Players the Seattle Mariners Could Move at the MLB Trade Deadline

The Seattle Mariners came into the season with a realistic chance at contending. They added Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith to an offense that already features Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. The team also brought back many of the same standout pitchers that helped propel the team on the mound.

Things haven’t gone as planned.

Only the white-flag waiving Oakland Athletics sit below Seattle in the American League West, so it may be time for the team to trade some pieces.

The team isn’t going into full rebuild mode, but rather “reload” mode. Expiring contracts who aren’t likely to stick around are some of the more likely players to be dealt. Consistently underperforming players should be shopped as well. In other words, Felix Hernandez, Cano and the rest of the team’s core aren’t going anywhere.

Here are some of the players who could be traded.

Logan Morrison, 1B

First base is a power position—or rather, players with a significant of power/run-driving in ability play there. Presenting Logan Morrison, a first baseman with only 12 home runs and a paltry .222 batting average and a .665 OPS.

Seattle should be selling teams on Morrison being a quality bench bat, because he hasn’t worked so far as a Mariner. The former Miami Marlin owns a .242 batting average and 23 home runs in 193 games with the M’s. That’s simply not cutting it, especially for a team in need of offensive-minded players.

Austin Jackson, CF

This one is tough. Jackson has the potential to be an impact offensive player, as well as a plus defender, but like Morrison he hasn’t hit in Seattle. Throw in his impending free agent status at the end of the season and you have two prime reasons to deal the former Detroit Tiger.

The M’s did well to acquire Jackson for Nick Franklin, but the centerfielder has struggled in the Emerald City. He entered Seattle as a career .277 hitter. This has translated to a disappointing .243 batting average and .598 OPS with the M’s.

He’s likely going to cost a good deal of money, so Seattle would be best off trading him for a good (but probably not great) return, and invest in another centerfielder in free agency.

J.A. Happ, Hisashi Iwakuma SP

Another impending free agent, J.A. Happ has been solid for the Mariners this season. He owns a quality 3.77 FIP (second lowest to Felix on the team) and has been a stabling presence in the rotation.

Iwakuma, on the other hand, hasn’t posted the numbers that saw him net Cy Young and MVP votes in 2013. He hasn’t posted the numbers that helped him win 15 games and post a sub-4 ERA/FIP (3.52, 3.25) last season.

Still, Seattle needs to make room in the rotation. Felix is an obvious lock and Taijuan Walker, Mike Montgomery, James Paxton and Roenis Elias aren’t going to fit into three spots. As it stands, the team’s rotation in four years is going to be Felix and the previously mentioned four. It’s plausible to keep Iwakuma around for another year or two, but he would bring much more in a trade than Happ given his track record. Seattle should be actively shopping Happ, while listening on Iwakuma.

Fernando Rodney, RP

This one is obvious. Rodney has been abysmal out of the bullpen for the Mariners, and dealing him will free up more innings for relievers like Vidal Nuno and Tom Wilhelmsen. Rodney is a free agent at season’s end, so the team should trade him for whatever they can get. Carson Smith, Mark Lowe, Joe Beimel and a soon-to-be-healthy Charlie Furbish leave the team with enough quality relievers so that Rodney wouldn’t be missed.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Players the Tigers Should Target at the Trade Deadline: Tyler Clippard and Scott Kazmir

With the baseball season reaching its annual All-Star break, things aren’t exactly ginger-peachy in the Motor City. The win-now Detroit Tigers own a .500 record at 44-44 and are nine games out of first place. Given the Tigers’ recent track record and desire to win, you’d expect them to be major buyers at the trade deadline. Here are some of the players Detroit and general manager Dave Dombrowski should target at the trade deadline.

Tyler Clippard

Since leaving the New York Yankees in an ill-fated trade for Jonathan Albaladejo, Clippard has long since established himself as one of the premier relievers in the league. Since 2009, his accomplishments include two All-Star appearances, a 32 save season (2012) and another season in which he won 11 contests without starting a game.

Clippard’s ERA since ’09 is a sparkling 2.62 over a whopping 490.2 innings. Over that span, he’s struck out 557 batters. The reliever is now in Oakland following an offseason trade, and has predictably thrived in the cavernous confines of the O.co Coliseum. He’s solidified himself as the team’s closer with 17 saves on the campaign.

Adding the reliever would do a number of things for Detroit’s bullpen. Not only would the addition of Clippard improve the group, it would also ease pressure on the other pitchers. Clippard set-up Joakim Soria in the eighth, therefore allowing Alex Wilson, Blaine Hardy, Al Alburquerque, Neftali Feliz and Bruce Rondon to pitch the seventh inning or earlier in situations with more margin for error and less pressure.

(RELATED: Neftali Feliz Signing a Smart Move by the Tigers)

Scott Kazmir

While Clippard would help stabilize the bullpen, Scott Kazmir would bring much needed help to a rotation that is practically begging for it.

