Luis Sardinas has spent parts of two seasons in the major leagues as a 21 and 22 year old in 2014 and 2015. Over those two years, he’s hit .231/.274/.269, which is well below average. He fared much better at AAA in 2015, where he hit .282/.319/.359.
Frankly, this isn’t a very exciting trade. Neither of these players project to be stars or even full-time players. Before this season, Flores was pegged as a bench outfielder who could work his way into more playing time if the team’s circumstances fall just right for him to get the opportunity. More likely, he’ll be a fourth outfielder who backs up the starters. He does a good job of controlling the strike zone. In AAA last year, he walked more times than he struck out, which is rare these days. He also has a career .363 on-base percentage in seven minor league seasons.
Sardinas was ranked as a top 10 prospect in the Texas Rangers organization after the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. Before this year, he was pegged as a platoon or utility type player by the minor league analyst at Fangraphs. Sardinas is a switch-hitter who could be part of a platoon at shortstop, second, or third base, but is unlikely to ever be a full-time starter.
This trade is mainly about positional need. Flores is a much better hitter but the Mariners apparently wanted Sardinas for his ability to play in the infield. He could be their main utility guy on the major league roster or start at shortstop in AAA.