This story was taken from Daniel Kramer’s Mariners Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, Click here. As well as sign to receive it regularly in your mailbox.
SEATTLE. The MLB draft ended on Tuesday, and with it, the focus of every front office will shift straight to the deal deadline, which is just two weeks away. With the Mariners well back into the postseason and playing with the goal of breaking a 21-year playoff drought, baseball operations president Jerry Dipoto may – and likely will – be one of the most active players in the market this year. .
“Once we wrap up day three of the draft on Tuesday, things will really start to improve on the trade front,” Dipoto said. “And we’ll see. Of course, there are ways to help our team get better, so this is a really exciting time for everyone.”
It’s definitely an exciting time for the Mariners, especially after All-Star rookie Julio Rodriguez put on quite a show at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night, squashing 81 long balls in his debut derby before falling to Juan Soto in the Final.
Speaking of the Nats star outfielder, here are three ways the Mariners can attack the August 2 Deadline:
1) Escape from Juan Soto
This deadline was bleaker for the project, given that there aren’t many well-known blockbuster types available. That was at least until Saturday, when reports surfaced that the Nationals would be accepting offers for their superstar outfielder after he reportedly turned down a $440 million 15-year contract offer.
Soto is of such great importance to sailors. It’s not just that he’s arguably the best hitter in the Majors, or that he’s only 23 years old, or that he played a pivotal role in the Nats World Series 2019 title – it’s that he will bring much-needed the strength of the left hand. presence in a roster that lacked a permanent producer until this 14-win streak.
His numbers are lower compared to his elite level, but he has a 1,431 OPS in July and he also has little to no defense in the middle of the last-placed Washington team. Imagine Soto getting caught between Rodriguez and Ty France, and doing so in three full playoff chases, considering he won’t become a free agent until the end of the 2024 season.
The Mariners’ farming system has been hit by the release of Rodriguez and George Kirby, but Seattle still has potential capital to secure a seat at the table. The asking price will be huge, likely involving #1-5 prospects Noelvi Marte, Harry Ford, Matt Brush, Edwin Arroyo and Emerson Hancock, if not all five, plus another big league ready player (perhaps Jared Kelenick) . as well as perhaps he will take on one of Washington’s unprofitable contracts (Stephen Strasburg and/or Patrick Corbin, who are owed a total of $200 million after this season).
But it could be done. Over the past three years, the Mariners have worked hard to transform their farming system from one of the worst in baseball to one of the best. And while it would be incredibly difficult to part with so many things, Soto is the talent of a generation who will push Seattle from flirting with the American League Wild Card to a legitimate attempt to win the World Series.
2) Calculate second base
There’s no embellishment that Adam Frazier has been a disappointment since the Mariners traded him for him last offseason. But he was also up enough to suggest that he may have turned the corner, hitting .340/.347/.447 (.794 OPS) during the Mariners’ winning streak.
Second base looked on paper as the most obvious area of need that Dipoto could easily fill, as the position usually doesn’t cost a fortune in terms of prospects. Some names available include Rougned Odor, Jed Lowrie, Jonathan Schoop, Jonathan Villar and Paul DeJong, but they all have bad seasons.
If Frazier continues like this, great. But using the next two weeks to decide for the rest of the year is arguably more important to this position than to most on the roster.
3) Add two pitchers – one starting, one relief.
Remember how effective Tyler Anderson was last year in giving the Mariners valuable opportunities and helping to stabilize the rotation? It was not the brightest acquisition, but it turned out to be necessary. The Seattle starting lineup is in a much better and more talented position than at this time last year, but with Kirby’s pitching count already being more closely monitored and not enough detail to account for injury, there’s a noticeable need for a role starter.
The same can be said for another relief hand, preferably a veteran one, who will have no workload restrictions but may have postseason experience. Ken Giles was supposed to be that guy, but with his right shoulder sore, it’s hard to count on him to make a key contribution right now. At this time of the year, pain relief medications are usually readily available and are usually much easier to find, so this goal seems feasible.
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