The July 30th MLB Trade Deadline is approaching quickly. By 4 p.m ET on Friday, teams will have decided to be buyers or sellers for the remainder of the 2021 season. For many teams, it is clear on what side they are on. For the Seattle Mariners, however, there is no clear indication of what the front office should do. Coming off a dominant and gritty series against the current second wildcard Oakland Athletics the Mariners have proved why they are in contention.
They have shown why they are only 1.5 back of a wildcard spot. For the Seattle Mariners, it has been almost 20 years since their last playoff appearance. The club not only wishes to make a playoff spot but it is also needed. The Mariners organization and its fans have not seen success in a very long time. Their time is now, the Seattle Mariners need to be buyers at the deadline.
Who the Seattle Mariners Could Trade For
As always, there is a lot of rumors flying around at the deadline. A name that has been linked to the Mariners is Kansas City Royals Whit Merrifield. The Mariners reportedly offered on Adam Frazier, but the deal did not go through. Merrifield now seems to be a real target. The Royals are looking to shop some of their bigger names, and the Mariners could be the team.
Merrifield has put together another All-Star season so far. Currently, Merrifield has a .272 batting average. More importantly, he is a player who gets on base. Scoring runs has been a difficulty for the Mariners. Their few flaws include having the biggest run differential at -52 among the top teams across the league.
Merrifield has an impressive .319 on-base percentage. Not only does Merrifield get on base, but he is a threat on the base paths too. He has 25 stolen bases so far. Comparatively, the entire Mariners roster only has 42 on the season.
Beyond the hitting, Merrifield is consistent in the field. The Mariners could use a reliable second baseman. He is a versatile player who can also play the outfield. Good at plate appearances, help on the base paths and a solid infielder is everything the Mariners need in one player.
Of course, the finances come into play at the deadline. The Mariners are not typically a team who signs massive contracts. Whit Merrifield’s current contract could be a viable option for the Mariners. Merrifield is under control through 2023 at approximately 10 million over two years including the 2023 option. Merrifield’s largest portion of his contract earnings come in this season, at over 6 million. It may be a steep contract to take on considering Merrifield is 32 years old. If Merrifield continues his play into the following seasons, this could be a trade that not only benefits the Mariners in their playoff race this year but for a few years to come.
Who the Seattle Mariners Could Trade
The names from the potential trade pieces from the Mariners roster have been swirling. None of them quite as talked about as Kyle Seager. The seasoned Mariner who has spent a decade in the uniform could be the key to acquiring at the deadline. Seager seems to be a more realistic trade potential than teammate Mitch Haniger. Although Haniger is having an excellent season, he still has a contract left. Seager is a UFA in 2023, and the Mariners could get something in return if they were to trade him now.
There is no inclination that Seager wants to leave the Mariners, but rather he wants to be a part of this contending team. Seager said in an interview that “… at some point, it has to be about winning.” Seager has also expressed that he wants to see success as a Mariner. It is a difficult decision to trade a player away who wants to make a difference on their current team, but such is sports. Seager provides that pop off the bat that teams strive for. He could be the player that puts a lineup over the top. Teams in the past have been willing to trade big for that what they feel is the final piece of the puzzle. Kyle Seager could provide that interest from teams pursuing a championship.
As well, prospects are always important. Although outfielder Jarred Kelenic has struggled so far in the major leagues, he is a promising young player. He is a former 2018 first overall pick that the Mariners acquired, so it will be hard for them to give him up. As much as other teams will see the potential in Kelenic, the Mariners do too. Teams that are building for the future, like Merrifield’s current team Kansas City, would be highly interested in Kelenic. The Mariners need to be willing to trade some top prospects at the deadline if any major deals are going to get done.
Go For It, Mariners
If the Mariners want to buy at the deadline, they are going to have to provide quality to get quality. There may be steep asking prices at the coveted trade deadline, but the Mariners have to play ball with other teams. This organization does not get as many chances as other teams do. There are potential trade deadline moves for the Mariners that could propel them to greatness. It is time to make the most of it. This should be an exciting week for Mariners fans who will see whether their team will take a chance and chase a spot in October.
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