The Seattle Mariners are not making news these days. While a few of the contenders are making waiver wire moves, the Mariners are seemingly content to play out the season and prepare for next year.
Boring, but smart.
It is always hard to know what is going on behind the scenes. Is Jack Zduriencik fielding any calls? Or, was his demand for top prospects leading up to the trade deadline enough to scare away other general managers?
Why shouldn’t the Mariners get involved in waiver activity? Simple. There is really nothing to gain unless the team is suddenly motivated to rid themselves of veterans that won’t be back next year. It would seem that the opportunity to unload such players has already passed.
Are the Mariners finally going to contend in 2014?
Deals that are made after the trade deadline are always a little strange. After all, a player has to clear waivers, and then a claiming team has to negotiate with the franchise that tested the waters.
For the Mariners, there are few players to put out on the wire. If the Mariners weren’t willing to give up players at the trade deadline, it makes little sense to let them go now. After all, the compensation at this point is sure to be less. The Mariners don’t need another “player to be named later.”
Besides, who would teams want right now? Is a team really going to be interested in someone like Aaron Harang, with his 5-10 record and 5.79 ERA? There was talk of Michael Morse being trade bait at the deadline, but what would you get for a .243 hitter right now?
Yes, there is little to gain by utilizing the waiver wire, and at this point it is probably best to prepare for next season. Bring up a few more youngsters and conduct some extended tryouts. That is a sad reality for a team that had some potential at a few points this season, but what else can be done?
Sure, fans can try to get excited about the possibility of landing Jacoby Ellsbury in the offseason, but that rumor seems quite unlikely. In fact, that type of rumor seems speculative at best.
Avoiding waiver deals may be the right thing to do, but it doesn’t change the fact that it has been another disappointing season. As the Mariners get deeper into August, it is painfully clear that the franchise could be heading for another losing season.
How long do the fans need to remain patient?
As recently noted by Geoff Baker of The Seattle Mariners:
@KKwwag Trouble is, it's going to be the 6th year of waiting come 2014. There are quicker ways that involve spending— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) August 9, 2013
The lack of waiver activity is yet another sign that the Mariners are getting nowhere fast. Again, staying away from deals is the right thing to do, but it is a begrudging realization. There have been positive signs this season in terms of player development, but the overall progress is still very slow.
Too slow. Time for football season.