July 25, 2021

Mariners, Dipoto Acquire Cortes Jr. from Yankees for Slot Money (Lookout Landing)

The Mariners completed the first trade of the offseason, and rather than an Omar Narvaez headliner, it was a minor one. They sent an undetermined amount of slot money (more on that below) for LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. Cortes, a near-25-year-old Cuban-American, has 71.1 big-league innings to his name. Cortes was actually born in Cuba, but has nearly always lived in the United States courtesy of his father winning the 1994 Visa Lottery. By his own admission he sits 87-91, so he won’t be blowing anyone away—but he still uses deception to strike out more than his fair share of hitters, running above average or more K/9 (9.08) and K% (23.2%). Listen to him talk about his abilities and watch him throwing from seemingly every arm slot under the sun:

Seriously look at this:

Cortes very much sees himself as a work in progress, telling David Laurila at FanGraphs last month regarding his slider:

“Along those lines, I started throwing my slider from the side. I try to make it go off my fastball from down there, so that they see a different look; I want them to take their eyes off the…

Read “Mariners, Dipoto Acquire Cortes Jr. from Yankees for Slot Money” at Lookout Landing