vogey and Ryon Healy, both of them are still young players with a chance to grow and move forward. It will be a challenge to see how we can balance the at-bats. But there will be a rotation that we use. As we get into the season, we’ll figure out what that is.

One thing that I’ve learned over three decades in baseball is that while you think you may have depth in a certain area, it often doesn’t work out that way. We’ll let spring training — and as we move toward the regular season — tell us a story about the best way to use our player.”

Mariners activate Kyle Seager

Kyle Seager
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The Mariners have activated third baseman Kyle Seager from the 60-day injured list, per a team announcement on Saturday. Dylan Moore has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Seager, while right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala has been placed on the 60-day IL (ruptured Achilles tendon).

Seager, 31, suffered a partial tear in the extensor tendon of his left hand during spring training and has yet to make his season debut. He underwent surgery on the tendon in mid-March and has had a long and slow recovery since then, eventually working his way up to a few starts in Triple-A last week. Through his first nine games in the minors, he batted .256/.310/.308 with two extra bases, seven RBI, and a .617 OPS over 42 plate appearances.

Any progress is good progress, though, and the Mariners will no doubt be looking to Seager to uphold the .250+ average, 3.0+ fWAR totals of seasons past as he works his way back to a full workload — especially with fellow third baseman Ryon Healy headed to the 10-day IL with a bout of back inflammation. Seager will start at third and bat sixth when the club faces off against the Athletics at 4:07 PM EDT on Saturday.