It’s hard to figure out what exactly the Seattle Mariners is going to do at the upcoming trade deadline at the end of July
There are essentially three options. Trade prospects for current major league talent, trade major league talent for prospects, or do nothing. Certain teams will pick one of these options to various degrees depending on how their team stands during the current year as well as how they are set up for the future.
The Mariners are stuck in between a couple of these options. On one hand the Mariners have three massive contracts on the books that almost force the team to win now as they would be hard to realistically be moved (Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and somewhat Felix Hernandez).
Yet at the same time the team has holes and question marks around the field with a minor league system that is just starting to be replenished after enduring some hardships over the past 5-10 years creating a stable system of development all the way up the minor league chain.
If the Mariners were to try to trade some of their major players like Cruz then they would be essentially giving up on this season. Which is a tough pill to swallow for anyone that had high hopes going in to this season. Or, they can trade what bare minimum amount of prospects they have to try to fill in the gaps and swing a wild card spot in this years playoffs. Which would be tough to do and could backfire majorly setting the Mariners back even further for years to come.
Instead what I see happening is a choice somewhere in the middle. The team won’t try to shed all of their albatross contracts, they are still slightly above .500 with a realistic shot at the wild card, but they won’t go shopping for big names. Adam Lind being traded away has been floated around the last few days and I think he is the most likely candidate as a solid bat with a slightly large contract he can be shopped pretty easily for a couple of young players. The team just picked up Dan Vogelbach in a trade with the Cubs and he strictly plays 1st base and DH so it looks like the team is trying to find alternatives to Lind or Dae-ho Lee for the future since they are both aging.
Seattle likely won’t be too interesting to follow at the trade deadline but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance to really push themselves in to a competitive position. Finding the right piece to strengthen a surprisingly faltering pitching staff and adding depth to the position players could be the next step the Mariners need to take to establish themselves as a playoff contender. Whatever the case expect hard overreactions in every direction and a lot of moving pieces all around the league,
Should be fun.