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Mariners LHP Roenis Elías
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MLB insider Jon Morosi: Roenis Elías may be Mariners’ best trade chip

Roenis Elías has been the Mariners' top option to close games in 2019. (AP)

We’re getting dangerously close to Wednesday’s MLB trade deadline, and yet the Mariners still have the big names on their roster that they have been expected to deal before August begins.

What trade rumors MLB insider Jon Morosi is hearing about Mariners

While rumors have circled in recent days about 20-homer outfielder Domingo Santana and crafty veteran starter Mike Leake, Jon Morosi of the MLB Network and FOX Sports said the Mariners’ best trade chip might be a surprise.

“Roenis Elías I would say is one name I’ve heard a fair amount here in the last couple of weeks,” Morosi said Tuesday during his bi-weekly appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk. “I would expect in many ways that Elías is probably drawing right now more interest than any other player on the Mariners roster simply because of the need for lefty relief.”

That need is especially important in the National League, where the contending teams may find themselves in an arms race looking for ways to neutralize each others left-handed hitting in the postseason.

Morosi said Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has likely taken that into account.

“I’m sure Jerry has realized this in the course of conversation, there’s not an abundance of lefty relief in general out there available in the industry. So when you’ve got a guy like Elías who has some closing experience too, that’s a pretty valuable commodity,” Morosi said.

Morosi mentioned the Nationals and Dodgers as teams in the market for a left-handed reliever like Elías, but also said teams that will be looking to take down Los Angeles in October could be in play for the 30-year-old southpaw’s services.

“If I’m the Braves or if I’m the Cubs and I want to find a way to maybe help counteract (the Dodgers) in the playoffs, Elías is a really nice option,” Morosi said.

Elías enters Tuesday with a 4.50 ERA, 13 saves, one hold, and 45 strikeouts to 17 walks in 43 appearances (46 innings) this season. While primarily a starter in previous seasons, he has served as Seattle’s main closing option out of the bullpen but also pitched multiple innings in relief on five occasions this year.

Listen to Morosi’s full interview in the player embedded below or download a podcast version at this link.

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