The question keeps coming up: If the Seattle Mariners stay within range first place in the American League West, will they trade to improve their club?
They will try, but that’s not as easy as it seems.
For one thing, who could they acquire that would seriously improve the every day lineup?
What the Mariners will likely need is what everyone wants – starting pitching – but the price is always high, both financially and in terms of what talent you have to give up. In truth, there’s not much Seattle is willing to move that anyone is dying to get.
The team could trade Adam Jones, for instance, but beyond that the farm system doesn’t have a lot that looks better to other teams than what they have in theirs.
Ichiro isn’t likely to be traded, in part because the Mariners top brass – at a level above GM Bill Bavasi – continue to talk to his agent about an extension beyond this season. And Japanese ownership may make the final call on that issue.
So who do they move and what do they go after?
They aren’t likely to move their best prospect for a two-month rent-a-player, and remember, their payroll is already the highest in club history – $111 million – so the Mariners are unlikely to bring in another big contract.
If you’ve got ideas, let’s hear them.