Mariners Fans Should Brace Themselves for “Disappointing Deadline”
The Seattle Mariners have been largely quiet on the trade market as we are just days away from the deadline. With just one player added, Mariners fans are going a bit crazy. They may just have to get used to it.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: yes, I believe the Mariners are going to make at least 1 more trade. In fact, I would say there are 2 trades between now and 1 PM on July 31st. However, I don’t think a major name is coming to Seattle.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to most. Seattle doesn’t have the assets to acquire these type of players. The trade market has been surprisingly heavy for sellers. The Mariners simply lack the middle ground type of prospects to add guys like Asdrubal Cabrera and Mike Moustakas.
That doesn’t mean the team cannot improve. However, if you are on the “starting pitcher or bust” side of things, you’re probably going to be disappointed. There are still several options available, but sources have said that the initial asking price from the Twins for Kyle Gibson was Rafael Devers.
Now, these prices should continue to fall as we approach the deadline. But are you really interested in giving up Kyle Lewis for 8 starts of Kyle Gibson? The place the market seems to be softest is for rental bullpen arms. Jeurys Familia went for peanuts. Adding another middle-reliever option is probably the optimal strategy for Dipoto.
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The team will also continue to look at bats to improve both in the OF and at the utility spot. Something to keep in mind when looking at the utility options available is that they really don’t need to be able to play SS. Seattle will probably farm out an average of 5 innings of SS a week to the utility man.
In the outfield, a centerfielder seems optimal. Guillermo Heredia has struggled as the everyday guy. Leonys Martin, whom we have discussed numerous times, continues to make a ton of sense.
Look, the Mariners are going to improve one way or the other. Robinson Cano will be back in mid-August. That should help. Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger, and Jean Segura are too good to slump for the rest of the season. The bullpen is actually pretty good as is, and will likely get better before Tuesday’s deadline.
Perhaps the most overlooked factor and something Mariners fans should remember is that the team is better suited than most to take advantage of the August trade market, something Dipoto has done to great success in his tenure in Seattle.
Ben Gamel, Yonder Alonso, and Mike Leake were all acquired in August by Dipoto. All are/were helpful. The Mariners have the money to add any pitcher that clears waivers. Guys like Jordan Zimmerman, Ervin Santana, and James Shields are all prime candidates to clear waivers and be available in August.
The Mariners could very well get their starter in 2018. But fans might have to wait until August. This could make for a “disappointing” deadline day for a lot of fans. But remember, excitement on July 31 doesn’t mean squat come October.