3 immediate Yankees trade targets before 2023 season begins
By Adam Weinrib
2. Chris Flexen, RHP, Seattle Mariners
Plenty of ink has been spilled on the Flexen fit already, and while Oswald Peraza feels like too high a price to pay for depth innings (especially if the team really believes in Jhony Brito), getting the Seattle righty for utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a prospect (OF Elijah Dunham? Brandon Lockridge?) feels like an intriguing win-now move.
Still just 28 years old, Flexen outperformed his peripherals last year (4.49 FIP/3.73 ERA) and posted a surprisingly high 1.329 WHIP. In his breakout 2021 season, he lined up more properly with his FIP (3.61 ERA/3.89 FIP) and impressively ate 179.2 innings.
Flexen has been somehow squeezed out of Seattle's rotation plans, even after a strong spring (2.65 ERA in five outings). Still, what are the Ms to do when they also have Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Marco Gonzales (and Matt Brash in the bullpen)?
The only real question here is whether the Mariners can be swayed by an average Yankees trade package to surrender pitching depth of their own. Flexen would be a great fit for the Yankees, but he'd occupy the same fifth/sixth starter role. Are we sure the Mariners wouldn't rather hang onto him and be careful?
If the Yankees come knocking, they'd better hope the Mariners love their Triple-A rotation depth.