May 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) prepares to deliver a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Set To Make A Flurry Of Moves, Perhaps A Trade Or Two

The Seattle Mariners are positioned to be potential buyers at the trade deadline which stands at just a little over a month away. But recent reports have the Mariners looking at pitchers rather than hitters – though some reports have them linked to both.

According to a recent story in the Seattle PI by Nick Eaton, the Mariners are looking at Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Jason Hammel has also been mentioned as trade bait by the Cubs and of interest to Seattle.

Again I will raise the question: Why, oh why do the Mariners think they need another arm?

With Taijuan Walker and James Paxton both set to come back from injuries in the coming days – Walker could be as early as Monday – you could almost view their arrivals as having traded for an arm or two. Erasmo Ramirez is out of the rotation. When Paxton comes back, Chris Young could either released or kept in the bullpen for long relief.

If Paxton is ready before the trade deadline (he’s set to throw a bullpen session Friday) then why not use Chris Young as trade bait? The Mariners have said they are reluctant to trade either of their young arms, so why not Young? Young has been solid for the Mariners (6-4, 3.23 ERA in 14 starts) and could be a nice addition for someone like the Atlanta Braves (looking to now replace Gavin Floyd in the rotation) or another playoff contender, preferably in the National League.

But before the trade rumors mill really gets swirling, the Mariners have to make some roster moves in the coming week or so. Sending Jesus Montero back to Tacoma after Wednesday’s game opened a spot for Michael Saunders who comes off the disabled list on Friday – and was in the dugout Wednesday.

Who Else Goes Down?

If Walker is indeed going to start Monday’s game in Houston, another move will have to be made. My guess is that Cole Gillespie goes back to Tacoma. But then, when Justin Smoak and Corey Hart are ready to come back, who goes?

Endy Chavez is batting .297 in June and has been a nice leadoff hitter with James Jones in the two hole.

Dustin Ackley has one minor league option left I believe and has not been doing himself any favors of late. Still, some team may value his potential and decide to take him on via trade. Or the Mariners may still have hope for him and send him to Tacoma one last time.

Logan Morrison has raised his batting average 100 points in the last 14 games and has four homers in that stretch. It’s possible, not certain but surely possible, that the Mariners leave Smoak in Tacoma and/or use him as trade bait and let LoMo stick at first.

It’s a good problem to have. The Mariners have been scoring runs of late and have got the long ball going. I still believe that the biggest need is not another arm, but a high-OBP shortstop and a power right-handed outfield bat.

Who Do We Trade For Then?

In other trade rumors involving the Mainers, the team has been scouting Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox. Ramirez isn’t exactly the high-OBP guy I was looking for – he doesn’t walk enough – but he is batting around .300 and plays solid defense most of the time.

Viciedo is a red-flag to me. His power has all but disappeared after hitting 25 homers in 2012 he had 14 last year and has only six so far this year.

The Mariners are also thought to be interested in Adam Dunn. I certainly hope that’s not true. I would love for the Mariners to pull off a trade for Troy Tulowitzki, but that’s unlikely to happen.

So for now, we’ll just have to see how the pieces fall over the next week or so, endure the flurry of trade rumors and then strap in for a wild ride all the way to the deadline where hopefully, we as fans won’t be shaking our heads in disbelief.

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Tags: Jeff Samardzija Seattle Mariners Trade Rumors

  • Dogham

    How about offering Justin Smoak, Erasamo Ramirez, Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin for Troy Tulowitzski?

  • GD

    Yes please on Tulowitzski. That would give us not just Franklin as a serious trading chip, but Brad Miller too. Seattle needs to make a very SERIOUS run at Rios. ChiSox are paying a portion of his salary, and Texas gave up a cheezy scrub to land him. He lacks HR power, but he’s another Cano type player batting 330 BA and great D.

    1. Tulowitzski

    2. Rios

    3. Samardzija

    That would be a DEADLY team and could possibly overtake the A’s by year end!

  • Ian

    Tulowitzki?? HELL NO… Let’s not forget the dude is still made of glass… absolute injury waiting to happen. Have you even looked at his splits this season?? We’d be lucky if he could replicate Cano’s numbers. But most importantly, we’d have to give up the farm to acquire him. Taijuan would be a guaranteed goner in a hypothetical trade.. in addition to at least one other big name. Let’s also not forget how tight the wild card race is. This is still a very young team with serious long term potential. We CANNOT and SHOULD NOT give up that future when the race is wide open and could slip away from us at any second. I’m all for us being buyers, but trading for Tulo would be a definite disaster.

    • Dan Hughes

      When I said Tulo, it was just because I like his game and what he brings. I don’t think for a second that the M’s would try for him and I wouldn’t sell the farm to get him.

      • Ian

        Understandable. I think my rant was more in response to the comment below me that seemed to legitimate the idea. When you’re in the position that the M’s are currently, the trade deadline is not for the purposes of winning the division (and that’s completely disregarding its likelihood as well).

  • jay

    its funny how insane people are getting over the trade deadline. The Mariners think they are buyers for the first time in a long time. However look at the roster. Morrison is playing well RIGHT NOW. He can not and should not be counted on long term. He just isnt that guy. Look at his history, he is nothing more than Smoak but less defensive skill. Ackley being moved on isnt a bad idea at this point. Counting on Hart? Are we really overlooking that he is now made of glass also and has no definitive return date going to happen? Giving up on Miller already? A shortstop upgrade is needed but not likely the Rockies are moving Tulo one way or the other. If anyone is truly available we are looking at maybe Starlin Castro, Everth Cabrera or Jimmy Rollins. With those names do you give Miller a longer look? A long shot is Elvis Andrus but we dont have the payroll flexibility for that…or Tulo for that matter. A pitcher? It makes sense to get a veteran, but in a week when Walker occupies the 4 slot behind Elias that leaves one spot for Paxton and Young. Are we just giving up on a veteran performing well this season for another if we move Young and get Hammel? Landing Samard would be great for the long term but who are you willing to give up for him? Walker or Paxton, maybe Elias? Really? Being more realistic, we swap Ackley for another outfielder who is in need of a change of scenery. Maybe Domonic Brown from the Phillies in a straight swap. The guy is a former all star with power potential. The other player we target is either Ben Zobrist because of his versatility or buy low players like Chris Carter with huge power numbers (especially at Safeco) or Mark Trumbo coming off an injury and playing out of position in left field. WE CAN NOT GUT THE FARM YET. Landing a couple solid potential bats and realizing we want to win long term not just make the playoffs this season and have sacrificed our future.

  • james cardle

    You said Chris Young will be released????? WOW!! I certainly HOPE the Mariners are not as Dumb as you are…….

    • Dan Hughes

      Keep reading. The very next sentence says “why not use Chris Young as trade bait? The Mariners have said they are reluctant to trade either of their young arms, so why not Young?”

      Go back to your Mom’s basement and find something better to do than call people who know more than you, dumb.