Whoa, on Nellie

Cleveland Guardians v San Diego Padres
Cleveland Guardians v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

Here we are, hovering around the .500 mark. I feel like I’ve written some variation of the same sentence hundreds of times this season. The result is the Mariners probably can’t go all-in this trade deadline. Their uneven offensive performance doesn’t warrant trading their most valuable commodity, pitching. I can’t see general manager Justin Hollander giving up Logan Gilbert or even Bryce Miller for a rental bat. Not with Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales (likely) out for the season and Miller and Bryan Woo on innings limits.

However, they can look to play both sides of the market as buyers and sellers with an eye toward 2024. For the record, I’m not writing this team off for 2023. Especially with the devastating injuries the Angels just sustained over 48 hours. But, if Hollander could flip Teoscar Hernandez and his expiring contract to the highest bidder, the return could be sizable. If I was ballparking, it is probably a Top 15 prospect and a lottery ticket.

Who replaces Hernandez in the lineup? There’s been an unmistakable buzz in the Twitter-verse since this weekend.

43-year-old slugger Nelson Cruz is on the market. The traditional numbers aren’t anything to write home about (.248/.283/.682), but he’s still hitting the ball with authority (92.4 EV). The problem is his strikeout-to-walk ratios are horrendous, which signals a decrease in bat speed. The Mariners don’t need another 30% strikeout player in the lineup.

I’m all for a good storyline, especially amid a disappointing season. But let’s pull the reigns back and stop the Boomstick reunion tour ideas. If anything, they need less thunder and more contact.