As we continue to update you with the latest trade rumors involving the Seattle Mariners, several interesting developments came to light today. First, there was a report that the Oakland Athletics are seriously interested in Nick Franklin.
While I hold back judgement until I see it all play out, I believe that general manager Jack Zduriencik may use the A’s interest in Franklin to his advantage, driving up the price to other teams that may be interested.
Jack couldn’t possibly get anything of value out of the A’s who just emptied the farm for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Could he? And more importantly; why would he trade in division when the Mariners are chasing the A’s for a playoff berth?
That’s where the second report ties in.
Milone is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts this season with the A’s and was 6-0 with an ERA of 2.62 in his last 11 prior to being sent down.
Could the Mariners find themselves trading Nick Franklin to the A’s for a package that includes Milone if the M’s don’t get David Price?
That’s where the last bit comes into play.
Peter Gammons joined Dennis and Callahan on WEEI radio Monday to discuss mostly Red Sox topics. However, when the Tampa Bay Rays came up as a topic, Gammons mentioned that if the Rays continue to contend, they may not deal Price or Ben Zobrist.
“They actually can keep thinking, ‘We have a chance.’ I know this: Tampa Bay really thinks it has a chance. Now their pitching has come back together again, I talked to people in Seattle who thought they were very close to a deal for Ben Zobrist and they said the Rays pulled back the last couple of days because they want to take it right down to the last 48 hours before the deadline.” — Peter Gammons via WEEI
So this thing really may drag out to the final two days or perhaps even the final day. The Rays’ schedule over the next 10 days include eight games against the Cardinals, Red Sox and Brewers.
What would it take for the Rays to consider themselves to be in it? 5-3 or better? Probably. If the Rays split these next eight games, they may concede their chances. If they gain ground on the Orioles, the struggling Blue Jays and others in the East, they may close up the trade shop and go for the wild-card.
The big question facing the Mariners now is: Can you afford to wait until the last minute to get Price and Zobrist, or miss out on them and not have any time left to make other moves?
I believe the recent availability of Milone may give the Mariners their starter they are looking for and then they can still go out and use other pieces to get Marlon Byrd, Josh Willingham or perhaps even someone bigger.
The key in this scenario for many M’s fans, is that would mean the team would keep Taijuan Walker.
Like I said earlier. Strap in. We’re here for the long haul.