The Seattle Mariners have to make a decision as the trade deadline approaches. Do they gamble, or do they tweak?
In this particular context, an example of a “gamble” would be sending some combination of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, D.J. Peterson, Nick Franklin or other prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for David Price and/or Ben Zobrist. That would be a major deal for both clubs.
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A “tweak” would be the acquisition of Josh Willingham, Marlon Byrd or Dayan Viciedo. In other words, a player that could potentially help the club, but would not necessarily make a huge impact or be a long-term solution.
Certainly the Mariners could do both, but from a philosphical standpoint the club has to decide whether they are going to “go for it” or be content to build a winner slowly over a couple of years. The Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A’s have made some big deals, so they are definitely pushing their chips to the middle of the table.
The ongoing question is whether the Mariners can make the playoffs with this roster. So far, the M’s have been winning games with this squad, despite the offensive deficiencies. If the pitching holds up and a couple more guys can contribute on offense, the team could make the postseason without major moves.
Unfortunately, players get hurt (Michael Saunders) or continue to struggle at the plate (Brad Miller and Dustin Ackley). You would hate for the Mariners to miss an opportunity to put Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound in the playoffs just because the front office was a little nervous.
If the Mariners are going to make a deal, they should make a deal. Either go big, or go home. Tweaks are boring, and they probably aren’t going to put this team over the top.