The answer to this question is obvious, right? Of course the Seattle Mariners could use another bat.
Are opposing teams trembling in fear at the prospect of facing newly-promoted Jesus Montero? Hardly.
At this point, the question is not whether the Mariners need another bat, but whether they should roll the dice and trade good prospects for a partial-season rental. That is always the dilemma as teams head towards the trade deadline.
Which position could stand to be upgraded? There are, unfortunately, a few choices.
Outfield? James Jones has been a nice surprise and Cole Gillespie has had some good moments, but overall the outfielders are hardly a force at the plate. Yes, Endy Chavez and Stefen Romero, we are talking about you.
How about shortstop? Brad Miller is finally starting to come around, but he is nowhere near where the Mariners hoped he would be. Meanwhile, Nick Franklin dropped his average to .128 before being sent back to Tacoma.
The problem with the Mariners is that they have a long list of hitters who could be effective, but could also fall into an extended slump at any moment. Michael Saunders, Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley also fall into that category.
Who to give up if the Mariners pursue another stick? Unfortunately, the Mariners do not have a long list of expendable talent. Teams will ask about Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, but Jack Zduriencik had better not send either of those guys away unless he can get a “can’t-miss” (whatever that means) hitting prospect.
Admittedly, it is a bit early to ask this question but the Mariners are amazingly in the playoff hunt. As the trade deadline nears, the Mariners could (gasp) be buyers.