It’s hard to say what Seattle fans are looking forward to most – the three-game series with the Angels that begins Monday night or the trading deadline, which falls Tuesday afternoon.
Both could play significant roles in the rest of the season.
Once the deadline passes, Adam Jones will likely be brought up from Tacoma and pressed into service. But what else might the deadline provide?
The Mariners are looking for pitching, pitching and pitching, with the faint hope of adding a veteran bat to the bench. If the pitching comes in the form of a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, Seattle might move Miguel Batista from the rotation to the bullpen as a setup man to J.J. Putz.
If they find a reliever, they’ll be looking for one who can pitch the eighth inning and get to Putz.
What are the chances of getting one or the other? Not bad – the Mariners have a lot of interesting young players to offer. On the other hand, what everyone wants is Jones or Brandon Morrow. Those two are untouchable.
Relievers, however, are on the market.
Good starters are more difficult to find.
Dontrelle Willis, for instance, isn’t today although he might be by Tuesday’s deadline. The Mariners aren’t wild about the reports they’ve gotten on Willis. Similarly, the White Sox aren’t sure they want to move Jon Garland.
Lots of names being bandied about, but here’s a deal that would change Seattle’s roster – teams are interested in Richie Sexson. Moving him would break up a log jam, allowing Raul Ibanez to move to first base and Jones to play left field.
Will Sexson be moved? Probably not. Teams want Seattle to eat a lot of his salary, and that includes the $13 million Sexson is due next year. In return, the Mariners would get someone else’s overpaid problem.