What if the Mariners wanted a nice quiet addition at second base during the trade deadline?

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

There are ups and downs to trade deadline prep. Sure, it can be fun to look at some of the big names that are out there, working on proposals to try and figure out how to get that borderline MVP or Cy Young candidate to your team. They aren't worthless either, as we just saw the Mariners add Luis Castillo in 2022. We've even looked at some trades the Mariners could make with the Reds again this year, except they'd be adding some offensive help instead of pitching help.

What if the Mariners looked for a lower key add at second base? This isn't a gamechanger in the same mold, but it would be a big help to the team I think because of the versatility aspect that the Mariners have mentioned so often. Sure, he isn't the greatest hitter, but his glove is amazing and he is incredible at stealing bases. Starting a few games each week and pinch-running late, all the while splitting time with Cabby or giving JP a rest day if needed?

That's exactly what the Mariners could get if they called up the Baltimore Orioles and asked about Jorge Mateo.

Mateo isn't going to excite you at the plate. He's hitting .214/.264/.349 this season, as has combined for a rate of .223/.269/.368 in his career. Do you know who else isn't exciting at the plate? Kolten Wong. He is hitting .157/.240/.208 this year with one homer and one steal. Oh, and he's playing below-average defense as well. Mateo is a stud defender that can play both MI spots, steal bases like crazy (23/26), and still has a bit of pop with 6 HR.

I think I'm finally done defending Wong. The Mariners need to get rid of him at this point in the year if they are going to be serious about making the playoffs. You can't have someone like that on the team and expect fans to believe that you want to win. Honestly, this would've been a good trade when Flexen was at or near his peak.

Instead, I think the Mariners are going to need to try and send some pitching to the Orioles, and likely someone that can help in the majors this year, not just lower-end prospects. This also could've been a good Taylor Dollard trade, but he's out for the year with Labrum surgery.

Would Isaiah Campbell be enough? Probably not. Mateo is under control through 2025, so that's 2.5 years you would get out of him. What about sending Prelander Berroa (I know he's fun and everyone loves him) along with a veteran arm? I don't know if it would work, but what about a bullpen guy like Campbell or Berroa alongside Darren McCaughan or Tommy Milone?

Neither one of those two are special or up-and-comers, but we know that they can fill in and pitch when needed. Be a 5th starter, eat some innings, and wile your way to 5 IP of a couple of runs. McCaughan has had a rougher go of it, but is only 27. Milone is 36 and has been in a bunch of cities.

This is a tough trade here, cause Mateo definitely has his weaknesses and is slotting behind some of the Orioles infield options. They aren't going to get a ton for him, but still need useful pieces. Could a bullpen arm and a spot starter who can finish out the year tempt the Orioles enough? I hope so, cause I think the speed of Mateo and burst of energy when paired with Cabby could make for a fun finish to the 2023 season.