Drayer: What’s at stake in this Seattle Mariners trade deadline

Jul 30, 2023, 9:35 AM | Updated: 1:49 pm

Seattle Mariners Teoscar Hernández...

Teoscar Hernández of the Seattle Mariners at bat against the Nationals on June 27, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

While some believe the final 36 hours leading up to the MLB trade deadline will disappoint with not near the number of names that have been thrown around the past few weeks changing teams, others including Seattle Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto see a flurry of activity on the near-horizon.

Mariners Trade Deadline Update: Sunday rumors hint at selling

“Roughly the public clamor is, ‘Why is it so quiet? Why aren’t they doing anything?’ And then here comes the firehose,” Dipoto said Thursday on his weekly Seattle Sports show.

How much will the Mariners be a part of this?

It would appear some way or another they need to be a big part of it.

The players in the clubhouse are hoping for some help and nervous that they could see players subtracted. Many have acknowledged they have put themselves in this position of uncertainty with their play in the first half of the season, but have felt more recently they have gotten back on track. In Arizona, catcher Cal Raleigh perhaps put it best when addressing the deadline situation and what could possibly happen.

He said simply, “We want to compete.”

Seattle Mariners Trade Deadline: Is doing nothing a viable choice?

Raleigh and the other Mariners players are focused on the next 2-3 months, as they should be. It’s a focus Dipoto and general manager Justin Hollander would likely love to share, but with the position they are in, their focus needs to be broader. A word that came up more than once in Dipoto’s interview was that they need to be “responsible.”

“Our pitching is good enough that if we can get on the dance floor for the postseason, we can do some damage,” he said. “We are aware of that and we want to put ourselves in a position to to that over the course of the final two months. That said, we’re always focused on how do we do the responsible thing in making sure we are constantly building our core. If we have a chance to do that, we will do that. If we have a chance to make ourselves meaningfully better without putting ourselves in a precarious position moving forward, we will do it. We will try to be responsible in how we address our roster’s needs with what’s available on the market.”

One eye is on October, the other on 2024. With the roster needs and an upcoming thin free agent class, this is necessary for the long-term. It is perhaps an uncomfortable balance. While sustaining a winning team is a key part to “the plan” that was instituted when the organization took the step back following the 2018 season, taking advantage of a “window” that was expected as the Houston Astros’ roster aged or moved on was also a big part. Now the Texas Rangers look to claim that window.

The long-term outlook cannot be ignored, but neither should the short-term. As of Sunday morning, Fangraphs gives the Seattle Mariners a 14% chance of making the postseason this year. It’s not much, but it is something, and playoff opportunities shouldn’t be taken lightly. Moves are expected, and they are in a place where the moves could be painful for some. There is interest in a number of players on the Mariners’ major league roster.

It’s unlikely they would trade Logan Gilbert, but what exactly is the haul such a trade could return? Could it net two difference makers for 2024?

Closers are always valuable this time of year but Paul Sewald has been valuable to you, as well.

There is a feeling the Mariners can and will trade from the major league roster if the right return is available. What about the prospects? Could we see something similar to what we saw last year when Luis Castillo was acquired? If there is an eye toward 2024, is trading players ticketed for a later date the way to go?

The truth is we could see anything before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline. Something similar to the Kendall Graveman trade in 2021 – a “veteran for potential” deal – to the all-in move with prospects for Castillo last year, to anything and everything in between.

The Mariners have long- and short-term needs, and this is one of the few opportunities to fill them. With the position the club currently is in, both this season and for the future, this has the potential to be one of the most fascinating and then undoubtedly scrutinized deadlines we have seen in some time.

More on the Seattle Mariners trade deadline

Morosi on Mariners: Is Nolan Arenado a name to watch?
Seattle Mariners Trade Deadline: What Dipoto says M’s are looking to do
Dipoto: What does the MLB trade market look like?
Seattle Mariners Trade Deadline: Who could be dealt if they sell?
Seattle Mariners trade with Toronto for RHP Trent Thornton

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