Mariners Analysis: 5 Players the M’s Should Target in Trades

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May 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (13) celebrates after turning a double play to end the game against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won 3-4. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret the Seattle Mariners (27-33) need some help if they are going to climb out of this hole and compete in the AL West. They added Mark Trumbo who is a hitter with pop who strikes out a lot. He is now in a lineup with players that have power but strike far too often. And he has hit .143 with 9 strikeouts since joining the team.

There are players out there that could make this lineup instantly better. The stat the Mariners need to look at in a player is OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage). The Mariners rank 23rd in the majors in this category. They don’t need someone with a ton of power. They need guys who can get on base. OPS is important because it calculates how well a player can hit for power as well as get on base and score runs. Trumbo is a home run threat but he has yet to really show that with Seattle. The Mariners have hit plenty of home runs in 2015, but far too many have been of the solo variety.

Austin Jackson has been a serviceable leadoff hitter with a .689 OPS. But when you look at the teams that are thriving right now, their leadoff hitters are much better. The Giants’ Nori Aoki has a .816 OPS, Kolten Wong of the Cardinals has a .814 OPS and the best team in the AL West right now, the Astros have a leadoff man in George Springer who has a .797 OPS.

Ideally, you want your top hitters in the lineup with an OPS higher than .750, closer to .800. This means they are getting on base and being productive with the bat. The Mariners have only three players with an “ideal” OPS right now: Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith and Kyle Seager. The closest ones to them almost have 100 points less.

Here are some players possibly on the market that could help the Mariners in this department.

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