Mariners went from sellers to buyers in a week, how?

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Kyle Seager
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Kyle Seager /

A week ago, the Seattle Mariners were standing on the brink of another miserable season. Four games under coming off of the All-Star game was not where this team was supposed to be, and the thing most M’s fans were hoping was that Jerry Dipoto would sell off some pieces in the hopes of building for 2018 and beyond.

The White Sox set the market on fire for sellers by swapping Jose Quintana for the Cubs’ top prospect and more. Now obviously, the Mariners do not have a player the caliber of Quintana, but James Paxton could’ve brought some kind of package a little less than Quintana did.

So one week ago, heading into the M’s first series after the All-Star break, it seemed like Dipoto should shop around Nelson Cruz, James Paxton, Nick Vincent, Kyle Seager, and others. The market seemed right, and the Mariners were in a rough spot.

But then something changed.

Obviously the Mariners won five of their six games to start the second half, and that changed their positioning in the standings. Two of those three wins were against the AL-leading Astros, and that boosted morale with the team.

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But one other thing contributed to the M’s switch from sell to buy, and that was that the market massively shifted. The prior deal for Quintana looked favorably for the Mariners to sell Paxton, but then the Tigers traded J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks.

Before we jump into the details of the deal, J.D. Martinez is somewhat an equivalent to Nelson Cruz. He’s having a better year than Cruz, but the return for Cruz would be something along the lines of what the Tigers got for Martinez.

The Tigers got pennies on the dollar. They received from Arizona, three prospects: Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King.

Arizona’s farm system is one of the worst in baseball, and Lugo was just the #2 prospect in their system. Alcantara was the #15 prospect, and there isn’t much to go on with Jose King.

If J.D. Martinez, one of the best hitting players in the American League, could only bring that return, then the M’s became better off keeping Cruz.

Next: Mariners Acquire David Phelps from Marlins for 4 Prospects

Seattle is now in a buy position, and they showed that with the acquisition of David Phelps. Dipoto is looking to boost this team over the top in 2017. He wants to pull some deals that will bolster the pitching especially.

Ultimately, a lot happened that switched the Mariners from buyers to sellers, but the market switching was definitely the biggest factor.