The Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves have agreed to trade OF Alex Jackson and a player to be named later in exchange for RHP's Rob Whalen and Max Povse. The Mariners drafted Jackson just two years ago in 2014 with the sixth overall pick. The 21-year-old has struggled somewhat in his limited professional career, but he's still young enough to turn things around. On the other side of the trade, Povse has the potential to be a back-end starter while Whalen looks more like a spot starter or long reliever.
How this affects Seattle's future RHP future outlook: With the Mariners recently trading away Taijuan Walker to Arizona, the team will need someone to fill in the rotation in 2016. Rob Whalen is the likelier of the two newly acquired righties to fill the spot, but the 22-year-old just posted a 6.57 ERA in his first five major league starts. Povse certainly has the potential to fill the role, but the 23-year-old started the 2016 season in High-A ball. He finished the year in Double-A and could be a candidate for September call-ups if he pitches well in 2017.
How this affects Seattle's future OF future outlook: Seattle doesn't have many long-term answers in their outfield. Seth Smith and Leonys Martin will each be eligible for free agency in the next two years and the other outfield spot is up for grabs presently. Jackson was the one player that the team invested heavily on ($4.2MM) with the intentions of taking over a OF spot in the future. With his departure to Atlanta, it makes it much more likely that the M's acquire a big bat to take over one of their outfield spots, especially if Boog Powell doesn't impress in the bigs.
Bottom Line: Seattle gave up on their 2014 sixth overall pick for a potential bottom-tier starter and a spot starter while Jackson could still develop into a quality outfielder.