The Seattle Mariners Are What They Are


The Seattle Mariners got out ahead of the trade market when they agreed to swap Yoervis Medina for for Welington Castillo. They then managed to make another early move, turning Castillo and other not-entirely-insignificant pieces into Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno. The Mariners were crappy before these moves, and now that they’ve been made they’re still crappy. This much we know.

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So there’s been a problem, and twice the M’s have aggressively tried to fix it. Neither attempt has worked, and, in fact, guy they got and then traded is currently outhitting almost every current Mariner as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Even as the team slips further and further out of contention, there’s been some belief they could make yet another move. It could happen, but it’s seeming less and less likely.

Jack Zduriencik said as much to Ryan Divish recently, all but confirming that the team won’t be looking to make any more major additions. Maybe they’ll score a backup catcher, or maybe they’ll get their hands on a righty reliever. But another bat? A starting-caliber outfielder? Don’t count on it. Don’t even consider it a reasonable possibility.

It might be frustrating to hear, seeing as the Mariners are a bad team that was supposed to be good. They were, it seemed, intent on improving, as they responded quickly to their own underperformances. But the older the season gets, the more it seems that these M’s aren’t just a hot streak away. This team is not really worth investing in, and so Z should resist the temptation to buy any more bats. Hold the prospects! 2015 is not the year to cash in what’s left of the farm system.

The Mariners, as constructed, were supposed to be something better than what they are today. If they want to live up to their promise, the best bet is to simply stay the course. The team that was supposed to win all those games is mostly here, minus just about the entire bullpen. Giving them a shot seems like the only reasonable option they have left.

The expectation should be failure at this point. Second-worst record in the league, second-worst run differential in the league… what we’ve seen so far has sucked. But Robinson Cano is heating up. Dustin Ackley, too. The rotation’s there, and maybe the ‘pen is on the bounceback. Maybe this team wins at a .600 clip the rest of the way. There’s always a chance.

But most likely is that this team stays together until the end of the season, at which point they’ll have more losses than wins. Maybe there’s wholesale change over the offseason. There isn’t a reason to cash in any more long-term assets. The M’s we see today should be the M’s that we see the rest of the year.

It’s a shame, of course. The M’s were supposed to be so much better than this. They were supposed to be exciting trade deadline buyers. But bad teams shouldn’t buy – especially bad teams that have already done their share of buying. Time to kiss the 2015 dream goodbye – or pin it on the shoulders of the guys who are already here, at least.