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Jarred Kelenic Should Demand A Trade

No, this is not the insane ramblings of a New York Mets fan still bitter over the Robinson Cano trade debacle. While still bitter about it, and forever will be, this is about Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather unapologetically saying the quiet part out loud.

Essentially, Maher said Jarred Kelenic was going to start the season on the Opening Day roster if he signed a contract with the Mariners buying out some of his free agent years. As noted, Evan White signed such a deal, purportedly against the advice of the union, and he began the season in the majors.

Now, we know teams play this game all the time, and many call it service time manipulation. The thing is team’s are never supposed to overtly say or admit it even when it is painfully obvious like with Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs in 2015.

With Bryant, he officially filed a grievance over it. He’d lose mostly because the Cubs had some plausible deniability. With Maher overtly saying it, or at least very strongly implying it, there really is no doubt what the Mariners are doing here.

The Mariners more or less publicly stated since Kelenic wouldn’t sign their contract offer, he can wait a few weeks for his Major League career to begin. Essentially, they’re punishing him by not doing what they want, and they’re going to keep him an additional year.

Again, this has been the standard practice with few exceptions. However, it is far from standard for teams to tell people they’re actually doing it. The Mariners aren’t even doing the traditional wink and a nod.

In retaliation, Kelenic should give the Mariners an ultimatum – put me on the Opening Day roster, or trade me.

Yes, in baseball this would be entirely unprecedented. It’s almost as unprecedented as a team president admitting the team is manipulating service team and not calling up players unless they sign their contract offer.

However, outside of baseball this wouldn’t be all that unprecedented. Eli Manning told the San Diego Chargers he wouldn’t play for them, which led to his being traded to the New York Broncos. That was akin to John Elway signing with the New York Yankees because he refused to play for the Baltimore Colts.

The New York Rangers have benefitted from this signing Kevin Hayes who became a free agent after not signing with the Chicago Blackhawks. Current defenseman Aaron Fox saw his rights traded twice partially as a result of his really wanting to play for his hometown Rangers.

So while they do this in other sports, it hasn’t happened in baseball, at least not yet.

That said, the Mariners can throw out all they want they want to see Kelenic get some Triple-A at-bats, but it’s nonsense. Just look at players like Miguel Cabrera, Michael Conforto, and Juan Soto.

More than that, look at how the Mariners operate. White signs the deal, and he goes from Double-A to the majors. Kelenic doesn’t, and he needs about a month of Triple-A at-bats. It’s beyond obvious what they’re doing, and that’s partially because they’re saying it.

Because of what the Mariners are doing, Kelenic should in respond in kind. There are 29 other teams who would line up to put him on their Opening Day roster if they could get him into their system. If the Mariners won’t put him on theirs, he should tell the team he won’t play for them.

After all, what’s the worst the Mariners can do here? Not pay him? In case they haven’t noticed, they’ve been effectively not paying him for two years. They’re now threatening to not do that for another month, which is exactly why Kelenic should make this demand.

5 thoughts on “Jarred Kelenic Should Demand A Trade”

  1. Jahova says:

    Exactly what are you on about? Explain why the Mariners can’t do what they are doing. Out loud or not, they can put him in the major league roster whenever they want. And asking for a trade is a waste of time too. Here’s what the Mariners do about that: they say no. Next.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Kelenic then opts not to play.

  2. Michael Melendez says:

    Play that game. Do what Stroman did.

  3. TheGhostofKelenic says:

    Kelenic opts not to play? For how long? 4 years? And I don’t think there are 29 other teams who would put him on the opening day roster. He wouldn’t make the Mets opening day roster. Where would you play him? Over who? He would make next year’s opening day roster after the Mets let Conforto walk and then nostalgic fans would cry over the career .259 hitting corner outfielder we let get away.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      He opts not to play until he’s put on the MLB roster, and he can go play in the Independent Leagues for a year like JD Drew once did.

      And, yes, he’d absolutely make the Mets roster. He may not start, but he’s good enough to be there. The same goes for all 29 teams

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