What will make an awkward Seattle Mariners trade worth it?


What would you give up to provide offensive help for the Seattle Mariners? A top perspective? Two of them?

A social media poll gave us a little insight into who fans would like to see in return, and it reminded me of two big trade truths. But I will come back to that second point later.

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It’s not clear how many bats the Mariners will be able to add at the deadline, or whether they will be buyers at all. You could safely assume that after chairman John Stanton’s statement of support for the front office in a recent interview with the Seattle Times. More importantly, you can take this with confidence because you have eyes and you can see that they desperately need it.

We’re looking at a first-place Mariners team in June with the weapons to win a World Series and the bats to keep them from getting there. This isn’t about potential; the point is not to wait too long for it to reach its peak.

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Julio Rodríguez can be a superstar, new signings Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver are both striking out more than expected, Cal Raleigh led all catchers in home runs in each of the past two seasons, and Mitch Haniger was an All-Star. There is potential for improvement, but it won’t come soon enough, and Seattle is in real danger of wasting a rare collection of pitching talent if they don’t contribute to an offense that ranks 26th in OPS, 26th in runs scored, last in doubles and first in strikeouts .

So let’s imagine the Mariners trade one of their top prospects at the deadline. What name as part of a return makes that deal worth it?

It’s a question I asked in a social media survey on Wednesday. The prospect in this case: catcher Harry Ford, Seattle’s 2021 first-round pick who is ranked second in the organization and 27th overall in the MLB. The potential returns included a trade involving Mets slugger Pete Alonso, Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and White Sox center fielder Luis Robert were involved. There was also an option to terminate a deal involving Ford.

Here are the results:

Guerrero Jr. was the favorite with 45% of the vote, with Robert coming in second (a bit surprising given Robert’s club control until 2027, which would drive up the price for a trade). An easy takeaway for Alonso’s last-place finish is the idea of ​​a short-term rental.

Here’s what’s clear: Mariners fans would like to see an impact bat added.

Here’s the good thing: While it’s hard to find an impact bat at the deadline when so many teams still think they can compete, it’s not impossible. That, and the Mariners have a great farm system to deal with.

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But the trade proposal, the results and the subsequent discussion mean I have to discuss these two big trade truths.

First of all, you can’t trade trash for treasure. These are professional general managers who know exactly what you have on your team, and if you’re hoping to send a fourth outfielder who is 0 for 40 and “maybe some money” to the Astros for Yordan Álvarez, you are sorely mistaken.

One of the biggest changes the Mariners made recently was acquiring a top player, then-Reds starter Luis Castillo, before the 2022 trade deadline. To do this, they had to take the risk of losing their then-No. Send 3 potential customers. When and if the Mariners make a deal in July, there will be a notable population of Mariners fans wondering if they gave up too much. And that’s okay. Maybe. But…

What makes a trade “worth it” varies from team to team. I wish the Mariners were more aggressive with acquisitions in general, because I’m playing with house money (not being a GM and all), but also because making an aggressive move just means more to certain teams. The Padres didn’t necessarily do that need Luis Arráez in their infield, but they are a club with a lot of pressure on their front office, and they need to prove that the money they spent and the moves they made in a tough NL West are worth it.

Meanwhile, the Mariners are the only club never to reach a World Series. They currently have one of the best and deepest starting rotations in franchise history. These two things add unique context to a trade deadline: Can overpaying be worth it if it means doing something that’s never been done before?

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