Mariners Monday: A Look At The Previous Week
By Dan Hughes
This past week, the Mariners endured some change designed to aid the team in its quest to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Whether the changes made will accomplish that goal remains to be seen, it was a busy and interesting week for the team. Let’s take a look back at the week that was in your Monday recap.
Trader Jack Makes Some Moves
Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik finally pulled the trigger on a couple of deals. In the final hours prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Mariners traded Abraham Almonte and Stephen Kohlscheen to the San Diego Padres for Chris Denorfia.
The M’s then were part of a 3-team trade that sent David Price to the Detroit Tigers. The Mariners sent Nick Franklin to Tampa Bay and acquired OF Austin Jackson from the Tigers.
Now, many people were critical of the move, suggesting that the Mariners should’ve been in on Price. But the team’s biggest need was offense, and they got a serious upgrade with Jackson. To only give up Franklin was considered a huge victory, given that all the rumors and speculation suggested that Taijuan Walker and several other prospects were being talked about.
Zduriencik came under fire thanks to a FOX Sports story just days before the deadline, saying that his negotiating style was frustrating other GMs. Mariners fans can only wonder, with names like Price, Jon Lester, Yoenis Cespedes and John Lackey moving at the deadline, what deals could have been.
Trader Jack Doesn’t Make Moves
The Mariners were linked to just about any player with a pulse leading up to the deadline. Several players that the Mariners were tied to in talks ended up not moving, including Alex Rios, Marlon Byrd, Josh Willingham and Ben Zobrist.
Now, it’s possible that the team still could acquire one or more of these players, but the players to be traded must now clear waivers first and have no team ahead of Seattle on the waiver order claim them.
Chances are, we’ve seen the last of the trades for this season.
On The Field Has Same Results
In the three games prior to the deadline this past week, the Mariners took two of three from the Cleveland Indians. They scored 11 runs in two of the three games and were shut out in the other.
The run scoring was encouraging to say the least, but the shut out was maddening. Corey Kluber blew through the M’s lineup with only 85 pitches for the complete game shutout. Felix Hernandez allowed only two earned runs as he suffered only his third loss on the season.
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Then the Mariners went to Baltimore and dropped the opener there, as the newly acquired Jackson and Denorfia went a combined 0-for-7 as the M’s lost 2-1.
James Paxton made his return to the club in Saturday’s game and looked solid in his short outing. Dustin Ackley and Robinson Cano backed his effort with homers as they took the second game 6-3.
But in the finale, the bats went cold again as Chris Tillman and the Orioles bullpen shut out the M’s for the 14th time this season. So the team takes a 3-3 record for the week back to Safeco Field for a nine-game homestand that opens tomorrow against the Atlanta Braves.
The Mariners are two games out of the 2nd Wild-Card spot, 1/2 game behind both the Yankees and Royals, two games behind the Blue Jays.
Other News And Notes
– Corey Hart ended up on the 15-day DL with a knee injury.
– The Yankees were interested in acquiring Dustin Ackley at the deadline, but who the M’s wanted scared them away.
– Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo’s workout with the Mariners was postponed. No reason was given but there is plenty of speculation as to why.