MLB Network’s Morosi: A few possible Mariners trade deadline routes

Jul 13, 2022, 12:52 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm
Mariners trade deadline Brandon Drury...
Brandon Drury of the Cincinnati Reds hits a three-run homer in Atlanta on April 7. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Mariners are in the midst of maybe their hottest streak at any point during their 20-year postseason drought, having won 10 straight and 18 of their last 21 after sweeping a doubleheader from the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

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Looming in just under three weeks, though, is the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline, the last opportunity for them to swing any kind of deals with opposing teams to bolster their roster for the stretch run. Should the possibility of altering their current chemistry be a concern?

Not so much, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Monday.

“Do you just not mess with success?” Morosi said. “Do you say ‘They’re clearly in a good rhythm now, there’s no need to jumble up the rotation,’ even though you’re a little bit concerned about, ‘OK, we’re one injury away from the need.’ And I think this is where the trade deadline now is different than it was… (when you could still) make waiver trades in August. Your team is your team and once you pass Aug. 2, that’s it. And so if someone strains an elbow muscle or a UCL five days afterward, you’re stuck.”

So what kind of moves should the Mariners be looking to make? Morosi addressed a couple of routes with Bob Stelton and guest co-host Ryan Rowland-Smith.

An extra – and versatile – bullpen arm

The Mariners have been extremely fortunate in one way this year, and that’s the fact that no starts have been missed by any pitcher in their rotation due to injury. That’s all well and good, but Seattle should have some backup for down the road, especially with Logan Gilbert and rookie George Kirby both young in their MLB careers and likely to have their workloads for the season limited at some point.

One solution would be adding a reliever with starting experience. And it never hurts to make additions to the bullpen, anyways.

Veteran left-hander Matt Moore is someone who stands out as a potential target for Seattle. He has pitched 40 innings over 29 appearances in relief for Texas this year, owning a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He’s primarily been a starter in his career and even started 13 of the 24 games he pitched for Philadelphia in 2021.

“I think getting maybe a lefty that can help you, give you a little bit more length in the bullpen like Matt can do” is something the Mariners could have interest in, said Morosi.

Morosi also mentioned Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer and lefty Andrew Chafin as bullpen targets. Fulmer (1.89 ERA, 1.02 WHIP in 34 appearances this season) does have starting experience but probably isn’t a strong rotation option right now, while Chafin (2.30 ERA, 0.951 WHIP in 32 games) has been exclusively a reliever since 2015.

“I’m just a believer that as great as (Mariners reliever Andrés) Muñoz has looked, you just can never have enough bullpen depth back there,” Morosi said.

Another option for second base

The Mariners haven’t gotten what they had hoped for from Adam Frazier this season. The starting second baseman for the National League in the 2021 All-Star Game, he has hit just .225 with a .589 OPS in 86 games since coming over in an offseason trade (though he had a nice performance in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, going 2 for 4 with a home run).

Brandon Drury of the Cincinnati Reds has been coming up a lot lately as a name that could be on the move before the trade deadline, especially after the Grants Pass, Ore., native had a stellar month of June. He’s currently slashing .276/.334/.536 for an .870 OPS with 18 homers and 50 RBIs in 77 games this season.

“Drury I think is one of the more under the radar, tremendous trade candidates,” Morosi said. “Look at his numbers this year. He’s having a career offensive year and he can play anywhere in the infield. He’s been able to play the outfield before, too.”

That versatility could fit in nicely on the Mariners’ roster. The 29-year-old Drury has played every position in the infield, though primarily third base (51 games) and second (20 games), and he has 126 career appearances in the outfield.

“I just think given the struggles of Frazier to produce consistently at second base, (Drury) sort of gives you a second version of Dylan Moore with maybe even more infield versatility,” Morosi said.

You can listen to the full conversation with Morosi in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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