July 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau (33) singles in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgersat Coors Field. The Dodgers defeated the Rockies 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Trade Rumors: Can M's Compete with A's?

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The Seattle Mariners are currently a playoff team, but it still early in July. That could change.

Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s are leading the American League West. Their position is also not guaranteed, as their lead over the Los Angeles Angels is not exactly massive.

As we approach the trade deadline, there will be plenty of rumors, whispers and speculation. A few deals might actually get done.

Oakland has already made a big move, acquiring pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Whether these will turn out to be monumental acquisitions may not be determined for years to come.

The question is whether the Mariners need to “counter” with a move of their own. Dan Szymborski of ESPN seems to think so in his article titled, “Time for M’s to answer the A’s.” Szymborski’s article includes a number of trade targets, including veteran hitters like Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham.

Trying to keep pace with another team can be a tricky business. The Mariners should explore trade opportunities, but they have to be pursued for the right reasons. You can’t make a deal just to show that you are aggressive.

Morneau and Willingham are both possibilities, and other players such as Alfonso Soriano have also been mentioned. Again, the question is whether a bat represents a major upgrade to a particular position, and what the Mariners would have to give up in order to acquire that player.

Winning the division would certainly be great, but the key is to make the playoffs. If the Mariners can get into the postseason, they have the starting pitching to do some damage. Once the playoffs start, it doesn’t matter nearly as much who finished first in the division. It definitely helps, but the Mariners have to be careful that they don’t give away the farm just to win the division once.

As the weeks pass, these trade suggestions are only going to increase. Morneau remains an intriguing possibility, but he won’t necessarily be available or affordable.

The rumors continue…

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Tags: Justin Morneau Mlb Trade Rumors Seattle Mariners

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