ESPN’s Passan expects ‘fairly active’ Mariners trade deadline day

Aug 1, 2023, 11:20 AM | Updated: 11:31 am

Seattle Mariners trade deadline Jerry Dipoto Scott Servais...

Seattle Mariners president Jerry Dipoto (left) and manager Scott Servais in 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It’s already been a busy Seattle Mariners trade deadline period, but could business pick up even more before 3 p.m. Tuesday marks the end of MLB trade activity for this season?

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ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk for his weekly conversation on Tuesday morning, and that’s precisely what he’s expecting.

“I anticipate that we’re going to see a fairly active Mariners scene today,” Passan said.

Where speculation is highest is with with slugger Teoscar Hernández, himself an offseason trade acquisition by Seattle who is set to become a free agent after the 2023 campaign. While multiple reports have named teams showing interest in Hernández, including the Minnesota Twins and strangely enough the same Blue Jays who dealt him to the M’s, Passan wonders if a return big enough for the Mariners will materialize.

“I think that is well within the realm of possibility,” Passan said of a potential Hernández trade, “though I’ll be honest, I don’t know how many teams are looking for an outfield bat at this point. I think a lot of them that are look at the guys that they have internally and compare their numbers to Teoscar Hernández’s and say, ‘Are we really going for an upgrade here?’ I don’t think after giving up Erik Swanson in that (Mariners trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for Hernández), a guy who was a very effective reliever last year with a lot of club control, the Mariners are necessarily going to want to give up Teoscar Hernández just for whatever someone’s willing to offer.”

What else could Seattle do on Tuesday?

“I also can see the Mariners go out and buying on the fringes, but I don’t think it’s going to be any big additions today, even though they’ve been playing really well over the last month, even though their record’s among the best in the American League during that time,” Passan said.

The longtime MLB reporter than compared the Mariners, who at 55-51 are just 3 1/2 games back of an American League wild card spot, with the 56-50 Boston Red Sox, who are just one game in front of Seattle in the race and are the Mariners’ current opponent for the next two games.

“It’s still a really big hill to climb for them with the teams that are ahead of them,” Passan said of the Mariners. “I’m very interested to see what the Boston Red Sox do today because they’re a team that’s been playing pretty well, too, and is better positioned than the Mariners right now, and they may well be sellers.”

Could the Seattle Mariners trade a starting pitcher?

Impressive young Mariners starters Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo are all players that could garner attention for teams with pitching needs, and they could each fetch a hefty return in a trade. But is that something Seattle would do now?

“I think if the Mariners were to trade one of their controllable starting pitchers right now, the return would be a massive windfall,” Passan said. “I say that for two reasons. No. 1, because frankly I don’t think they’re going to do that right now. If at any point that happens, I think it’s probably going to be the offseason. But beyond that, if you are trading one of those guys, boy oh boy. I mean, you better get that right. The Mariners have put themselves in this position where they are right now because it’s clear, they’re very good at developing pitching.”

Passan then pointed to a Monday trade where the Cleveland Guardians sent veteran pitcher Aaron Civale to the Tampa Bay Rays for former WSU slugger Kyle Manzardo, the No. 37 prospect in baseball per MLB.

“When you see the price for Aaron Civale, who is not a Logan Gilbert or a Bryce Miller or a Bryan Woo, who is a guy that’s been pretty decent in his career but this year has taken a nice little step forward and only has 2 1/2 years of club control remaining, and he gets Kyle Manzardo, who’s a really good prospect. I mean, the price that the Mariners have on their controllable starting pitching is high, which is precisely where it should be, and I’m just not sure anyone’s ready to meet that at this point.”

Listen to the full Brock and Salk conversation with ESPN’s Jeff Passan in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Mariners

Raleigh homers twice as Mariners stay hot, topple Red Sox 6-2
What They Said: Sewald, Servais after Seattle Mariners trade
Seattle Mariners trade AJ Pollock, Mark Mathias to Giants
Mariners trade reliever Paul Sewald to D-backs for three players
Drayer: What’s at stake at this Seattle Mariners trade deadline?

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