Mariners Get Better, But Can’t Be Done
The Seattle Mariners have been surprisingly good in 2018. Even the most pie in the sky fan couldn’t have thought this was a possibility, at least not this early. And yet, before we even celebrate Memorial Day, Seattle got better.
It’s odd to see a major trade this early in a season, but that’s exactly what Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto pulled off. The additions of Alex Colome and Denard Span provide a significant upgrade to the bullpen and outfield rotation, at the cost of almost nothing.
We have yet to see either player in a Mariners uniform, but the simple statement a trade like this sends to a fan base and its own clubhouse is clear: We are in. In 2016 and 2017, Dipoto tip-toed around buying and selling at the deadline. He basically tried to trade $1 bills for a $5, and it didn’t work.
This season is different. Granted, Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero have a long way to go to be serious MLB quality pitchers, and if the team tanks, the Mariners could easily recoup a similar package for Colome and Span.
But as the title suggest, the Mariners simply cannot be done adding, and there is no reason to hold off on reasonable trades to ” wait it out”. Dipoto must continue to be aggressive and creative, and still has several holes to fill.
One such hole is in the bullpen. Yes, on paper the team’s bullpen is solid. Good even. But if you cannot add a significant starter, which seems to be the most likely scenario, you need an elite bullpen.
The Mariners may be just a David Phelps level arm away as well, and there is no shortage of options available to them.
Another is at catcher. Mike Zunino, who played hero in Saturday’s walk-off win, has struggled in 2018 and appears to be falling back to his old self. Even if he returns to his 2017 self, a solid backup catcher would be an excellent addition.
The likes of JT Realmuto are slim to none. However, and a guy like Jonathan Lucroy could make sense IF the Oakland A’s decide to sell. At the very least, Lucroy gives you ok defense and a solid track record of an OBP guy.
In addition, first base could be a spot to upgrade as well. After a slow start, Ryon Healy lit the world on fire in his return. He has since crashed, but still gives you solid defense and right-handed power. In a month’s time, it might seem silly to pursue a first baseman, but Healy is not going to be given the job all of 2018 if he doesn’t produce.
Finally, and perhaps most difficult, is a solid utility man. Andrew Romine and Gordon Beckham simply don’t cut it, and the Mariners must prepare for the possibility Jean Segura may miss some time. A guy like Jurickson Profar could flourish with a change of scenery and should be available in trade.
Next: Mariners Add 2 Difference Makers
Ultimately, we know some teams are sellers, but as we get deeper into the season, even more teams will follow suit. We can’t possibly know every player who might become available via trade. However, we at Sodo Mojo will do our best every day in June in July to keep you up to date on all the rumors for your Mariners. It promises to be a fun summer!