David Price has been everything and more in terms of being the team’s ace, while Anibal Sanchez has rebound as of late (5-0 record, .182 batting average against and a 2.84 ERA over his last six starts). Outside of those two and a seemingly rebounding Justin Verlander, there are major question marks in the Detroit rotation. Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene both started out pitching superbly. The key words there are “started out”. Both have been horrible lately, and Kyle Ryan and Buck Farmer haven’t been much better.

If healthy, Kazmir would fix some of those issues. He can’t clone himself, but he’d be a massive upgrade.

The former Tampa Bay ace hasn’t been racking up the wins like last season when he posted 15. Still, Kazmir has lowered his ERA by nearly an entire run, going from 3.55 last season to 2.49 this year. His walks are up slightly (2.4 last season, 3.0 per nine innings this season), but so are his strikeouts— 7.8 in 2014, 8.5 in 2015.

With only five wins on the season, Kazmir could follow a similar route to Doug Fister in terms of winning significantly more games in Detroit thanks to much-improved run support. He may not be an ace, but he’d fit in well in Motown as the Tigers’ second or third starter.

Cost:

The A’s farm system is not what it once was, specifically in the pitching department. Six of Oakland’s top eight prospects (including their top four overall, according to MLB.com) are position players. Going on that, a number of Tigers pitching prospects could interest Billy Beane and company. Angel Nesbitt showed flashes of potential, as well as a blazing fastball, during his stint in Detroit earlier this season. He may benefit a stint pitching in the O.co Coliseum. Tigers’ Futures Game representative Joe Jimenez could also interest Oakland.

(RELATED: Players the Tigers Could Move at the Trade Deadline)

The Tigers’ rotation struggles have been well documented, but one thing they have brought to light is the number of starters who are near big-league ready. Any one of Farmer, Ryan or Drew VerHagen could thrive in spacious Oakland. Detroit could also dangle infield prospect Dixon Machado.

Verdict:

While both players are rentals, but they might be the difference in the Tigers making or missing the playoffs. Beane will likely sell high on two of his better assets, but Detroit should at the very least kick the tires on both, if not acquire them outright.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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3 Stats from the #Detroit #Tigers 7-5 Loss to the #Oakland #Athletics

  • Eight

The number of hits allowed by Tigers starter Shane Greene. The former Yankee also allowed six runs (four of which were earned) and two hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out two on 81 pitches (48 of which were strikes).

  • Three

The number of runs driven in by Tigers right fielder Tyler Collins. Collins hit a three-run home run in the ninth to pull the Tigers within two, but that was as close as the team got on the day.

  • One

The number of runs allowed by the Tigers bullpen. Pretty good considering the starter only lasted 4.1 innings. Tom Gorzelanny allowed the only run, while Blaine Hardy, Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain all had scoreless appearances.

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3 Stats from the Detroit Tigers 6-1 Loss vs the Oakland Athletics

  • Four

The number of hits by the Tigers. This is detrimental to scoring runs and winning games against most pitchers, but when you do so against Sonny Gray, you’re almost guaranteed to lose.

  • Two

The number of hits by Miguel Cabrera. The slugger’s average moved to .335 after the game. The former MVP accounted for half the Tigers hits and drove in the team’s only run.

  • 136

The number of pitches thrown by the Tigers. Anibal Sanchez had 104 of them over seven innings while Tom Gorzelanny, Angel Nesbitt and Alex Wilson combined to throw 32 pitches, spanning two innings. Gorzelanny and Nesbitt allowed two hits, two runs (both earned) and a walk in two innings after Sanchez allowed four earned runs.

4 Stats from the #Detroit #Tigers 5-3 Loss to the #Oakland #Athletics

  • Nine

The number of strikeouts tallied by Tigers pitchers. Not a bad number, but it doesn’t look outstanding when you allow five runs. Alfredo Simon started the game and posted six strikeouts while Angel Nesbitt, Al Alburquerque and Joakim Soria all recorded a punch out each.

  • 10

The number of times the Tigers reached base. Again, not a bad number, but not amazing when you lose.

  • Three

The number of players with multiple hits by the Tigers. Nick Castellanos, Yoenis Cespedes and James McCann all had two hits. Castellanos drove in two runs while Cespedes scored another.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Alburquerque. After a rough start, the reliever seems to have hit his stride. He’s only allowed a single run since April 28th, lowering his ERA from 11.37 to 3.80 in the process.

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Three Stats from the Detroit #Tigers 3-2 Win vs the Oakland Athletics

  • Six

The number of pitchers used by the Tigers. Wednesday was a bullpen day with Alex Wilson, Kyle Ryan, AL Alburquerque, Blaine Hardy, Joba Chamberlain and Joakim Soria all recording at least one out.

