With Mariners winning now, how should they approach trade deadline?
It may be a new week, but the Mariners are once again coming off an impressive series win over an American League division leader.
This time last week, we were talking about the Mariners sweeping a four-game set from the Tampa Bay Rays, the reigning AL champs and (at the time) the AL East leaders. Now they hit a day off Monday after taking two of three from the AL Central-leading White Sox over the weekend, pushing their surprising record to 41-38.
With the exceedingly young M’s now guaranteed to be over .500 at the midway point of the season – they are at 79 games now, with the 81st game of the 162-game schedule set for Wednesday – and MLB’s trade deadline just over a month away, what kind of moves should they be in the market for?
Jon Morosi, baseball insider for the MLB Network, joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob last week and pumped the brakes on the Mariners being aggressive to bolster a serious run at the postseason this year.
“I think that they are a good team. They are not a good enough team, in my view, that they should be aggressive buyers unless you can get a multiple year-type piece that you’re going to add into your group,” Morosi said. “… If they do add, sure, add a veteran piece if you want, but make sure that you have him for not just for this year (but for) a couple years down the line – (somebody on a) multi-year deal that brings back talent and makes you a stronger club as you look at 2022 and beyond.”
Morosi sees a good sign for Seattle in that four starting pitchers have pitched well as of late – rookie Logan Gilbert, veteran Marco Gonzales, breakout righty Chris Flexen and All-Star candidate Yusei Kikuchi. But there are a couple of reasons why he believes the M’s pushing all their chips in on a postseason run this season would be a mistake.
First, the Mariners have a minus-43 run differential, by far the worst of any MLB team with a winning record. In fact, only two other teams with winning records have negative run differentials – Cleveland (minus-3) and the Yankees (minus-4).
Second, Seattle is still 7 1/2 games behind Houston (48-30) for the AL West lead and five games behind second-place Oakland (47-33).
According to Morosi, the Mariners’ run differential “tells you that they’re probably going to regress at some point,” and even if they did sneak into the postseason, their chances in a playoff series aren’t great.
“I just don’t see this being a team that’s going to stand up and beat the Red Sox or the White Sox in a playoff series. They’re a good team, but we shouldn’t get carried away,” he said. “I think that where I land on all this is (they’re a) good team getting better. They should not do anything like a rental right now. That would be the last thing I’d recommend. Depending on how the next month goes, maybe you sell a player who’s in the final year of his contract to bring back more prospects to help.”
You can hear the full interview with Morosi in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.