American League Put On Notice With Mariners Bold Move

American League Put On Notice With Mariners Bold Move

At twenty-five years old, Armando Cabanas has won one Most Valuable Player Award, two Silver-Slugger Awards, has been named an All-Star four times, and helped lead the Atlanta Braves to a World Series appearance in 2018. Now after yesterday, Armando Cabanas has also been traded four times.

Drafted out of Paxon High School in Jacksonville, Florida by the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 MLB Pro Draft, Cabanas was a raw outfielder with the tools to be an aggressive and successful hitter. After a year at various levels throughout the Red Sox organization, Boston decided to ship Cabanas to the Seattle Mariners in a deal four players. Cabanas lasted in Seattle for less than four months where he was traded to the Kansas City Royals as a package for Geraldo Rodriguez.

As a twenty-one year-old rookie with the Royals in 2015, Cabanas posted a WAR of 1.6 in 54 games. The outfielder hit .298 and had an on-base percentage of .335. He showed his ability to run stealing 17 bases on 22 attempts. Cabanas followed up his brief stint in the bigs by posting a WAR of 4.2 in 86 games with the Royals in 2016. And then out of nowhere — Cabanas was traded to the Braves for a package that included Nick McCully, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, Alex Gordon, and Steve White. During his three and a half seasons as a Brave, Cabanas had a WAR of 25.3. He was widely regarded as one of the most feared bats in the game and as one of the best overall players.

Yet, the past year and a half has been filled with speculation of trade talks involving Armando’s name. The Braves, a perennial power in the National League, a team run by one of the brightest minds in baseball, the National League Champions of 2018 — and yet, there was unease from within. To get better, in their own eyes, they might have to move their best player.

The lengthy speculation came to an end over the weekend when the Braves reached an agreement with the Seattle Mariners in a mega-deal. This will be Cabanas’ second time joining the Mariners, this time with no plans of dealing him any time soon.

At an introductory press conference for Cabanas on Monday, Seattle Mariners General Manager Justin Kaiser had the following to say:

We are ecstatic to bring in Armando. He was a top target due to both his offensive and defensive capabilities, which fit perfectly for what the Mariners are all about. Armando clearly fills a need. Our goal is to only chase down the Angels, but to obviously find ourselves hoisting a World Series trophy this season and for many years to come.

At what cost though have the Mariners spent on this move. Seattle moved two arms and a leg to acquire Cabanas. Baseball insiders are high on numerous prospects they sent packing. John Butler, Eric Braun, Roger Brown, and hitters Jaime Vega, Royce Lewis, and Kane Barnes all look to be future big-leaguers, that doesn’t include both Kyle Cody and Nick Williams who are already big-leaguers and productive ones at that. 
In addition to acquiring Cabanas, the Mariners also brought in Mark Appel. Appel, the mid-season NL frontrunner for the Cy Young trophy, is dealing with a lengthy rehab and pending free-agency.
Seattle’s Head Scout and Executive Billy Beane echoed Kaiser’s thoughts throughout the press conference.
This was an excruciatingly difficult move to make, but in order to try and keep pace with the Angels, who have won 3 of the last 4 MLB Pro titles, we needed to act now instead of continuing to wait on their development.
This is a trade that will be filled with “what ifs” for long periods of time to come.
The career path of Armando Cabanas has been wild. From trades to the infamous subway mugging prior to the 2016 playoffs, the superstar outfielder is set to begin a new part of his career. While he has plenty of seasons ahead of him, if he is able to lead the 2019 Seattle Mariners to the World Series, his status in the game will only grow higher.