Could the Mariners bolster the bullpen before adding to the lineup?

MLB insider, Jim Duquette thinks the Mariners should be in on a certain type of high-leverage arm this trade deadline.
Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

With the Mariners following a dominating sweep of the Texas Rangers, there is a common narrative that President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and General Manager Justin Hollander should look to upgrade the lineup ahead of the July 31st MLB trade deadline. MLB insiders have floated superstars Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Bo Bichette before the Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Mets started to turn their seasons around. It's hard to envision which teams will be open for business other than the Chicago Whitesox and Miami Marlins.

However, MLB insider Jim Duquette joined Jason Puckett on his daily "Puck Drop" podcast this week to discuss his views on the trade deadline and the Mariners' plan for augmenting the roster. Duquette focused his targets on bullpen reinforcements, a strategic move considering they are currently operating with Gabe Speier and Gregory Santos on the IL and Matt Brash out for the season.

Thankfully, both Santos, a key offseason acquisition, and Speier are on the mend and in throwing programs that could have them back by the end of June. Even with those two returning, the Mariners are still at least one high-leverage arm short; this is where Duquette entered the conversation with three intriguing possibilities.

"Chicago White Sox reliever Michael Kopech has battled injuries in his career but is finally healthy and has experience setting up and closing. Marlins closer, Tanner Scott, is a lefty who has controlled the walks after a slow start this season, said Duquette. And teams will look at Tampa and their pitching. Pete Fairbanks would be a good fit."

Jim Duquette on M's trade deadline

From an organizational philosophy and bullpen construction standpoint, Fairbanks and Scott make the most sense because they can mitigate barrels. I'd personally lean toward calling Tampa about Fairbanks because you might be able to get a package deal with the under-achieving Randy Arrorena, but that's a discussion for another day. Plugging the 30-year-old Fairbanks into the Matt Brash-sized hole in the back end of manager Scott Servais' pen could do wonders for the Mariners' playoff chances.

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The next six weeks, especially from a National League perspective, will decide who the genuine sellers are in an exciting trade deadline season. Right now, it's safe to say that the Marlins and White Sox are the only teams open for business, but that can all change in the blink of an eye.