A Mariners trade fit to watch: reunion with Paul Sewald

Jun 4, 2024, 10:37 AM | Updated: 11:06 am

Seattle Mariners Paul Sewald Arizona Diamondbacks MLB trade deadline...

Paul Sewald of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after a win over the Dodgers on May 21, 2024. (Harry How/Getty Images)

(Harry How/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners made a big trade around the 2023 MLB trade deadline centered around high-leverage relief pitcher Paul Sewald. A year later, it’s looking possible that could be the case once again – only with the Mariners on the other end this time.

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Sewald was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, netting Seattle the trio of infielders Josh Rojas and Ryan Bliss and outfielder Dominic Canzone. Sewald slid into a key role in the D-backs’ bullpen and helped Arizona make the World Series last year, while Rojas has been one of the Mariners’ best hitters this season, Canzone has shown pop at the plate when healthy, and Bliss has given the team a boost of energy since making his MLB debut just last week.

The Diamondbacks are struggling to repeat their 2023 success this year, however. After making the playoffs as a National League wild card team with an 84-78 record (four less wins than the Mariners had despite Seattle missing the postseason) and winning three series to match up with the Texas Rangers in the World Series, the D-backs are currently 9 1/2 games back in the NL West with a 28-32 record.

If Arizona can’t turn things around soon, it will be a very likely seller ahead of the July 30 trade deadline. As for the Mariners, they look like a sure buyer this year entering Tuesday with a 34-27 record, good for a 4 1/2-game lead over Texas (29-31) for first in the AL West, and with a farm system loaded with talented bats in the lower levels of the minor leagues.

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On Tuesday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan discussed potential trade routes for the Mariners on the heels of publishing an early 2024 MLB trade deadline preview article for just hours before.

When Passan started talking about the Diamondbacks, a frequent trade partner for the Mariners, as a team that could end up selling in July, host Mike Salk perked up.

“We know that the Mariners and Diamondbacks get together on trades. Like, they vibe when it comes to trades,” Passan said.

Responded Salk: “Get Paul Sewald back?”

Passan: “Sure, you can get Paul Sewald back. Absolutely.”

Why the M’s should look into Sewald

In the next segment of the show, Salk along with producers Justin Barnes and Maura Dooley dove more into the idea of a Mariners reunion with Sewald.

“I like that idea. I like the idea of getting Paul Sewald back,” Salk said after listening back to his earlier exchange with Passan. “… I don’t know whether you’re gonna trade Dominic Canzone back for him. I don’t know what that looks like, and Sewald probably doesn’t have as much value now as he did a year ago just because he’s another year older, he’s another year closer to free agency, he’s had some injury issues.

“I don’t think you have to give up as much to get Sewald back as you did to get him – that would just be my gut. But yeah, he’d be exactly the kind of pitcher that fits perfectly back here in Seattle, and you know how well-liked he is by his teammates, by the fans, by this coaching staff, by this whole group. They love Sewald.”

The 34-year-old Sewald missed over a month to begin this season with an oblique injury, but he’s been stellar since his return. He currently owns a 1.08 ERA and 0.48 WHIP with five saves in nine appearances, striking out eight while walking just one – and that one walk was intentional.

From Arizona Sports: Sewald’s return has taken pressure off D-backs’ bullpen

While offense continues to be the biggest need for Seattle, the Mariners could still use some help in the bullpen with Matt Brash out for the season following Tommy John surgery, valuable left-hander Gabe Speier now on the 15-day injured list with a rotator cuff strain, and offseason acquisition Gregory Santos not expected back until July from a season-long lat issue. Adding Sewald to a group of late-inning options for the stretch run that also includes closer Andrés Muñoz and veteran Ryne Stanek, though, looks pretty enticing.

“You trust him in a big spot,” Salk said of Sewald. “And then you start to imagine, OK, what does this look like if you could get Santos back? And what would this ‘pen look like with Muñoz, Santos, Sewald and Stanek?”

Chimed in Barnes: “That’s exciting.”

Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk is joined at 8:30 a.m. every Tuesday during the baseball season by ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan. Hear Tuesday’s full conversation in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post, and catch Brock and Salk live from 6-10 a.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports.

More on the Seattle Mariners

What stands out to Ryne Stanek about Mariners’ bullpen success
Seattle Mariners hit June in first place for first time in 21 years
Insider on Mariners prospect’s fast rise: ‘He’s an extreme outlier’
M’s signing veteran outfielder who was a highly-ranked prospect
Mariners GM Hollander: ‘Big time’ for loaded Seattle farm system

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