Mariners Trade Deadline: An Analytical Look at Seattle’s Trade Options

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Jul 26, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) reacts after he hit a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Zobrist, UTI, Tampa Bay Rays

This one is becoming less and less likely all the time, as the Rays are 7-1 follwing the All-Star break, and are seemingly right in the race with the Mariners, rather than prepared to trade with them.

But there is still a chance the Rays feel that it is either unlikely that they contend, or that at 51-54, fourth place in the East, they are better off getting a haul for Zobrist (and/or David Price) rather than risking missing the playoffs, and getting less in return over the winter.

But let’s assume for a minute that the Rays are willing to sell. In such a case, Zobrist would be a great fit for this Mariners team.

Not only can he play pretty much anywhere on the field, he is a well above average hitter, and is probably underrated because he doesn’t have a great average or power.

His line to this point is .268/.358/.409, with a 122 wRC+. His ability to take a walk and work counts (12.7% BB rate) gives him an on base percentage that would look great at the top of the order, especially compared to the abysmal production from James Jones and Endy Chavez.

In addition, he could play both first base and outfield, which are the two biggest holes in the current lineup.

The good offense and flexibility on defense have made him worth 3.2 fWAR to this point, on pace for 5 or more over the season. That is right in line with Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.

The cost is unclear, but a package centered around Nick Franklin seems fair for both sides.