A little over 24 hours remain until this year’s MLB trading deadline and Jerry Dipoto has been unusually quiet.
Other than Sunday’s trade of Kristopher Negrón, the Mariners, like many other teams, have yet to finalize a significant deal. Due to the recent abolishment of the August waiver deadline, many teams are still posturing on whether to buy, sell, or simply stand pat and this has nearly brought the trade market to a complete halt.
Only one massive name has swapped teams during this period, with Marcus Stroman departing a clear-cut seller in the Toronto Blue Jays to a ridiculously confusing New York Mets organization. Other than that, rumors have swirled around Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Robbie Ray, and countless others, but there’s hardly been any specific movement reported on thus far.
As for the Mariners, there are two names generating some noteworthy buzz: Mike Leake and Domingo Santana. Jon Morosi has reported that there is a “50-50 chance” Leake is dealt before he makes his scheduled start in Arlington tonight, which would seemingly indicate that there is some progress being made on a potential trade, but it’s ultimately nothing concrete to work off of.
Yesterday, reports had the Indians and Rays as the two most active teams in Santana’s market, though interest from the latter appears to have cooled off. While Santana’s horrendous defense this year likely makes him more valuable to a team as a designated hitter, his inability to play in the field due to his recent elbow injury is probably going to keep him in Seattle until the winter.
Because of the elbow, Dipoto is more than likely not getting the return he covets for Santana by tomorrow, and that’s probably the reason for Tampa Bay back off on talks. Santana will still have two years left of club control entering the 2020 season and should be back to full health by Spring Training, making him one of the hottest available commodities heading into the upcoming offseason.
Trading from their small crop of valuable veteran pieces isn’t the only thing I expect the Mariners to do in the coming hours, however. Jerry Dipoto has, by far, been the most proactive and creative general manager in baseball since taking the reigns of Seattle’s front office in late 2015. I would be shocked if Dipoto doesn’t buy a Major Leaguer by 1:00 PM PT tomorrow.
This would likely be someone with three-plus years of club control that’s either having a down year or is blocked by other players at their particular position. One name I would keep an eye on is Atlanta’s Johan Camargo, a third baseman who’s currently filling in at shortstop for the injured Dansby Swanson but has lost out on regular playing time due to his struggles at the plate and the arrivals of Josh Donaldson and Austin Riley.
It’s possible they may also get in on the lower end of the starting pitching market given how low the market was set by the less-than-stellar return the Blue Jays received for Stroman. Perhaps taking a flyer on someone like Chris Archer is in the cards, or maybe one of Philadelphia’s young, struggling pitchers like Zach Eflin or Nick Pivetta.
Sure, it’s been quiet, but way too quiet. This feels more like the calm before the storm rather than a glimpse at an underwhelming result. One domino will fall, then the rest will follow. It’s only a matter of time and the clock is starting to run out. Someone do something, please.