The Seattle Mariners did make some deals at the trade deadline, getting Austin Jackson from the Detroit Tigers and Chris Denorfia from the San Diego Padres. Of course, that was the first trade deadline.
Now we can start talking about the final trade deadline in Major League Baseball. I would explain the complexities of the process, but that will just confuse some people.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that this is an opportunity for teams to dump expensive stars on franchises that are desperate for one more piece to the playoff puzzle. Okay, so that isn’t the entire picture, but it is certainly part of the general outcome.
Someone like Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies comes to mind. Howard didn’t get moved at the deadline, most likely because he is expensive and he just isn’t as good as he used to be.
The Phillies have already put Howard on waivers, perhaps hoping that a team puts in a claim and that an advantageous deal can be reached. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. Howard is still expensive, and he still strikes out a lot. That has not changed in the last week.
Granted, the added wrinkle is that another team could put in a claim for a desirable player and kill the possibility of even entering into negotations. Byrd may make it through waivers, but Zobrist might not.
For the Mariners, this remains treacherous territory. The offense continues to struggle with OBP, but the question that must be asked by the front office is whether one of these players represents a notable upgrade.
A notable upgrade. Not a if-everything-works-out-and-the-player-channels-the-2011-season upgrade.
Again, if the selling team wants to pay a large portion of the players salary, there are limited player contract options for the future, and the M’s don’t have to give up key prospects, it may be worth a claim. Chances are that those factors will not all be met.
Tread carefully, Mariners. The best merchandise is no longer available.