2 Mariners Trade Deadline Takes: Starting pitcher, hitters to go after

Jul 14, 2022, 1:30 AM

Mariners Madison Bumgarner...

Arizona pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the Mariners above .500, climbing up the standings on their current 10-game winning streak, and the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline fast approaching, speculation about how Seattle can add to its roster is going to be rampant in the coming weeks.

Why wait any longer to get on the fun?

Salk: This trade deadline for Mariners is different – now is the time to buy

Earlier this week on Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob, Mariners analyst and former MLB pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith joined as a guest host with Bob Stelton, and the pair went through some names they’d like to see be on Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto’s radar.

Rowland-Smith, pitching expert that he is, offered up an interesting name on the mound, while Stelton had both one hitter he knows might be shooting too high but also another one who’s a bit more realistic.

So let’s go through the two takes these baseball insiders have.

Ryan’s big-game pitcher: Madison Bumgarner

Got your attention already, don’t we?

Bumgarner is well regarded for his history as a big-game pitcher, having won three World Series with the San Francisco Giants, including in 2014 when he won World Series MVP. He’s also a four-time All-Star, but with his 33rd birthday coming up in a few weeks, the big lefty isn’t the same perennial Cy Young Award candidate and dominant strikeout pitcher that he used to be. He had rough showings in 2020 and 2021, his first two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he’s been good this year with a 3.65 ERA over 18 starts and 91 1/3 innings.

Perhaps most important, he’s reliable and has the kind of experience that the Mariners clubhouse could stand to have around.

“The dude has been there before,” Rowland-Smith said. “Been in the playoffs multiple times, pitched in the World Series. He has that presence which is good to have around… I just think that would be a nice addition. … He’s having a bounceback year, he’s been rock solid, he’s getting deep into games.”

OK, but the Mariners have five pitchers for their starting rotation. How would Bumgarner fit? Well, the Mariners haven’t had any injuries to their starters this year, but odds are that won’t continue, and both Logan Gilbert and George Kirby are young in their pro careers and will need to conserve their innings if Seattle makes a playoff push.

And besides, what’s wrong with a little extra competition?

“If you are going to try to get to the playoffs, you’re going to try and contend, he comes in – guess what? Competition,” Rowland-Smith said. “If you’re the weak link in that rotation, you go to the bullpen.”

Bob’s big swing: Bryan Reynolds

There were reports in the offseason that the Mariners had talked to the Pirates about their switch-hitting star outfielder, though nothing came of it. Stelton holds out hope that maybe Seattle could reach back out, though he knows it’s maybe not the most likely deal to come together now.

“It doesn’t fit in terms of position because you’re presuming that Kyle Lewis comes back, Mitch Haniger comes back, then Taylor Trammell comes back,” Stelton said. “You still have Julio (Rodríguez), you still have (Jesse) Winker, you still have your all these outfielders. But I really liked Bryan Reynolds. In the offseason we were talking a lot about him. He is still a member of the Pirates, just turned 27 years old in January.”

Reynolds is hitting .261 with a .343 on-base percentage, .808 OPS and 15 home runs, all respectable numbers. He would probably cost quite the haul in prospects, though, considering he’s under club control for another three seasons after this year.

Since Reynolds seems to be a long-shot to come to the Mariners before this trade deadline, Stelton did offer up a more realistic option who we covered in an earlier post on SeattleSports.com: Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Drury.

The 29-year-old Drury is mainly a third baseman but has played second base almost as much in his MLB career, and second has come up as a position of need for Seattle with Adam Frazier struggling at the plate this season. Drury has not had issues with the bat, breaking out for a .276 average, .334 OBP, .870 OPS, 18 homers and 50 RBIs in 77 games.

“The Reds are in sell mode – we knew that at the beginning of the year, they’re dumping everybody. They’re a bad team,” Stelton said. “And this is a guy who has a nice average, he’s hitting for some pop and he can play second base. So that’s an intriguing name. … Looking at his numbers and how he would fit, I wouldn’t mind that at all.”

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

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2 Mariners Trade Deadline Takes: Starting pitcher, hitters to go after