Ariel Miranda, signed through 2022
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda won’t be a free agent next season, but his alarming home run numbers could mean he’s on the move. Yet, he could be an asset to a team trying to add a number-three starter to help in the playoff chase.
You simply can’t put a price on a good left-hander. Even if a team puts Miranda in the bullpen, they could still pay a decent price for the Mariners most consistent starter for long stretches this season. Dipoto will be listening to teams interested in Miranda, who came to Seattle himself in a trade for the underwhelming Wade Miley last season.
If the Mariners can bring in a few more young arms in return for Miranda, with a fringe prospect thrown in, I doubt Dipoto will say no. As this season can attest, pitching depth is everything. Getting two promising arms for one is an offer Dipoto probably can’t refuse.
Danny Valencia, signed through 2017
Dipoto could use Mariners first baseman Danny Valencia’s recent surge to make a move involving Seattle’s 32-year-old starting first baseman. Even though Daniel Vogelbach has been brutal in his limited time with the Major League club, Dipoto could wrangle some way of getting through the season with a warm body (Vogelbach or other) at first if he manages a good haul for Valencia.
The Mariners general manager could especially stomach this if he brings back still more prospects to restock the farm and he sees 2017 as a lost season.
Valencia has recovered from a terrible start to the season to post a .279/.340/.429 slash overall, hitting over .300 in every month so far except April.
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Last season, the Mariners didn’t have many playable outfielders in their system. This season, thanks to Dipoto’s wheeling and dealing they have several potential starters. Aside from the veteran Jarrod Dyson (who has been a worthy trade so far), the Mariners have Haniger, Guillermo Heredia, Ben Gamel, Taylor Motter, and Boog Powell ready to take the outfield grass, not to mention Tyler O’Neil and Kyle Lewis waiting in Tacoma.
Dipoto could very well trade one of his many outfield options for more pitching the team could use this year or next. Even the young O’Neil could be on the block if Dipoto feels there’s a logjam at his position.
If Dipoto is truly in a sell-but-don’t-blow-up-the-team mode, he will almost certainly flip Marc Rzepczynski, Yovani Gallardo if any team will pay anything for him, and possibly Nick Vincent.
Only Dipoto knows what the plans are for this season’s Trade Deadline. The intrigue is already building for the Mariners as they struggle to find their footing this season.