SEATTLE -- Any chance of the Mariners trading Dee Gordon to a contending club took a significant hit on Tuesday when Seattle placed the veteran second baseman on the 10-day injured list with a strained left quad.
Mariners manager Scott Servais said Gordon’s injury is classified between Grade 1 and Grade 2, and that Gordon’s shelf time will be a matter of weeks, not days.
Because of the $14.8 million he’s due to earn through next season, including a $1 million buyout for 2021, Gordon is believed to be a trade chip for the rebuilding Mariners, who in June dealt away the pricier contracts of Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion. Gordon’s $14 million option for ’21 becomes guaranteed if he accumulates 600 plate appearances next season or 1,200 from 2019-20.
Given that Gordon plays a non-premium position that typically doesn’t generate impact interest during Trade Deadline season -- and given that the nature of his injury directly impedes his best attribute, speed -- the chances of Seattle trading him appear dim. And the timing is unfortunate for the Mariners beyond the July 31 Deadline.
Waiting-in-the-wings second baseman Shed Long would’ve been a candidate to fill Gordon’s void, but Long is on the seven-day Minor League IL with a broken right finger sustained one game after he was activated from the IL after a shoulder injury.
Had Long been healthy, it would’ve given Seattle an opportunity to play him alongside shortstop J.P. Crawford over parts of the final 10 weeks of the season, as the two are expected to comprise Seattle’s middle-infield tandem when the team returns to contention. Long, Seattle’s No. 12 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, slashed .232/.329/.377 over 79 plate appearances and 19 games when he got his first taste of Major League action from May 11-June 13.
Instead, the Mariners will turn to a combination of Tim Beckham and Austin Nola, whose bats have been hot of late, and neither of whom are primary second basemen. The club has also used Dylan Moore at second. Lopes has also been a primary second baseman over his Minor League career, making 533 of his 639 starts there.
After struggling some following a three-week IL stint with a right wrist contusion from May into June, Gordon had heated up at the plate, slashing .341/.348/.409 with just five strikeouts in 47 plate appearances in July.
Gordon said that he suffered the injury in the Mariners’ 7-3 win over the Rangers on Monday when legging out an infield single during the second inning. He departed in the top of the third after being struck by a wild pickoff attempt, though that was unrelated to the quad issue.
“I've never really had a strain. I was running on it and everything,” Gordon said. “I felt it the day before, and I was still running. I just thought it was tight. I told them, 'Hey, it just tightened up on me coming in on first.' That was the first time it happened, when it tightened up like that. They did the right thing and got me out of the game.”
Williamson to Korea
Outfielder Mac Williamson has signed with the Samsung Giants of the KBO League. Williamson had played in two games after accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma. Williamson hit .182/.276/.299 over 25 games with the Mariners before he was designated for assignment on July 16.
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (it had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.