SEAside Thoughts: 6 Moves for the Mariners at the Deadline

Seattle Mariners v Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Move #2 - Strongly consider trading Sewald and Hernandez 

On Sunday it was reported that the Mariners were listening to offers on Paul Sewald, Teoscar Hernandez and Ty France. While that would definitely come across as a selling move, I understand the temptation. While Paul Sewald has pitches like an all-star this season, the value for good relievers in this particular deadline is ridiculously high. The Houston Astros gave up their #5 prospect in Korey Lee to get middle reliever and former Mariner Kendall Graveman. The Halos gave up two top 5 prospects to Chicago for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. A heavy price for a bullpen arm and a #3 pitcher.

Listen, Paul Sewald is amazing, and I want him to retire a Mariner, but if he could potentially bring in a top 50-75 prospect in all of baseball, adding a young controllable bat that this offense desperately needs, you have to consider it. I'll take a productive starting position player over a good closer almost always, but especially with the incredible track record Jerry Dipoto has at developing bullpen arms.

With Hernandez, despite his baseball card, his OPS+ is now below league average at 95. It's obvious he has not bought into the "control the zone" mentality and his glove has hurt the Mariners a few too many times. If he can increase the haul in a Sewald deal, I'd consider it. If he's more valuable keeping and getting a Qualifying Offer draft pick out of this winter, that's a nice haul as well. Who knows, maybe he gets hot in August and helps propel the team to the playoffs. Until that happens, he should not be playing in RF as much anymore, and his league leading strikeouts continue to haunt this offense. 

While I'd consider trading Sewald and Hernandez, I'd still hold onto Ty France. It was just 13 months ago when Ty France was battling for the claim of the best 1st baseman in the American League. Fast forward to today, injuries, lack of power, and a complete disregard for his once renowned plate discipline, Ty France may be out of a job soon.

When you are meh with the glove, have no pop, and are slower than molasses, you better be an exceptional hitter. After posting a 128 OPS+ and 18 home runs in 2021, and 2022 looked to be even better. Hitting .308 with an OPS+ of 140 at the 2022 all-star break, the calendar year since has not been kind. France hit just .229 in the second half last season and is sporting a 92 OPS+ since his amazing run. 

While it may be awkward, France does have one more option left. Could Seattle send him down for as long as it takes to get right? He's under contract for a few more seasons, and to trade him now, would be at the lowest possible value he could bring. Play the long game with France, put some pressure on him with deadline acquisitions to either produce, or get right in Tacoma.