With less than a month before the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline, the Mets and Mariners made an interesting deal on July 3. Seattle picked up a left-hander that was recently designated for assignment (DFA) by the Mets, while New York picked up two right-handers in Trevor Gott and Chris Flexen that pitched for the Mariners this season. Here’s a closer look at the deal.
The Mariners’ Return
- LHP Zach Muckenhirn
An 11th round draft pick by the Orioles in 2016, Muckenhirn didn’t have much success in the Majors yet performed very well down in AAA this season. Across three Major League outings, the 28-year-old gave up two walks and eleven hits across six innings. That was a far cry from the 0.88 ERA that Muckenhirn owned with Syracuse (AAA) in 2023.
Muckenhirn is a three-pitch lefty that doesn’t throw hard, as he caps out in the low-90s with his fastball. However, he can play it off his changeup and slider, both of which are decent but not overpowering options.
The ceiling on Muckenhirn is a lefty that can profile as a middle reliever, but it’s hard to see the 28-year-old hit that with a fringe-average fastball.
The Mets’ Return
In return, the Mets received two right-handers in Chris Flexen and Trevor Gott. Flexen is a former Met himself, but he had very little success in New York between 2017-19. The right-hander did quite well in 2021-22 as a Mariner after a stint in the KBO, but struggled in Seattle this season.
The Mets immediately DFA’d Flexen after the trade.
The key piece to this trade was Gott. Gott proved to be a solid piece in the Brewers bullpen last season, when he struck out 44 over 45.2 IP and posted a respectable 4.14 ERA. The 30-year-old’s numbers this season have been relatively similar, as he owned a 4.03 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 29 innings before the trade.
The Kentucky product can give hitters a number of different looks, as he’ll use his cutter, sinker, and four-seamer with regularity. His cutter is his go-to weapon, and it’s a real boondoggle of a pitch. It has above-average movement, can be used against lefties and righties, and is just a very difficult pitch to square up.
Between his stuff and a deceptive delivery, Gott is a solid middle reliever.
For the Mets, this deal works out in a straightforward manner. New York is set to eat what’s left on Flexen’s deal, and in return, get a good reliever that does have one more year of control left and can help an ailing bullpen
The Mets bullpen received a huge blow in March when Edwin Diaz tore his right patellar tendon during the World Baseball Classic. While David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Brooks Raley have pitched well, the problem with the Mets bullpen has ultimately been the lack of depth. An arm like Gott won’t completely solve all the Mets’ woes, but it should give the Amazins’ pen some much-needed assistance.
For the Mariners, the deal simply gets Flexen’s deal off the books. Yes, it did cost the M’s a good arm. But, Seattle does have reliever depth in spades. Between Paul Sewald and Andrés Muñoz, to middle relievers like Matt Brash and Justin Topa, the Mariners’ depth in the bullpen is not an issue.
However, this might not be the only deal Seattle makes this month. With the Mariners at a 40-42 record, Seattle may need to look towards a retool towards 2024. Should that happen, someone like Teoscar Hernandez may be an intriguing option for contenders.