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Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto: ‘We’d love to add’ at trade deadline, give players vote of confidence

The Mariners enter a seven-game homestand with a 51-45 record. (Getty)

The closer the July 30 MLB trade deadline gets, the more serious a potential Seattle Mariners playoff push seems to become.

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The Mariners are 51-45 entering a seven-game homestand against Oakland and Houston, the two best teams in the American League West, tying Seattle with the New York Yankees for 3 1/2 games back of the AL’s second and final wild card spot currently held by the Athletics.

Despite being a young team that still has plenty of promising talent working its way up to the big leagues, Seattle has played well enough to give itself a shot at breaking the franchise’s long playoff drought before it hits an even 20 years.

The big question now, though, is what Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto will do before the trade deadline passes. Will he use it as an opportunity to further stack his roster for next season? Will he go big on adding key pieces to make the postseason a reality in October? Or could he stand pat and see what the team as it stands now can do in the final two months of the season?

During Thursday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jerry Dipoto Show, the sixth-year Mariners GM said there’s a clear path he’s following on the trade market.

“Especially as the last four, six weeks have shown the improvement and the progress this team is making, we’d love to add to this team,” Dipoto told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant during the weekly interview. “Whether that is what we have talked about in the areas of second base, a right-hand bat, starting pitcher, the one thing we have focused on and will continue to focus on are players who make sense for us beyond 2021.”

That illustrates the interesting position Seattle is in as a team seeing success for the first time since starting a rebuild in 2018.

“What we don’t think makes a great deal of sense is forfeiting any real significant part of our future for short-term, rental-type gains,” Dipoto said, “so we are focused on players who would be part of the Mariners beyond just 2021, and until further notice that’s our only focus. And we’ll continue to check in with clubs on the players we feel like make sense for us that fit in that category.”

There’s another big factor Dipoto and the Mariners are considering when it comes to the trade deadline, and that would be the message that the players in the Seattle clubhouse get from whatever deals the front office makes. Dipoto wants to make sure that message is read as a vote of confidence in the Mariners’ ability to make a run at a playoff spot.

“There is a certain level of confidence that that group has to go out and play every night,” he said. “The reason why we are where we are in the standings is because of what the players in that room have done, and it would be a vote of confidence to show them that, ‘Here, we believe what you’re doing.’ As I said, we really want to do that. … And we do want to encourage our players and give them the feeling that we’re with them, because we truly are.”

Of course, the M’s need to find willing trade partners in order to add talent, and Dipoto explained how that’s easier said than done.

“As I’ve mentioned before through the years, while it is notable the number of trades we’ve made over time, it’s not easy to make trades and especially not easy to make trades in July,” he said. “You definitely need a dance partner and we’re doing all that we can do to line up on the positions or the players that we think make the most sense for us.”

You can listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player embedded below, and catch it live at 8:30 a.m. each Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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Danny and Gallant Show