The rumor mill has been churning off and on since the end of the 2013 season. All of the moves the Mariners made this past offseason – save for Robinson Cano – have pretty much fizzled out.
So now that we are a little over a month away from the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, the trade rumors are swirling again. We keep hearing that the Mariners are interested in acquiring a starting pitcher. But with James Paxton and Taijuan Walker still on their way back from injuries, I’m not sure that’s entirely true.
What the Mariners DO need is some offensive production out of their shortstop. Enter Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are interested in a possible trade to bring Ramirez to Seattle:
The rumor mill also links the Mariners to a player being shopped by Chicago’s other club: shortstop Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox. Ramirez, 32, is a right-handed bat — something the Mariners covet — and is enjoying a renaissance season with seven homers, 36 RBI and a .309 average in 69 games.
His .344 on-base percentage, if maintained, would be the best of his seven-year career. But … adding Ramirez would require a payroll boost. He is making $9.5 million this season and is guaranteed $10 million in 2015. His deal has a club option for $10 million, with a $1 million buyout, for 2016.
So what could the White Sox be asking in return for Ramirez? I would imagine that any trade would include either Nick Franklin or Brad Miller (most likely Franklin) and at least one other prospect, most likely an arm.
Considering that trading Ramirez helps the White Sox shed payroll to address other needs, the Sox may be willing to accept a little less in return player-wise, just to be rid of the salary.
Only time will tell if the Mariners are truly interested in Ramirez or not. But they should be. A .300 hitter with some pop and a decent defensive glove – he can be a defensive liability at times (averaging 18 errors a season since 2009).
We’ll keep a close eye on this and other rumors as the trade deadline continues to draw closer.