This story is taken from Daniel Kramer’s Mariner’s Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
SEATTLE – The MLB draft was completed on Tuesday, and with that, the focus for each front office will shift directly to the trading deadline which is approaching in just two weeks. Given that the Mariners have taken hold in the postseason picture and are playing with the goal of snapping a 21-year-old playoff drought, baseball operations president Jerry Dipoto may – and probably will – be among the most active in this year’s market.
“As soon as we get through day three of the Draft on Tuesday, it will really start to pick up on the trade front,” Dipoto said. ‘And we’ll see. There are definitely ways to help our team get better, and so it’s an exciting time, really all around. “
It’s definitely an exciting time for the Mariners, especially after All-Star rookie Julio Rodríguez put on a great show at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night, smashing 81 long balls in his Derby debut before falling for Juan Soto in Finals.
Speaking of the Nats’ star outfielder, here are three ways Mariners can attack the August 2 deadline:
1) Take a run on Juan Soto
This deadline has been scarier to project given that there are not many known blockbuster types available. That was, at least, until Saturday, when reports surfaced that the Nationals would entertain offers for his superstar outfielder after he allegedly turned down a 15-year contract offer of $ 440 million.
Soto makes so much sense to the Mariners. It’s not just that he’s without a doubt the Majors ‘best striker or that he’s only 23 years old or that he played such a crucial role in the Nats’ 2019 World Series title – it’s that he wanted a much-needed left-hander. force the presence of a lineup that, until this 14-game winning streak, lacked a consistent driving force.
His numbers are down compared to the elite level, but he has 1,431 PPPs in July, and he also has virtually no protection in the middle of Washington’s last-place lineup. Imagine that Soto meets Rodríguez and Ty France, and does so in three full playoffs given that he will not be a free agent until after the 2024 season.
The Mariners’ farm system has suffered a setback with the confirmations of Rodríguez and George Kirby, but Seattle still has the opportunity to get a seat at the table. The price suggestion will be huge, probably involving the No. 1-5 prospects Noelvi Marte, Harry Ford, Matt Brash, Edwin Arroyo and Emerson Hancock, if not all five, along with another major league-ready player (perhaps Jarred Kelenic) and possibly taking on one of Washington’s bad contracts (Stephen Strasburg and / or Patrick Corbin, who owe a total of $ 200 million after this season).
But it could be done. The Mariners have worked hard to transform their farm system from one of the worst in baseball to one of the best in the last three years. And while it would be incredibly tough to say goodbye to so many pieces, Soto is a generational talent that would force Seattle from flirting with an American League Wild Card to legitimately winning the World Series.
2) Find out the other base
There is no sugar coating as Adam Frazier has been a disappointment since the Mariners switched for him last offseason. But he has also been on a rise enough to suggest he may have turned a corner, hitting .340 / .347 / .447 (.794 OPS) during the Mariners’ winning streak.
The second base, on paper, seemed to be the clearest need and one that Dipoto could easily fill, since that position usually does not cost a fortune in prospects. Some available names include Rougned Odor, Jed Lowrie, Jonathan Schoop, Jonathan Villar and Paul DeJong, but all have bad seasons.
If Frazier continues with this, it’s unique. But spending the next two weeks making a decision for the rest of the year is perhaps more important in this position than most on the roster.
3) Add two jugs – one starter, one reliever
Do you remember how effective Tyler Anderson was down the stretch last year, giving the Mariners valuable laps and helping to stabilize the rotation? He was not the most flashy acquisition, but he proved to be a necessary one. Seattle’s starting lineup is in a much better – and more talented – position than at this time last year, but with Kirby’s numbers already closely monitored and the lack of depth to explain an injury, there is a significant need for a role-playing starter.
The same can be said for another relief arm, preferably a veteran who does not have limitations in the workload, but who may have experience after the season. Ken Giles was supposed to be that guy, but now that he’s out with inflammation in his right shoulder, it’s hard to count on him being a major contributor right now. Relievers are usually always available at this time of year and are usually much easier to obtain, so this goal seems feasible.