  • Three

The number of runs batted in by Tigers left fielder and former Athletic Yoenis Cespedes. The outfielder won the game for Detroit while also scoring a run and drawing a walk to go along with his three RBI and two hits.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by Wilson, Alburquerque, Chamberlain and Soria. Wilson lowered his ERA to 1.99 after three hitless innings while Alburquerque dropped his below four. His ERA sits at 3.93. Joba Chamberlain earned run average dropped to 1.29 while Soria’s fell to 1.27.

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4 Stats from the Detroit #Tigers 1-0 Win vs the Oakland Athletics

  • Five

The number of hits allowed by David Price in seven shutout innings. The ace also recorded three strikeouts while allowing only one walk.

  • Zero

The number of runs allowed by the bullpen. After Price exited, Joba Chamberlain, Tom Gorzelanny and Joakim Soria combined to put away the A’s. The trio allowed two hits, one of which was an infield single.

  • Two

The number of hits by Anthony Gose. Detroit’s leadoff hitter scored the only run of the game and stole his eighth base of the season. After a first inning single, Gose stole second before advancing to third on a throwing error by Oakland catcher Josh Phegley. He would score on a Rajai Davis sacrifice-fly.

  • Four

The number of walks drawn by the Tigers. On a day when the offense only mustered six hits, drawing four walks was important. While it didn’t lead to more runs, it gave the team extra opportunities to score.

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Five Stats from the Detroit Tigers 4-0 Loss to the Oakland Athletics

  • Four

The number of hits by the Tigers. This simply isn’t going to cut it against most big league opposition. Detroit also drew a singular walk to add to its baserunner total.

  • Zero

The number of hits by shortstop Dixon Machado in his Major League debut. He saw a total of eight pitches and grounded into a double play.

  • One

The number of Tigers with more than one hit. Tyler Collins accounted for half of the Tigers hits with a 2-for-4 showing at the plate. He’s now hitting .267 on the season. On a day when Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were out of the lineup, Detroit couldn’t get the rest of the team to generate any offense.

  • 2

The number of innings pitched by Tigers starter Shane Greene. The former Yankee allowed eight hits and four runs while striking out four.

  • Two

The number of strikeouts by Alex Wilson in only an innings of work. Wilson and Blaine Hardy combined to throw 2.1 innings of shutout ball once Greene departed.

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5 Stats from the Detroit Tigers 9-1 Win over the Chicago White Sox

  • 2

The number of home runs by outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, including his first career grand slam. On the day, the former Oakland slugger went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, one strikeout and…

  • 6

The number of runs driven in by Cespedes. The Cuban outfielder had a career day against the White Sox, almost single-handedly propelling the team to victory. Cespedes also has six hits in eight lifetime at bats against Chicago starter Jose Quintana. Four of those six hits have left the yard.

  • 39

Shane Greene’s ERA on the season. The former Yankee has been one of the best pitchers in the league since joining the Tigers. He allowed his first earned run of the season, raising his ERA drastically from 0.00 to 0.39. Greene has thrown at least seven innings in each of his starts.

(RELATED: Statistical Impact of Tigers’ New Additions)

  • 0

The number of runs surrendered by the Tigers bullpen. Ian Krol and Angel Nesbitt struck out a batter in an inning of work each. The duo surrendered a single hit between them and didn’t walk any batters. Nesbitt has yet to allow a run this season while Krol’s ERA sits at a solid 2.70.

  • .436

Jose Iglesias’ batting average on the season. The shortstop continued his torrid start with another hit on Sunday.

Next up—the Tigers kick off a seven-game home stand with a four-game series against the Yankees on Monday.

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Stats to Know from the Detroit Tigers 8-5 Win vs the Cleveland Indians

  • 4

The number of hits and runs driven in by Miguel Cabrera. Miggy did all this in a mere four plate appearances while also drawing a walk and scoring three runs. The Triple Crown winner went 11-for-14 in the sweep of the Indians.

  • 3

The number of stolen bases by the Tigers. Detroit has often been criticized for a lack of speed, but with Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler, Anthony Gose, Jose Iglesias and Andrew Romine on the roster, they have the tools to be a successful running team. Davis had two of the team’s three steals while Kinsler added the third.

  • 1

The number of errors committed by the Tigers. Entering Monday, the team only had three, good for 12th fewest in the majors. Oakland and New York lead the league with nine errors apiece. Defense was supposed to be an issue for the Tigers, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this season. This happened on Opening Day.

  • 3

Stats pertaining to J.D. Martinez. The outfielder notched three hits in the win, drove in three and hit his third home run of the season. In non-three news, he scored one run.

  • 0

The number of baserunners, or lack-there-of, allowed to reach base by interim closer Joakim Soria. The reliever also recorded a strikeout in his perfect inning.