The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone, which means that media outlets have to pack up their rumors and put them away from another year. Speaking of the deadline, did you hear about the blockbuster trade involving the Seattle Mariners?
Neither did I.
This year the Seattle Mariners did not make any headlines at the deadline, unless you consider inactivity to be newsworthy. The team was quiet, and no player had to do any packing or say goodbye to his teammates.
Are you happy with Seattle's decision to stand pat?
The fact that the Mariners did not pull off any deals should not surprise anyone. Manager Eric Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik have hinted at such a possibility for the last few weeks. Veterans were not going anywhere unless the M’s could get some top prospects that would make an impact immediately.
Apparently there were no teams willing to pay the prices set by the Mariners.
Certainly, names have been discussed in recent weeks. There was speculation that players like Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, Oliver Perez, Brendan Ryan, Joe Saunders and Michael Morse could get moved.
In the end, all the talk was just talk.
Perhaps a deal almost got done. It is always difficult to assess how many phone calls occurred behind the scenes. General managers are usually pretty good about keeping those details to themselves.
As tweeted by Greg Johns of MLB.com:
Zduriencik says didn't get any offers worth breaking up club for last 2 months. Says deal would have sent wrong message to fans and players.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 31, 2013
You can understand this philosophy. After all, what were the Mariners really going to get in return for their veterans? More unproven prospects that might or might not develop in a few years?
How do you grade this performance? After all, the performance was fairly subtle. Without knowing what was on the table, it is difficult to compare potential deals with a lack of transactions.
At the risk of being non-committal, perhaps the Mariners deserve a grade of “Incomplete.”
The reality of grading trades is that they are difficult to assess in the moment. Sometimes a trade cannot accurately be measured for at least a couple of seasons.
What sort of trade was going to help the Mariners at this point? Were the Mariners really going to get a piece that would upgrade their team in a short period of time? Doubtful.
If you think about it, the Mariners will be getting help soon without trading away assets. Greg Johns points this out in a recent tweet:
Zduriencik said return of Morse and pending return of Pryor and Gutierrez are like deadline acquisitions that will bolster team as well.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 31, 2013
This team is arguably heading in the right direction. The core is solid, starting with the performances of Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin. There have been signs of progress in Mike Zunino, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley, though fans are still waiting for consistent production from the whole group.
Are the Mariners on the cusp of becoming that club of exciting young hitters that fans have patiently waited for over the last few years? In addition, is it so crazy that the Mariners would re-sign some of their veterans, including Kendrys Morales, Oliver Perez, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez?
One other tweet from Johns is telling on this subject:
Zduriencik also feels keeping some pending free agents gives advantage to bring them back next year. Says some talks already underway.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 31, 2013
The Mariners did not make any deals at the deadline. It will take time to know whether it was wise to stick with this lineup. For now, standing pat is looking like the right decision.