Photo Courtesy: Otto Greule Jr. / Fox Sports
By Braught / PNW Sports Fans
And so it has begun. The Mariners first trade (and I expect more) doesn’t tell us a whole a lot about them being buyers or sellers this year. Dipoto said “The attraction here was getting younger and deeper and really starting to fill some positions of critical needs for us moving forward.” Sounds like Dipoto is being realistic here and implying our playoff chances are becoming slimmer by the day, which is true, but damn is 15 years a long time and I sure would like to taste October baseball. We just may have to wait.
Here are my thoughts on this trade, meh. I really like Mike Montgomery. He has transitioned to the bullpen and spot starting well. Pitching 61 innings and only giving up 16 ERs and a WHIP of 1.086 are great numbers. Even better is that he is team controlled for the next 5 years. That’s what hurts, but the Mariners have quite a few lefty relievers/5th starters in their system. Dan Vogelbach can mash the ball, so I’ve been told. But that’s it. He has no defensive value whatsoever and will be relinquished to DH’ing his entire career. That’s worrisome, especially considering we have DJ Peterson putting up similar numbers in AAA, albeit with far less PA’s, and more defensive ability at 1B. The secondary pieces, we came out on top in. Blackburn was 1st rd pick out of high school who hasn’t progressed as expected but is still a solid get, while Jordan Pries came out of Stanford in 2011 and has been at AAA level for most of the last 3 years. He probably won’t get further than being spot starter.
Now to look ahead. There’s reasons to be excited about this roster.Felix returning, Diaz throwing fire and our top three players; Cano, Cruz and Seager, are all performing to expectations. But there is much to be worried about; our outfield is not good, the closers are shaky, and starting pitching has not met expectations. If the Mariners are to be buyers, I don’t expect them to move any major prospects, not that we really have any highly coveted ones. Teams have inquired about Paxton and Walker but the Mariners don’t appear ready to move either and I agree. The only other big name on the roster that could be dealt is Cruz and this may be the time to move him, if we are giving up on this year. The Padres will be moving pieces this deadline, as they are rebuilding yet again. That means Upton Jr or Kemp could be available and we need a legit outfielder. I’d prefer Upton with his smaller contract and ability to continue to play all OF positions.
I am not sure what I want the Mariners to do. Not entirely ready to mail in the season but I see a roster with too many shortcomings to compete this year. Maybe I need to lower my expectations. All I can do for now though is wait for August 1 to come and go.