BUMP AND STACY

Why Mariners ‘have to nail’ trade deadline deals

Jun 9, 2024, 9:13 AM

Seattle Mariners Jerry Dipoto Scott Servais...

As the month of July continues to draw nearer, the trade speculation surrounding the Seattle Mariners continues to grow.

What will make an uncomfortable Seattle Mariners trade worth it?

The Mariners are in first place and are the only .500 or better squad in the American League West, but there’s still some clear deficiencies in the roster. Seattle’s offense has been lackluster, and injuries have the usually strong bullpen looking less dependable than years past.

The Mariners could be one of the busiest teams heading into MLB’s July 30 trade deadline. Baseball Bar-B-Cast host and Yahoo Sports MLB writer Jordan Shusterman explained why there’s plenty of pressure on Seattle’s front office to make the right moves.

“They have to nail that,” Shusterman said. “… Unfortunately, it’s been a very up-and-down track record of acquiring hitters as we’ve seen, whether it’s signing, whether it’s trading for them. So there’s a lot of pressure on them to get that right because, if not, you could be in a world of hurt because of the price you’re paying from a prospect standpoint.”

Be ready to pay the price

When acquiring impact players at the trade deadline, teams are faced with the tough decision of what prospects they have to give up. Shusterman highlighted the deal two years ago that brought ace Luis Castillo to the Mariners. Seattle sent touted shortstop prospects Noelvi Marte and Michael Arroyo and pitching prospects Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore to Cincinnati to acquire the hard-throwing right-hander.

“That’s what it’s gonna take because right now there’s not a lot of hitters out there and that price is gonna go up,” Shusterman said. “So if the Mariners are gonna be as aggressive as they say, it’s gonna cost some of those young prospects that everyone is getting attached to. I’m just warning everybody. You can’t have it both ways. You gotta be able to be comfortable taking a big swing here if you have this opportunity to win the division.”

Related: Alonso, Robert or Guerrero? Keith Law on each as M’s Trade Targets

Shusterman also pointed out that even the most talented team in the league is in the market for bats.

“The other thing that I think is just gonna make this challenging – and this isn’t what people want to hear – I was just in Pittsburgh this week for Dodgers and Pirates and talking to some Dodgers people,” Shusterman said. “I mean, this is the Dodgers. They have (Mookie) Betts, (Shohei) Ohtani and (Freddie) Freeman at the top of their lineup, but their bottom of the lineup is so bad that they also desperately need a hitter. … So you’re going to be competing with a lot of teams that are desperately looking for offense now.”

Good luck guessing a Dipoto deal

There’s a reason Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has received the nickname “Trader Jerry.” Shusterman has been keeping track of all of Dipoto’s trades since he was hired by Seattle in 2015, and there’s over 160 of them. So there’s a pretty good chance Dipoto makes a deal or two between now and July 30, but good luck figuring out what those trades will be.

“Half of them you couldn’t have even dreamed of,” Shusterman said of Dipoto’s past trades. “So whatever you think you’re coming up with, it’s probably not accurate. The (Jorge) Polanco one was actually the rare example where it was like, ‘Yeah, that’s actually something we’ve all been talking about.’ But for the most part, it’s stuff that really comes out of nowhere.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Bump and Stacy weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• How Mariners starter Bryan Woo’s fastballs are so effective
• Bob’s Baseball Breakdown: Would Bob go all-in on Mariners trade?
• Three things that jump out after first-place Mariners’ latest series win
• Watch: Mariners’ Cal Raleigh picks up rare stolen base
• Are any Seattle Mariners prospects untouchable in trades? Law weighs in

 

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