It is well-known that the Seattle Mariners main weakness is the pitching rotation. But the argument can be made that Seattle has enough starting pitching to end the playoff drought. The Mariners are 7 games ahead of the third place Wild Card team, the Los Angeles Angles.
With James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Mike Leake and Marco Gonzales, the Mariners may feel comfortable with the rotation they have. Other fill-in guys on the roster include Wade LeBlanc, Roenis Elias, Ariel Miranda and Hisashi Iwakuma. Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto may opt to shorten the game a bit, and beef up the bullpen.
Some relievers that fit the bill could include names such as Brand Hand, Jeurys Familia, Raisel Iglesias and Zach Britton. I believe that Hand, Familia, and Iglesias would be too expensive for the Mariners to enter trade auctions with other playoff teams. So that leaves Baltimore Orioles LHP Zach Britton.
Britton is 2 years removed from one of the most dominant seasons in recent history. His 2016 numbers are as followed: 0.54 ERA (1.93 FIP), 0.83 WHIP, 9.9K/9, and a whopping 47/47 in save opportunities. He finished 4th in Cy Young voting and made the all-star team. His 47 saves led the American League, and he did not blow a save.
His 2018 campaign started off with a trip to the disabled list. Back in December, Britton ruptured his Achilles tendon during a workout and was projected to be out 4-6 months. He is back with the Orioles and has pitched in 3 games. Though he will be a free agent at the end of 2018, his salary for this season is $12,000,000. Not too expensive of a price to get a quality Lefty for the playoff push.
Baltimore’s record so far is 21-51, so needless to say, they will be sellers before the July 31st trade deadline. While Britton has been one of the best closers for the past few seasons, there is a reason to believe the cost to acquire him won’t be astronomical.
The Royals traded closer Kelvin Herrera for a package of 3 mid-tier prospects. The Mariners also acquired Alex Colome from the Rays for cents on the dollar.
Here is the projected trade:
The Seattle Mariners have traded RHP Max Povse, OF Luis Liberato and OF Chuck Taylor to the Baltimore Orioles for LHP Zach Britton.
Acquiring Britton would give the Mariners another much-needed lefty out of the pen to pair with James Pazos. Britton would be a rental, but his presence in the bullpen would be enough to propel the Mariners into Postseason play for the first time since 2001. He could be used as a closer when Diaz needs a night off and would be the perfect complement to Alex Colome.
All in all, the Mariners are not done bringing talent to this team before July 31st. The Mariners may not be able to win a bidding war in July, but they could be aggressive and snatch him up before a bidding war starts. Baltimore can be hard to deal with, but they are not in a position to hold on to a rental and get nothing out of him when he leaves for free agency.
As always, Go Mariners!