As the trade rumors continue to swirl around all of Major League baseball, all eyes are focusing on Seattle and what they will or won’t do in advance of the July 31st deadline.
The one that seems to be picking up the most steam right now is the one that involves Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, to the Mariners.
Speculation has run rampant of late as to what the deal would entail or how big the deal could become. Now, with the Kansas City Royals thought to be involved in the chase for Byrd’s bat, if the Mariners are serious it could become a battle of who has the best prospects to offer.
According to one source in Philadelphia, the Phillies are serious about Marlon Byrd being moved and think it could happen in the next few days. One trade suggestion that was floated out on CBS Sports Radio 94WIP in Philadelphia was Byrd and OF Domonic Brown to the Mariners for Dustin Ackley and two or three prospects.
The thinking behind this is that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr really wants Ackley and prospects and thinks that by throwing the struggling but promising Brown into the mix – he could benefit from a change of scenery – a deal could get done.
Brown was an All-Star in 2013 hitting .272 with 27 homers and 83 RBI but has struggled in 2014. His slash line of .227/.279/.329 would be the lowest since his partial, rookie season, if it stayed there for the season. He has been hitting better of late, raising his average 27 points since May 29th.
I suppose a deal like this would be okay for Seattle, depending on which prospects the Phillies want in return.
Mike Gibson of Rant Sports suggests the Phillies should ask for OF Austin Wilson. Wilson was the Mariners 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft out of Stanford. He is currently at Class-A Clinton where he is posting a slash of .298/.385/.523 with 11 homers and 52 RBI.
It’s unclear at this point if the Mariners would be willing to part with him, but it should be clear that the team would want to get rid of Ackley.
Ackley has appeared to have worn out his welcome with the fans and probably has with the organization as well. The 2009 first-round pick has done little offensively for the Mariners in his time here.
His career slash of .242/.310/.351 is deceiving, as it is bolstered by his rookie season (2011) where he batted .273 in 90 games and finished 6th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
This season, he is batting .225 and has a WAR of 0.5, though most of that can be attributed to his solid defense. His oWAR this season is -0.5 and over the past two seasons is 0.6.
Perhaps Brown and Ackley could both use a change of scenery, perhaps they are both overrated. But a deal like this should hold value to the Mariners as they were more than likely looking to unload Ackley anyways.
Byrd is under contract through 2015 with an option for 2016. Brown is under club control until 2018 and is arbitration-eligible in 2015.