Seattle Mariners trade rumors have quickly followed the team getting swept at home. These Mariners trade rumors about Nelson Cruz point toward the long-term future of the franchise, especially if the front office deems the current roster not good enough to compete for the postseason. The Mariners lost to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, April 10, scoring just one run in the process. It was not a great way to debut Safeco Field for the 2016 MLB season, as the Mariners managed just four runs over the entire series.
After winning two-of-three games against the Texas Rangers to open the year, the Mariners came home and the offense went silent. Through six games, the Mariners now have a team batting average of just 0.232 on the season. It’s worth noting that the Mariners are second in the American League with 11 home runs (the Houston Astros have 12); a majority of them have been solo shots. The team was supposed to take advantage of its speed this season as well, but the Mariners still have zero stolen bases.
So why do these Seattle Mariners trade rumors come up now? It’s easy to make the argument that it is far too early in the regular season for a team to start having a “fire sale” or to pull in the sails. At the same time, the value for a player like Nelson Cruz won’t get higher as the season drags on. Other teams will try out prospects to find the right fit, teams will fall out of contention and become sellers themselves, and Cruz will get a bit older. It is that final reason why the Mariners might want to consider a trade if an offer gets made.
The 2015 MLB season was the first that Nelson Cruz played for the Seattle Mariners. He appeared in 152 games, posting a 0.302 batting average, a 0.936 OPS, 44 home runs, 93 RBIs, and 90 runs scored. Cruz was named to the American League All-Star team and also won a Silver Slugger Award for his hard work. Now he will turn 36 in July, though, showing that the end of his career is much closer than fans will want to admit.
In six games to start the 2016 MLB season, Cruz has a 0.261 batting average to go with one home run and one RBI. As part of his four-year contract with the Mariners, Cruz makes $14.25 million this year and for the two MLB seasons that follow it. If he plays out the entire deal in Seattle, he will leave the Mariners after he turns 38. It’s an expensive contract for an aging star, which validates the questions that come up in the recent Seattle Mariners trade rumors.
There are going to be a lot of questions that plague the team and general manager Jerry DiPoto over the next few weeks. With some interesting acquisitions during the offseason (Nori Aoki, Steve Cishek, and Joaquin Benoit), the Mariners looked much stronger on paper. That hasn’t turned into a lot of success to begin the 2016 MLB season, but it’s also very important to note that six games are an extremely small sample size. How the team rebounds from this series sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics will say a lot about how well the Mariners can play this year.
The Mariners continue their homestand with three games against the Texas Rangers from April 11-13. Then the team heads out on a nine-game road trip with games against the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Los Angeles Angels. There are going to be many general managers watching to see if the Mariners can rebound of if veterans like Nelson Cruz, Joaquin Benoit, Nick Vincent, and Nori Aoki are going to be available on the trade market. The next game for the Seattle Mariners is Monday, April 11 at 7:10 p.m. PT.
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