The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Mariners walk away from it making just two minor moves. It’s difficult not to be mildly disappointed. After all, the landscape of the team is not that different than it was prior. As a matter of fact, the addition of Capps and Pryor from Tacoma is a much bigger splash than anything the Mariners did through this deadline. Acquiring Thames for Delabar alone was a slight steal for the Mariners, but while his power is intriguing, his ceiling probably resides as a platoon bat or a fourth outfield type. There is always the possibility that he figures it out and becomes a useful regular, but that technically that caveat applies to any player. The two minor league players acquired for Brandon League, makes us all look rather silly for assuming that Belt was ever involved in any deal involving League. Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom represent exactly what our former closer was worth. Bawcom was closing for his club in Chattanooga, and Landry while extremely toolsy and an interesting player, is benefiting from playing in a hitters environment. Landry is the key to this deal, and if his power development is legitimate, then in a few years–when hindsight is 20-20–this deal will look much better than the mediocre beige feeling it is currently inducing.
But as I said before the real news comes from the recalling for Stephen Pryor and the promotion of Carter Capps. Over the course of the last decade (and several regimes) the Mariners have been very good at building a cheap and effective bullpen. Capps and Pryor are both guys who sling it up there well faster than my first car*. With that 100 MPH heater, comes secondary stuff that is still a work in progress, but there is still enough there to prevent the opposition from cheating on the fastball. Pryor and Capps are both potential closers, and they won’t come cheap forever. But that is a long ways into the future, and for now you might as well enjoy watching them light up the radar gun.
The Mariners may have missed their opportunity to trade Vargas, but missing the trade deadline doesn’t preclude them from making a few other moves. There is still the possibility of moving Millwood, and dumping the contracts of Figgins and Olivo. The waiver period may not attract as much attention as the trade dealine, it is still essential for many teams who are looking to acquire players to help propel them into the playoffs. Players obtained after the August 31st cut off won’t be playoff eligable, so expect the majority of waiver deals to happen before the beginning of September.
The landscape of the Mariners may not be that different with the addition of a few shrubs, but they still have time to plant a few new seeds in hopes of growing something fruitful. I would throw my percentage predictions on the possibility of the players being dealt, but It proves to be quite inaccurate. But if the Mariners do make a move, you can be sure that we will be here to talk about it.
* – My 1992 Mercury Topaz topped out at 80 MPH.