Nelson Cruz With Mariners

Seattle Mariners Trade Rumors: Time For A Fire Sale? Despite Mariners Fan Objections?

Seattle Mariners trade rumors indicate it could be time for a fire sale. While these Mariners trade rumors will continue to frustrate fans hoping that the team can turn things around in the second half, a reality is that the current roster is struggling to compete. The Mariners lost to the Astros (again) on Sunday, July 17, dropping the three-game series against a rival in the American League West. This was a chance to make up some ground in the MLB standings, but instead, the Mariners continued to struggle in all facets of the game.

The game was an ugly one, as starting pitcher Mike Montgomery gave up four runs in just five innings of work. In addition to the seven hits and two walks Montgomery allowed, he also hit a batter and had a wild pitch on the day. Nathan Karns, pitching in his new relief role, ended up allowing four more runs in the seventh inning. It wasn’t just a bad pitching day, though, as the hitting and fielding wasn’t up to par either.

Astros starting pitcher Colin McHugh has struggled this season, but he struck out 10 Mariners hitters in just six innings of work. He also kept them from scoring before a reliever gave up the only run the Mariners would score. The Seattle offense made an average starting pitcher look like Cy Young material again.

The Mariners were also terrible on defense, posting four errors on the day. That included two from Kyle Seager and two from outfielders (Seth Smith and Leonys Martin) on throws. It was simply not a good showing for the 27,322 fans in attendance. It raises a strong possibility that the team is about to become a “seller” at the trade deadline.

Iwakuma With M's
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

In the updated MLB standings, the Seattle Mariners are at 46-46 on the season. With 60 games left to play, the team has only managed to post a 0.500 record overall. That includes a 23-22 record at Safeco Field and a 23-24 record on the road. The Mariners trail the Texas Rangers by 8 1/2 games in the American League West and the Toronto Blue Jays by five games for the second wild card slot. It is that close proximity to the fifth playoff spot that has many fans balking at recent Seattle Mariners trade rumors.

The Mariners have several assets who could be very valuable to another team that just needs to add a piece or two in order to be a real World Series threat. An inherent problem for the front office, though, is that they are among the fan favorites left on the roster. Nelson Cruz is a player who could bring back a nice return package, having posted a 0.281 batting average, 23 home runs, and 58 RBIs this season. Seth Smith could be valuable as well, as he has a 0.274 batting average in just 237 at-bats this season.

The pitching staff also has a few pieces that could be of interest to a team needing to add either a starting pitcher or relief pitcher for the stretch run. Closer Steve Cishek has posted 22 saves, a 3.07 ERA, and a 1.05 WHIP this year. He could be an affordable option for any team needing to add an arm in the bullpen. Hisashi Iwakuma could also be a hot commodity, with a 10-6 record, 4.01 ERA, and 1.29 WHIP this year. While he isn’t posting All-Star numbers, the market for starting pitching is extremely thin right now.

Mariners Closer Steve Cishek
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

So what should the team do before the first MLB trade deadline on July 31? The Mariners likely need to add a starting pitcher, some help in the bullpen, and possibly another bat on offense. Those are tough acquisitions to make when the minor league system doesn’t have a lot of assets.

On the other side of that coin, these Seattle Mariners trade rumors could lead to several deals, with the new general manager possibly acquiring a number of prospects to try to build the team back up. So are the Mariners good enough to win now? Or is a fire sale necessary? Time is running out to make that decision.

[Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]