Mariners Trade Deadline: What it will take for M’s to be buyers

Jul 5, 2022, 11:26 AM
Members of the Seattle Mariners celebrate after a win over the Athletics on June 30. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Mariners have come alive over the last two weeks, going 11-3 over their last 14 games entering Tuesday’s series finale in San Diego against the Padres. That run has been enough to get them to a 40-42 record, just four games out of a wild card spot in the American League here in early July.

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This is all very important, because in less than a month is the MLB trade deadline, where the Mariners will need to decide if they’re buyers truly in pursuit of ending their 20-season postseason drought this year.

What needs to happen for the M’s to become buyers before the Aug. 2 deadline? The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, a longtime MLB reporter, was a guest on Tuesday’s edition of The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports, and he filled guest hosts Mike Lefko and former MLB pitcher/current M’s analyst Ryan Rowland-Smith in on exactly that.

There’s one big question that needs to be answered in the coming weeks before any declarations are made about Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto’s course of action, according to Stark.

“Where are they going to be in the standings in four weeks?” Starks posed. “They’ve got games with the Blue Jays, they’ve got a ton of games with the Yankees and Astros – if they can come through that and they’re still close to the wild card race this year, they’re in a great spot to buy.”

And why is that? Because the Jays (44-37) and Tampa Bay Rays (43-37), who are currently in possession of the final two of the AL’s three wild card spots, both will play tough schedules in the second half by virtue of being in an AL East division in which four of five teams are over .500, while it will be a much different story for the Mariners.

“Those AL East teams have to beat up on each other and the Mariners have a great schedule down the stretch,” Stark said. “I don’t think they play a team with a winning record the last three weeks of the season.”

The Mariners could be buyers at the deadline for another reason, too.

“Even if they fall off the pace to be realistic contenders for this year, Jerry clearly sees them as a contender next year and moving forward, so they’d be looking possibly to acquire pieces that help them contend next year and beyond,” Stark said.

With the extra wild card berth in both leagues this year, however, there will be a lot of teams jockeying for available players, so M’s fans may want to temper expectations a bit.

“This is not going to be a real star-studded deadline and there are going to be a lot more buyers than sellers, so it’s it’s really hard to take any team right now and say, ‘This is the move that changes everything,’ and the Mariners are right at the top of that list for me,” Stark said.

You can hear the full conversation between Stark, Lefko and Rowland-Smith in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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