Mariners Trade Rumors!
For many baseball fans this is the time of the year they find most exciting. It’s the season within a season, the trade rumor season. July is a month when team in contention pray their team acquires that one piece that will carry them to the World Series. For teams such as the Mariners; one hopes to unload an unwanted burden (Chone Figgins), and pick up some pieces that can truly help the team contend in 2013 or 2014.
Four days ago we wrote about the Mariners that were the most likely trade candidates. The players mentioned in those rumors still remain likely to be gone in the next two weeks.
What has changed since then is pretty significant. Jay Buhner said he would vomit if management extends a contract offer to Ichiro for multiple years, even if it is at half his current salary.
Different stories are floating around on the subject. Some say the organization already knows they will be aiming at locking up Ichiro for at least two more years.
Another claims the front office has the same mentality as Buhner.
Dave Cameron wrote an amazing piece on Ichiro and why the team should celebrate his past accomplishments with the team and show him the door. Which I agree with 100%.
Justin Upton became an almost certainty to be traded. If not in July, then during the offseason, reports Bob Nightengale.
Would Upton be a good fit in Seattle? I, as many Mariner fans would agree – Upton would be a significant upgrade over Ichiro. He’s signed through 2015, right around when the Mariners should start contending for the AL West. Upton would cost the Mariners at least one, if not two of their “untouchables” (Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, James Paxton, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker).
The Diamondbacks and Mariners have already had discussions about possibly bringing SS Stephen Drew to Seattle. Again, talks are held up because the Mariners refuse to deal one of the Super 6. But this could all just be a rumor. Let’s face it, a SS who hit’s .269 with 15 HR in a good season won’t make the Mariners a contender. That’s a deal where the Mariners stand their ground and maybe give up lesser talent. Not to mention Drew has had a miserable last year and a half.
Brendan Ryan and a lesser minor leaguer sounds about right.
Lastly, Carl Crawford. Boston is reportedly shopping the outfielder. His trade value is at an all-time low now as he just returned from another injury. Crawford was rumored to be involved in a deal that would have brought Boston SS Hanley Ramirez and closer Heath Bell. That rumor was squashed almost immediately.
What would it take to get Crawford in a sea-foam green Mariners uniform? Although his stock is low, the Mariners would be forced to part with at least one of the three top pitchers in the minor leagues. A package of either Walker/Hultzen/Paxton and more would have to be put on the table and I doubt Jack Z would even consider trading for an outfielder that could end up on the DL for another long stretch.
ESPN seems to only cover the Mariners when they throw a combined no-hitter, get a perfect game thrown against them or when Felix Hernandez’s name is mentioned in trade talks. David Shoenfield thinks it’s time to trade Felix (No way David!).
David explains his logic here. And a possible trade scenario with the St. Louis Cardinals can be seen below.
So who do the Mariners call? There is one team that clearly matches up: the St. Louis Cardinals. They have depth and prospects; they are in win-now mode, they need Hernandez and they can afford to take on the $39.5 million owed to him in 2013 and 2014 with some high-priced players coming off the books. The Mariners ask for:
- Outfielder Oscar Taveras, Keith Law’s No. 8 midseason prospect, is a 20-year-old hitting .332/.381/.593 in Double-A with just 46 strikeouts in 334 at-bats. As Keith wrote, “His bat still profiles as star caliber in right.”
- The Cardinals don’t have room for Matt Adams with Lance Berkman and Allen Craig. Adams is a 23-year-old lefty masher hitting .362/.390/.684 with 14 home runs in 174 at-bats at Triple-A Memphis (although just .244/.286/.384 in 27 games with the Cards). Alternatively, include Craig — hitting .296/.364/.577 with the Cardinals — instead of Adams.
- Shelby Miller was one of the top pitching prospects entering the season but has struggled in Triple-A. Keith still ranked him No. 17 overall on his update. Take a chance on that arm.
- Tyrell Jenkins is another power righty with big upside, a guy who just missed Keith’s top 50 list. OK, maybe that’s getting a little greedy.
If the Mariners do make a move, it’ll be yet another setup for contention in 2014. Kevin Millwood, Brendan Ryan, Jason Vargas, Brandon League, Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez are all top trade candidates and could be moved for prospects or someone the team knows they can lock up for the long-term.
Let’s just hope the Mariners don’t do anything to upset Buhners stomach.
Check back regularly for the latest in the Mariners trade rumor carousel.