Yes, they can. But could they improve more by downgrading somewhat in CF to get a pitcher who’s a better option than anyone available on the FA market, age, health, ability and cost all considered? That’s the question. I’m not saying the answer is clear, but that is what Elias & co. need to consider. And it depends on what Mullins would bring back and what the alternatives are in CF. Trade Mullins straight up for Lopez and sign Kiermaier until Cowser is ready? I am not crazy about that one. But there could be some similar scenario that works.
There are many ways to improve. In my opinion starting pitching is our greatest weakness. If we can trade from our strengths, position players, to enhance our pitching staff, then do it if the right deal came along. I'd be willing to part with about any position player on our mlb roster other than Adley and Gunnar. If Mullins is our most valuable trade piece on the roster, then trade him for pitching. I feel we have enough young talent coming up to replace his production in the lineup.
Let's be clear, I'm not advocating a firesale or anything goofy. But with Westburg, Ortiz, Stowers, Cowser, etc all possibly seeing MLB time this year and hopefully outperforming who they replace in the lineup, and a full year of Gunnar and Adley, I expect the runs scored to increase even if we don't add bats from free agency. But it's the arms that worry me as Grod only 1 starter and will be limited on pitches. I'm ok with trading a position starter if we can get a worthwhile pitcher, and Mullins may be the best chip to play. And given that I'm down on him repeating a 3.8 WAR season or better in 2023, he'd be at the top of my list. We will get more for him than we would for a Hays, Mateo or Urias.
Flexen for Santander is probably fair in terms of value. Flexen is controlled for two extra years. However, he has low K/9 and mediocre FIP/WHIP. I just don't think he is a big enough upgrade to cost probably our 2nd best bat.