Mariners add INF/OF Taylor in trade with Royals

January 30th, 2024

SEATTLE -- The Mariners kept their transactional traction rolling on Tuesday, acquiring infielder/outfielder Samad Taylor from Kansas City in a minor trade that brought their 40-man roster to capacity.

The move came one day after the club sent four players to Minnesota to acquire former All-Star second baseman Jorge Polanco

Mariners receive: INF/OF Samad Taylor
Royals receive: A player to be named later or cash considerations

The Mariners are very familiar with Taylor, 25, from one of their tensest losses of the season last year, when he scored from third base on a walk-off bunt squeeze against Matt Brash on Aug. 14, a 7-6 contest in a back-and-forth series at Kauffman Stadium.

That moment encapsulated Taylor’s calling card -- his speed. With an average sprint speed of 29.1 feet per second, Taylor ranked in the 91st percentile last year in the Statcast metric. It points to him being a strong pinch-running option for manager Scott Servais, and it allows him to play all three outfield positions comfortably.

Which is where he should slot in nicely in Seattle. The Mariners have spearheaded their offseason efforts towards acquiring a multitude of right-and-left-handed bats along both the infield and outfield, with most of those players capable of playing multiple positions. Taylor, who hits and throws right-handed, also played second and third base for the Royals last season, his first in the Majors. His biggest hit of the year happened to be the first of his career, a walk-off single that capped a six-run comeback on June 17 against the Angels. 

A 10th-round Draft pick by Cleveland in 2016, Taylor debuted last June 17 and wound up playing in 31 games for the Royals, over which he slashed .200/.279/.267 (.546 OPS) with one triple, two doubles, four RBIs, 22 strikeouts and seven walks. He was also 8-for-8 in stolen-base attempts. 

Of note, Taylor has two Minor League options remaining, which could make him a contributor at Triple-A Tacoma if he’s not in the Majors. That component will also give the Mariners more flexibility with the 26-man big league roster throughout the year. At Triple-A Omaha last year, Taylor hit .302/.418/.466 (.884 OPS) in 89 games.