MLB Trade Deadline season starts with a whimper thanks to Royals and Mariners

Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners

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The Kansas City Royals are finally free of Carlos Santana, and despite a recent hot streak, fans are thrilled to send him to the Seattle Mariners.

MLB trade deadline season is here, but the first deal won’t make much headway.

The Royals are sending Santana to the Mariners in a long-overdue move. Santana was a guaranteed out to start the season, but has been more respectable as of late. His WAR is nearing 1.0 on the year, and his batting average is now well above the Mendoza line. Given his rough start, I cannot stress how surprising the turnaround has been.

Seattle is banking on that continuing, trading a prospect and reliever Wyatt Mills for Santana.

Royals Get

RP, Wyatt Mills

RHP William Fleming

Mariners Get

1B, Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana trade: Who won and why?

Given how he started the season, getting anything for Santana has to be considered a win for Kansas City. The Royals are now also one step closer to calling up their third-ranked prospect, Vinnie Pasquantino, who is 24 years old and MLB-ready.

Per MLB Pipeline, Pasquantino projects to first base or DH at the MLB level, meaning trading Santana clears up a spot for him:

“A well-below-average runner, Pasquantino is locked into first base, but those in Kansas City believe he’s more athletic there than he’s gotten credit for in the past. Sticking there or slotting into DH keeps the offensive bar high.”

Mills is a 27-year-old reliever who has a 4.15 ERA for the season. He should get a chance right away in the KC bullpen. Fleming was playing in A-ball for the Mariners, so expect him to remain at the lower levels for Kansas City.

Santana does provide some power to the Seattle offense. At 34-40, the Mariners have been a disappointment so far this season. Perhaps Santana can give them a jolt.

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