Welcome to the All-Star break. The Seattle Mariners go into the break with a loss, but have to be somewhat happy after taking two of three from the Oakland A’s over the weekend.
After the break, the trade deadline rumor machine will really start working overtime. Already there are a number of whispers out there concerning the Mariners, as players like David Price and Josh Willingham have already been discussed.
The latest rumor is Marlon Byrd of the Philadelphia Phillies. Whether there are actual discussions going on remains to be seen, but Byrd does represent one of the better bats that we have heard about so far, at least from a statistical standpoint.
There seems to be a sense that the Mariners are desperate for right-handed power. I don’t know if desperate is quite fair, but there is some credence to the idea that this is a need. Byrd is having a solid season (.263/.316/.483) with 18 home runs, 54 RBI and a 2.0 WAR.
As I have suggested in the past, power can be generally overrrated. What is more important is Byrd’s .316 OBP, which is better than the 27th-ranked team average for the Mariners (.301). Byrd would need to draw walks in addition to hitting home runs, because he is striking out at a fairly good clip (111).
The money should be a consideration, as Byrd is making $8 million this year and is owed $8 million in 2015. That is a little steep for a player that will turn 37 in August and could be due for a drop in production.
Marlon Byrd is not the most exciting rumor that we have ever heard about. As the trade deadline approaches, the Mariners may not have a lot of other options.