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Mariners may tear down roster, start rebuild

Paxton, Seager, Segura among big-name players Seattle reportedly considering trading
MLB.com @_dadler

The Mariners might be willing to trade several key players -- including ace James Paxton -- this offseason if the market is strong enough, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Seattle is open to trading just about anyone on the roster -- saying that "they're going to blow it up."

The Mariners might be willing to trade several key players -- including ace James Paxton -- this offseason if the market is strong enough, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that Seattle is open to trading just about anyone on the roster -- saying that "they're going to blow it up."

Tweet from @Feinsand: Source confirms the Mariners are open to moving pretty much anybody on their roster. ���They���re going to blow it up,��� the source said. @JeffPassan was first on Seattle���s potential plans.

That lines up with a report from Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan earlier Tuesday that the Mariners are considering a teardown if the price is right for their big names, even if it means entering a multiyear rebuild.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, though, Seattle wants to hold onto star closer Edwin Diaz, breakout outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-hander Marco Gonzales -- but "everyone else is up for grabs."

Passan had reported that the return would have to be huge if the Mariners were going to move players like Paxton, Diaz and Haniger.

Tweet from @JeffPassan: Now, blowing things up in Seattle is subject to return. Jean Segura���s no-trade would need to be worked around. Return for Mitch Hanover, James Paxton and Edwin Diaz would need to be massive. But Mariners are in that awful no-man���s land where they���re good but not good enough.

There's one player Seattle might find untradeable: Robinson Cano. Due to the size of his contract -- a 10-year, $240 million deal that has five years and $120 million remaining through 2023 -- one executive told Feinsand that the Mariners "would have to attach a lot of talent to move him, and even that might not be enough."

The Mariners went 89-73 in 2018 and stayed in the playoff mix for much of the year, but they faded down the stretch, finishing third in the American League West behind the powerhouse Astros and the surprising A's. They've been caught in the middle the past few seasons -- always stuck just outside of postseason contention, but not bad enough to be in a full-on rebuild mode. Trading off key piece this offseason could trigger such a rebuild.

According to a report from the Seattle Times' Ryan Divish, Paxton looks like the most likely to be moved. Multiple sources told Divish that the ace left-hander will be traded this offseason, as the Mariners look to take advantage of a relatively weak free-agent market for starting pitchers.

Big Maple, as the Canadian-born Paxton is known, could be a more attractive option than any starter in this free-agent class, which has Patrick Corbin as its headliner, along with names like Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Paxton, who turned 30 on Tuesday, has a 3.40 ERA over 52 starts in the past two seasons, with 364 strikeouts in 296 1/3 innings. He's under team control for two more seasons, through 2020.

Video: TEX@SEA: Paxton K's 9 in final start of the season

Per Divish, the Mariners would want to get back at least one high-level, Major League-ready prospect in a deal for Paxton, and they might also try to package someone like Kyle Seager or Dee Gordon in such a trade to get some salary relief.

Divish also lists Diaz, Haniger and Segura as top potential trade targets for teams looking to deal with Seattle. The 24-year-old Diaz saved 57 games in 2018, logging a 1.96 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings en route to the AL Reliever of the Year Award. The 27-year-old Haniger is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .285/.366/.493 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. Neither player will be a free agent until 2023.

Segura might be the most difficult to trade, as he has full no-trade protection, but the 28-year-old would be a valuable asset coming off a season in which he hit .304/.341/.415 with 10 homers and 20 stolen bases. Segura is controllable through 2023. His five-year, $70 million contract runs through '22, with a $17 million team option for '23.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Seattle Mariners, James Paxton