After the Trade Deadline has come and gone, the Mariners are still fielding essentially the same team that has hovered around .500 and the edge of contention, and so they should.
I’m still coming down from the disappointment that the trade deadline brought this season for the Mariners. After a disappointing 2015 and the renewal of playoff hopes coming into 2016, it appeared the Mariners were in position to buy at the deadline and soar at least into the second Wild-Card spot.
Alas, General Manager Jerry Dipoto shipped struggling reliever Joaquin Benoit to Toronto for another struggling reliever in Drew Storen, and flipped mediocre veteran pitcher Wade Miley for younger but mediocre pitcher Ariel Miranda. The non-action was anti-climactic, to say the least, for most Mariners fans, who believed that they were one outfielder or decent starter away from sneaking into the playoffs and possibly even challenging the Rangers for the division crown.
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But now that my disappointment has abated for a time, I’m thinking about the Mariners’ moves with a clearer head.
The Mariners could have shipped what little in the way of prospects they had for a few pieces to bolster their chances at the playoffs this year, and who knows what might have happened? However, we’ve seen the Mariners sell off players like Adam Jones and Shin-Soo Choo for the hope of a playoff berth before, and we all know how that approach has turned out for them in the past.
We all know that the Mariners didn’t have much to offer in the way of prospects to other teams for useful players to help with the playoff push. Their 28th-ranked minor league system is one of the many reasons why Dipoto is in the front office and Jack Z is out of a job. They could have sold off a piece or two like DJ Peterson, who recently went 5-5 for the Tacoma Rainiers. They could have also gone into full sell mode, with rumors floating around about Taijuan Walker and others.
Instead, Dipoto played it cool, and while his inaction may not be enough to get the Mariners to the playoffs this year, their future looks as bright as ever with youngsters like Kyle Lewis, Peterson, Walker, and James Paxon still in their system.