Here we are again, sellers at the trade deadline. The deadline is now less than a month away, and it’s time to start looking at what the Mariners will be selling and what they might get in return.
First on the block: Jason Vargas
Vargas may be the biggest piece the M’s have to offer this trade season. Despite his respectable 4.31 ERA in 117 innings of work, his value isn’t as great as the stat line indicates. Safeco Field is the perfect conditions for a left-handed pitcher. Vargas lacks tremendous tools on the mound, but the spacious outfield at Safeco combined with the marine layer makes a perfect combo for him. Take a look at these splits.
While there is still value for Vargas, he would be a 4th or 5th starter on most playoff-bound teams, so the Mariners wouldn’t get more than bottom of the rotation value. A comparable trade could be the Jerrod Washburn deal in 2009 when the M’s sent him to Detroit for Luke French and Mauricio Robles. Vargas and Washburn share the similarities of being crafty lefties, but Vargas’ age and contract will raise his value a bit over Washburn’s. The Mariners would likely get one or two mid level prospects in return for Vargas on the market.
Next up: Kevin Millwood
Millwood has had a respectable season posting a 4.00 ERA in 83.1 innings of work, but teams trading for him would be getting no more than a 5th starter/long reliever and veteran presence in the locker room. This skill set can be valuable to a playoff ballclub. Still, I wouldn’t expect to get any more than a low-level prospect and maybe some cash. A Millwood trade would also open a rotation spot for quickly progressing prospect, Danny Hultzen who has three starts in AAA currently. If Seattle can get a decent offer for Millwood, I would expect them to accept considering they will have no use for him next year.
How about dealing Miguel Olivo?
Like Millwood, Olivo is a veteran presence, but he can also pitch in a little power. A team with a suspect catching situation may be interested in him to add some depth and pop at the position. The Rays, Angels, and Mets are a couple of playoff contenders that may be interested in a guy like Olivo. Again, Seattle wouldn’t get much in return, perhaps a minor prospect or two. John Jaso could probably get a bit more in return, but I don’t see the Mariners being willing to part with him.
Of Course, Brandon League
League is no stranger to trade rumors; his name has been mentioned for the last couple seasons. Unfortunately, his stock is at an all-time low due to his demotion from the closer role. Nevertheless, an organization with an unstable closing situation could still see him as a potential closer. It would be interesting to see what a team would sacrifice for League. Some teams may be willing to pay a typical price for a closer who is one year removed from an all-star year, and some teams may pay the price of an average reliever. I could see League fetching anything from a plus prospect to a low A pitcher.
Believe it or not: Chone Figgins
Yes, I said it, Chone Figgins has trade value. Very little value, but value nonetheless. An article from a while back
indicated that the Rangers might be interested in our disaster. There is a market for the pinch runner/utility man mold that Figgins fits, and I don’t think any Mariner fan would object to ridding themselves of the most hated man in the Mariner organization. The M’s would likely have to eat most of Figgins’ salary and get little in return, but if that’s what it takes to make sure he never wears a Mariner uniform again, then I wouldn’t hesitate.
Mike Carp and Casper Wells
Depending on the team, both of these players could be a 3rd or 4th outfielder or even a pinch hitter which is basically a position of its own in the national league considering that pitchers need to be pinch-hit for in late innings. One guy is a lefty, and the other a righty, but I could see teams showing interest in these two guys, especially Wells considering the year he is having.