Three Mariners Trade Targets

Jun 8, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The Mariners are in contention in June, if they stay close to Texas in the AL West, who should they target in trade talks in July? Here are three potential names.

The Mariners will likely need outfielders and starting pitchers if they make a deal on the Trade Deadline this year. And while it may be too early to speculate who they may bring in, it never hurts to take a look at the market before we get to the end of June.

A word before I get to the names: The Mariners don’t have a ton of prospects to give away for a handful of starts or half of a season from another hitter in the lineup. I doubt Jerry Dipoto stays idle, but I don’t expect him to sell the farm for a desperate shot at a one-game playoff.

Dipoto has been too smart so far in his tenure with the Mariners to make that rookie mistake.

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Even if the Mariners don’t have as much to offer as other teams, they could prey on teams stuck with poor contracts or with players they simply need to move on from. Perhaps Dipoto can pull off a deal for a name-brand at a reasonable price. Here are three players I’d like to see in a Mariners uniform who could be acquired at (somewhat) realistic prices:

–Joey Votto. Before you race down to the comments section to tell me Votto has an impossibly high price tag and there’s no way the Mariners will spend big to add a third first baseman to the team that is getting production out of the Dae-Ho Lee/ Adam Lind platoon, hear me out. Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, has a career slash of .307/.420/.529, but he’s slashing just .225/.346/.440 so far this season.

Jun 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto watches during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

In addition to killing my fantasy team with his inexplicable offensive downturn, Votto is costing the Cincinnati Reds a fortune in the third year of a 10-year $225 million contract. Votto is already 32 years old and the time to pounce on the slugger is now, while his struggles continue this year, costing him trade value. I don’t expect Votto to hit .225 all season. I also don’t expect the Reds to keep him on the team through 2023, either.

The Reds aren’t going anywhere this season, and while they might be frustrated they can’t move Votto for a truckload of prospects due to his massive contract and his struggles this year, they may take a lower price than expected from a team like the Mariners, who will have to work to find him a place in the lineup. Maybe stick Nelson Cruz back in right field and bench Nori Aoki?

–Julio Teheran. This name should be no surprise to those of you looking for starting pitchers for the Mariners to acquire. The Braves are terrible this year and expected to sell off whoever they can for prospects at the deadline. Teheran is already drawing interest from other contending teams, which will surely drive the high price for the right-handed starter even higher, but if the Mariners can pony up, they’ll get a quality arm for their rotation that could use some help.

Teheran owns a 2.92 ERA on the season this year. His 4.07 FIP, per Baseball Reference, suggests that an earned runs spike is imminent, but at the very least he’ll give the Mariners rotation a boost from a pitcher in his prime with a career 1.12 WHIP.

–Daniel Hudson. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ reliever hasn’t pitched a full season since 2011, but so far in 2016, he has posted a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings out of the bullpen for the DBs. The Mariners could acquire him for next to nothing, convert him to a starter if needed, and end up with a solid contributor down the stretch.

Apr 24, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Injuries are a problem for Hudson, especially if he reverts back to a starter midway through the year, but going back to that 2011 season, he went over 220 innings, and posted an ERA under 3.50 and a WHIP just above 1.20. If he can be converted to a starter again for the Mariners, he could contribute in a potential playoff push. Or, he could keep throwing quality innings out of the bullpen for his new team.

I’m sure Jerry Dipoto has something totally unexpected up his sleeve for the trade deadline, and judging from how his trades have worked out so far for the Mariners, I’m hopeful he’ll find a needed bat or arm to help the Mariners on their quest for the postseason when the time comes.

Next: Mariners News and Links June 7th

Until then, sit back, relax, and keep on eye on the names I mentioned above. Now, all the Mariners have to do is stay in contention.