By Jordan Wevers @JordanWevers on July 3, 2014
With the Seattle Mariners currently sitting nine games above .500 in July, the organization looks poised to make a push toward playing baseball in October. They are going to need some help, though, as it seems the AL West is a small pond full of big fish in 2014. Though 47-38, it is good for only third place in the Mariners' division. MLB's best team, the Oakland Athletics, sit in first, and the Los Angeles Angels are in second.
With all the competition in their division, GM Jack Zduriencik can't afford to not be a buyer before the trade deadline. Seattle has been playing a lot better ball as of late, but in order to keep pace with the A's and Angels, adding depth and experience should be a priority.
Paxton (lat, shoulder) has been sidelined since early April. He appears to finally be making progress in his rehab, and is scheduled to throw a simulated game some time next week. If all goes well, he should be back in the M's rotation before the end of July. Assuming this happens, the Mariners have fewer reasons to unload a bunch of prospects and trade for a veteran starting pitcher.
Seattle has sent scouts to watch some of the Cubs' hot-ticket trade chip make some starts recently. The recent addition of top prospect Taijuan Walker back to the Mariners' rotation brings less a need to go out and acquire a veteran starting pitcher. The only thing that may cause management to coax a veteran arm their way is if possible pitch counts by Walker and Paxton may cause them to be shut down, interfering with an M's playoff berth.
Pieces in play for a trade usually come from the minors when teams looking to be buyers are in negotiations. One player on the M's active roster who appears to be expendable is left fielder Dustin Ackley. Seattle reportedly tried moving him earlier in the year for Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro.
Brad Miller is still leaving something to be desired from the Mariners' shortstop position. Alexei Ramirez seems to be a viable option for the M's to acquire. Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo are other White Sox players being mentioned for added power and depth to add to Seattle's lineup.
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