MLB Trade Speculation: 6 Realistic Trades the Seattle Mariners Should Consider
This list may not be what you expect. You'll find no blockbuster trades for Prince Fielder or Matt Kemp. No mention of Felix Hernandez or Michael Pineda being jettisoned.
These are simply not going to happen, so there's no point speculating about them.
Rather, these are trades that could be made right now and would improve the ballclub immediately and in the future.
The nucleus of this team would stay in place. Ichiro, Smoak, Ackley, Guti all stay put. As do Ryan and Olivo, who are both here for one more year.
The proposed trades will upgrade LF, DH, 3B and catcher while keeping the pitching strong and giving us some depth and versatility.
Feel free to comment and propose your own scenarios!
Vargas for Rasmus
If there's ever been a guy who could flourish with a change of scenery it's Colby Rasmus. It's no secret that he and manager Tony LaRussa don't exactly get along.
It was less than 12 months ago that Rasmus reportedly requested a trade because he and LaRussa couldn't stand to be in each other's air space.
The St Louis outfielder is having a down year, although his line of .246/.329/.413 with nine home runs is not exactly terrible. Still, he will command less in a trade than he would have a year ago.
Jason Vargas' trade value has never been (and may never be) higher. The Cardinals are shopping for pitching with Adam Wainwright out for the season.
Vargas in a lefty. The Cardinals are stacked with righties. Plus, Vargas handles the bat well and loves to hit.
Let's face it, we need to get something—anything—for Jack Wilson. He could actually be a nice reserve infielder for the Cardinals, and we get a young catcher who is currently blocked by All-Star Yadier Molina and solid veteran Gerald Laird.
Our left field and backup catcher problems are solved. We get rid of Wilson, and Blake Beavan replaces Vargas in the rotation.
It just doesn't get any more win/win than this.
Seager and Carp for Reynolds
Mariners trade 3B Kyle Seager and 1B Mike Carp to Orioles for 3B Mark Reynolds.
I know, I know.. you're asking why we can't send Figgins instead of Seager?
Well unfortunately, in the words of Jack Z, you've got to give something to get something.
The Orioles are going the youth movement route, and this trade gives them good options at the corners.
Seager slots straight in to replace Reynolds at third base, while Carp takes over first base. Hold on, why would they replace Derek Lee with Mike Carp you ask?
Lee's contract pays him $7.25 million in base salary for the 2011 season. However, he earns $250,000 each for every 25 plate appearances he makes from 400 through to 600.
On top of that, at 400 and 500 PAs, he receives an extra $500,000.
Lee has had 275 plate appearances so far. This puts him on a pace for around 550, which would pay him an additional $2.25 million for the season.
In essence, the Orioles would save a couple of million and get roughly the same production.
It's pretty obvious that Carp has no future in Seattle, even after tearing up AAA this year. He's blocked by Smoak at first base and is subpar in left field.
Baltimore saves money and adds pieces for the future, and Seattle gets some power at third.
Pull the trigger Jack.
Fister for Miller
Mariners trade RHP Doug Fister to Red Sox for LHP Andrew Miller and 1B Lars Anderson.
This one is selling high on Doug Fister for a couple of high upside youngsters. The Red Sox hold a slim lead in the AL East and have seen Jon Lester, Clay Bucholtz and Dice-K all go on the disabled list.
They need an innings eater, and Fister fits the bill. We've all seen what he can do with the worst run support in the league; the Red Sox would give him close to the best.
He is able to consistently go seven-plus innings while giving up four runs or less. With the Sox power bats behind him, Doug could go unbeaten for the rest of the season..
In return we get Andrew Miller, a former top-10 draft pick who still has a live fastball but has struggled to go deep in games. He may end up being an excellent addition to the bullpen, even a closer if he's able to get it together.
In addition, we get Lars Anderson, a first baseman who has excellent power potential. He has a good eye and great patience and has been fairly age-advanced at every level he has played according to scouts.
Fister faded down the stretch last year, and is on pace to throw 50 percent more innings than 2010's career high. We have a ready replacement in Beavan, and Hultzen, Paxton and Walker on the way.
I love what Doug Fister gives the Ms, but this trade makes too much sense.
League for Montero
Mariners trade RHP Brandon League to the Yankees for C Jesus Montero.
The Yankees have dangled Jesus Montero for Cliff Lee and Joakim Soria but have had no takers as yet. Why are they so keen to deal a prized prospect? Basically because they are stacked with catchers (Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez) behind the resurgent Russell Martin.
The Yankees need bullpen help. The Mariners need a DH,
The Yankees have Montero. The Mariners have League.
This is another sell high scenario, because frankly I'm not sold on Brandon League. He's certainly been better this year than last, but even if that should continue, he figures to be replaceable.
Closers are basically guys who get lots of money and lots of prestige to pitch one inning. Granted, they are often called in to pitch in so-called "high leverage" situations, but still, it's one inning.
If you think closers are difficult to replace, I'll point your attention to Sergio Santos in Chicago, Fernando Salas in St Louis or Drew Storen of the Nationals.
Aardsma, Cortes and Robles are three names that jump immediately to mind for Seattle.
Montero's future is at DH, and the Mariners just happen to have an opening.
4 Prospects for Hunter Pence
Mariners trade 3B Alex Liddi, LHP Taijan Walker, SS Marcus Littlewood and RF James Jones to Houston for RF Hunter Pence
Letting go of Walker stings a bit, but Hultzen and Paxton on the way should ease that pain. It will take a big haul of talent to pry Pence away from the Astros, but this is the sort of package that may do it.
Liddi has shown flashes of talent but has been leapfrogged by Kyle Seager. Plus, the Mariners have Matt Mangini and Vinny Catricala on the depth chart.
Liddi and Walker look set to contribute by 2013, Littlewood and Jones maybe a year after that.
It's not so important to include major league ready guys in a trade with Houston as they are looking a few years down the track before they compete.
Pence fills an immediate need for Seattle, the guys we send fill a future need in Houston.
Figgins for the Monkey
Mariners trade 3B Chone Figgins to Angels for the Rally Monkey.
It would be so good to stick a "Return to Sender" sticker on Figgins' forehead. Plus, when the Rally Monkey gets here, the Moose can run over it on his quad bike.
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