Mariners trade deadline: MLB’s Morosi ‘big believer’ in M’s position players

Jul 24, 2022, 9:53 AM
Mariners Carlos Santana...
Carlos Santana gestures during the Mariners' game Friday against the Houston Astros. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

With the Mariners in position for an American League wild card spot, what will they do at the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline?

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MLB Network insider Jon Morosi joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday and explained why he wouldn’t be opposed to the Mariners focusing exclusively on pitching and riding with what they have as far as bats go.

The outlier there, of course, is Juan Soto, the star Nationals outfielder and one of the game’s best and brightest young stars who is on the trading block after turning down a massive extension from Washington. Other than that, though, Morosi thinks the Mariners should consider sticking with what had been working during their 14-game winning streak going into the All-Star break as they began the second half of the season.

“I really look at the Mariners lineup – and obviously you get better with Juan Soto, there’s no question about it – but when you project forward and you hope to bring in the group of players back to the outfield and integrate them in a more consistent basis going forward – again, Mitch Haniger is not Juan Soto, nor is Kyle Lewis – but they’ve got a pretty good group right now in-house as long as everybody keeps on this positive trajectory,” Morosi said. “And I would be a little reluctant to change the blend of position players who are behind this 14-game winning streak.”

That streak has since been snapped, as has Seattle’s eight straight series wins with Houston taking the first two games of a three-game weekend series, but the Mariners are in a great spot moving forward as they still hold the last of the three AL wild card spots and are within 1 1/2 games of the other two. They have been without Julio Rodríguez for the first two games of the second half as he rests a sore wrist, but he should be back soon. Lewis just returned from the injured list, and Haniger is currently on a rehab assignment and shouldn’t be far off, either.

With the returns of Lewis and Haniger in mind, as well as team chemistry, Morosi said he thinks Seattle should focus on adding pitching more so than hitting.

“I’m a believer in chemistry. I also believe that when you add someone to a team that clearly has a really good chemistry and a good vibe going, it’s much easier and indeed wiser to add a pitcher as opposed to a position player who’s gonna play everyday and take somebody’s job,” he said. “I think that the Mariners, when you add in that additional pitcher, maybe it swings (rookie starter George) Kirby into more of a bulk inning role, and it just gives you additional depth. And obviously, you’re always wary of an injury happening on Aug. 3 and then it’s too late to do something about it. So I’m a believer of get all the pitching you can before the third of August.”

Morosi is very high on the Mariners’ current roster when it comes to the bats.

“I’m a believer in this group of position players. I certainly think they could add (an infielder) whether it’s a Brandon Drury or a Luis Rengifo from the Angels to maybe help out of the second base position given the slow first half of (Adam) Frazier, but I don’t look at this team as one that needs a dramatic overhaul,” Morosi said. “All that being said, we know (Mariners general manager) Jerry Dipoto and his track record and he has never met a trade conversation that he does not like. So I think that whether it’s (Shohei) Ohtani, whether it’s Soto, I’m sure if there’s a conversation to be had, Jerry Dipoto is going to be right in the middle of it.”

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

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