Seattle Mariners trade rumors suggest the team is looking to add starting pitching in order to get back on track during the 2017 MLB season. With severe injuries to Drew Smyly, Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, and Hisashi Iwakuma, the Seattle-Tacoma shuttle has been very busy this season. As the team struggles to tread water, though, there has been a number of new fan-generated Mariners trade rumors as well. Some fans are suggesting that the team needs to deal Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano as soon as possible.
After losing a third-straight game to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday (May 13), the Seattle Mariners are back to fourth place in the American League West. At 17-20 on the season, the Mariners now trail the Houston Astros (25-11) by eight-and-a-half games in the division. Injuries are a primary reason why the team has struggled, but there are other factors, including an early lack of hitting success with runners in scoring position and an inconsistent bullpen, that have led to the poor record through the first month-and-a-half of the regular season.
So do these fan-generated Seattle Mariners trade rumors even make sense? After the 2017 MLB season, Robinson Cano still has six years and $144 million left on his contract. Cano’s contract was originally a 10-year, $240 million deal that made him the highest-paid player in franchise history. He has put up very impressive numbers through his first 508 games with the Mariners, but even that hasn’t been enough to convince every fan of the team that he is worth keeping on the roster for the duration of that deal.
— Intentional Talk (@IntentionalTalk) May 13, 2017
Since coming to Seattle, Cano has posted a 0.299 batting average and a 134 OPS+ with the Mariners. That second number is better than what he had with the New York Yankees (126+), possibly proving that he is still an elite hitter in Major League Baseball. Before his recent quad injury, Cano had a 0.296 batting average, eight home runs, 28 RBIs, and 40 total hits through his first 34 games of the season. Each of those stats ranked him among the leaders in the American League, showing his value to any lineup.
The other player coming up in those fan-generated Seattle Mariners trade rumors is Nelson Cruz. He too has been a bit banged up this season, dealing with a strained hamstring that has slowed him down on the basepaths. His numbers aren’t negatively reflecting that injury, though, as he has a 0.323 batting average, 42 hits, eight home runs, and 31 RBIs through just 152 plate appearances this season.
Those are All-Star level numbers for the Mariners’ designated hitter and show that he isn’t the problem with the team either. As for Nelson Cruz’s contract, he has just one year left on it and will earn $14.25 million for the 2018 MLB season. From that standpoint, he has a lot of value if the team really did decide that the best course of action would be to deal him before the July 31 MLB trade deadline and undertake a fire sale.
— MLB ⚾️ STATISTICS+ (@BaseballSmurf27) May 10, 2017
There are certainly a lot of Seattle Mariners fans who still support Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz quite audibly. That group of fans still feels that there is enough time left in the season for the Mariners to improve the starting rotation and make a run at an AL West title. With 125 games remaining on the schedule, it is definitely true that the Mariners will have the opportunity to do just that. Will Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto be willing to deal away more prospects in order to bring on significant pieces down the stretch?
— Miranda Jade (@mirandajade14) May 5, 2017
A 17-20 record is not where fans envisioned the Mariners to be this far into the 2017 MLB season. A lot of disappointment is getting posted on social media and the attendance at Safeco Field has also suffered. The Mariners did work back to a 0.500 record after sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies, but a trip to Canada brought an end to that momentum. This is where the debate among Seattle Mariners fans rages, as many feel that the team has enough talent to make the playoffs, but some fans feel it is time to completely tear down the current roster before it’s too late.
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]