The Seattle Mariners are locked in a race with the Oakland Athletics for the final wild card spot. With Oakland 4.5 back of Tampa and 6 back of Houston, it’s likely going to come down to just one spot being available. Neither team is sitting pat, with both of them making moves in the lead up to the trade deadline.
It all started on Monday the 26th. Of course, it had to be Oakland that would do it, shoring up their bullpen by acquiring Andrew Chafin from the Cubs for 1B Greg Deichmann and RHP Daniel Palencia. They’ve needed bullpen help (luckily they waited until after playing us, thank you once again), and got some in Chafin.
Then, the Mariners trades started rolling in.
The Mariners surprised everyone Tuesday afternoon when Abraham Toro walked onto the field at T-Mobile… wearing Mariners gear. They traded Graveman and Montero for Toro and Joe Smith. The trade hurt morale, hurt the clubhouse, but could definitely be a major win if Toro turns out to be good. If Smith gets back to his 2007-2019 status, the Mariners will only slightly miss Graveman.
Later on Tuesday night, the Mariners made another surprising trade. This time, it was a surprise because the Pirates had actually tried to trade Tyler Anderson to the Phillies earlier in the day before the trade fell through. Dipoto swept in, snagging Anderson for Carter Bins and RHP Joaquin Tejada. Anderson should fill that last rotation slot, helping the Mariners avoid either a bullpen day or putting in a pitcher who isn’t quite ready.
The Athletics have made the most recent move, as they did an interesting one-for-one trade with the Marlins. They sent out a struggling young prospect in Jesus Lazardo for Starling Marte, the two-time All-Star outfielder. Marte immediately makes their outfield better, and Oakland doesn’t lose on anything short-term with Lazardo, as he was no longer in their rotation.
The Mariners and Athletics have both gotten better, and it’s extremely unlikely that they are done. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Dipoto make another 2-3 trades before the deadline as he tries to keep up and catch Oakland, both in acquisitions and in the Wild Card race. Things are happening fast, so make sure to stay tuned both here and on Twitter for any new Mariners news.