Why a trade will be difficult for the Mariners

Jun 27, 2011, 1:39 AM | Updated: 10:47 am

The Mariners won a series last night and picked up a game on the Rangers but it took a pitcher hitting a double and a game-winning wild pitchout to secure the runs necessary to take the deciding game.

There is little question that if the Mariners are to stay in contention this year and make a run for the postseason they are going to need some help. It is hard to fathom that the offense as it stands today will carry them into the fall. I am not saying that it can’t, and if it does we are in for one fun ride, but it is highly unlikely. Clubs that score less than four runs per game and rank dead last or near last in nearly every offensive category rarely find themselves in the postseason regardless of how good the pitching is.

Erik Bedard signed a one-year guaranteed contract of $1 million, but incentives could push the final value of that deal to just over $7 million. (AP photo)

I think most will agree that you don’t want to see Jack Zduriencik deal young talent in order to pick up a bat that will help. You don’t have to worry about that. The organization isn’t interested in moving any of their A-level prospects and even if they were they couldn’t take on payroll. Throw out all of the names you would like to see them acquire. Big names, smaller names, it doesn’t make a difference. There is not room under the current budget to take on additional salary.

Whether or not additional funds will be made available by ownership remains to be seen. As it stands now the payroll budget that was tight this winter when Zduriencik was putting this team together is even tighter now.

Ironically enough, one of the problems is with one of the success stories. Erik Bedard was signed to a one-year guaranteed contract of $1 million. The deal also included incentives that could drive the final value of the deal to just over $7 million. This could be a significant add to the payroll depending on how much of that bonus was budgeted for.

Smaller additions include a $400,000 bonus that Adam Kennedy most likely will receive with increased plate appearances and the salaries of players brought up to replace players on the disabled list.

There had been hope that Jack Wilson could be traded either for salary relief or help on offense. Sources tell me that there were talks with the Dodgers about a trade shortly before MLB stepped in and took over operations but those talks did not pan out. Wilson is seeing even less playing time now than he was then, which would make the likelihood of a trade now seem even more remote.

Could the team trade Bedard for a position player with like salary? If they could find a team in contention with a need for a pitcher that would be willing to give up a piece of their offense. Not likely. Perhaps a three-way deal could be pulled off but again this will not be easy.

The original plan for this season was to evaluate what was in the organization and go from there. There was no expectation that this club would contend or should contend for that matter. Prior spending in part necessitated this with some bad contracts still on the books. The timing was right however and we have indeed seen the commitment to the development of the young players and this could pay off in spades much sooner than most expected. Just not this year.

It may be too much to ask that Zduriencik pull off a trade to bring in a bat without being able to give up prospects or take on salary. I am not sure how he pulls that one out of his hat. If he does, great. If not, the original plan seems to be going well. Young players are getting experience and the organization is getting a better understanding of just what they already have before they head into an offseason where they will have much more to spend than they did this year.

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