MLB trade rumors have involved the Seattle Mariners for a while now, but changes in Seattle may be coming. With the MLB trade deadline hitting on July 31, teams have a good window to either acquire players for the stretch-run or deal players to start a rebuilding effort. When Fernando Rodney gave up an eighth inning homer to Mark Teixeira on Sunday, July 19, it may have guaranteed that the Mariners become sellers this year.
With the loss to the New York Yankees, the Mariners fell to 42-50 on the season, putting them just half a game out of last place in the American League West. The team has completely failed to live up to expectations during the 2015 MLB season, possibly costing general manager Jack Zduriencik his job. It’s possible that Zduriencik will now look to make a short-term deal to improve the team for the final 70 games, but it’s more likely that ownership brings in the sails.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there had been MLB trade rumors about starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma even before this latest Rodney loss. Iwakuma is a veteran that can offer stability to a starting rotation and who comes at a very affordable price. He will make around $3 million for the rest of the season and becomes a free agent during the offseason. If the Mariners are not offering a contract extension, he could be acquired for a prospect or two.
Other veterans that the Mariners could trade include outfielders Austin Jackson and Franklin Gutierrez, relief pitcher Joe Beimel, and starting pitcher J.A. Happ. Jackson is hitting.252 through 68 games this season, while Gutierrez has a.286 batting average through his first 35 at-bats of the season. Beimel has a 2.96 ERA through 27 1/3 innings pitched, while Happ has a 4.14 ERA in 17 starts and 95 2/3 innings pitched. Rodney now has an ERA of 5.59, but might have some value as a middle reliever in a new city.
There are certainly other pieces that the Mariners could deal before the MLB trade deadline, but it would be easiest to part with the veterans that have expiring contracts. If the front office wants to make a really bold move for the future, it could trade Nelson Cruz while his value is still high. He has a .305 batting average, 21 home runs, and 53 RBIs already this season. Many teams around Major League Baseball could use a hitter like Cruz, who has three more years on his contract after this one. So will the Mariners officially become sellers or hold out hope to be buyers at the end of July?
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