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After being 10 video games beneath .500 on June 19, the Seattle Mariners have crawled again to just some video games away from a wildcard berth. With this in thoughts, we should always contemplate methods the Mariners may improve their second-half competitiveness through the commerce market.

Thus far, the pitching employees has been a power of the Mariners. Sure, augmenting the bullpen and even the beginning rotation must also be priorities. However suboptimal run manufacturing has been a recurring theme all through the season. The truth is, solely the cellar-dwelling A’s have scored two-or-fewer runs in a recreation extra usually (39) than Seattle has this yr (36).

Fixing this deficiency is paramount to creating a second-half surge in direction of the postseason a actuality.

Weakest Hyperlink

Opinions will possible differ on what the Mariners ought to goal to enhance run scoring. However to me, the lineup’s  weakest hyperlink so far has been the dearth of manufacturing from the second base place. Compounding issues, there aren’t any apparent inside choices to supplant underperforming incumbents.

Certain, Opening Day outfielders Jesse Winker and Jarred Kelenic have struggled on the plate with Kelenic now taking part in for Class-AAA Tacoma. However Winker has been trying extra like his normal self over the previous month. Plus, potential assist seems to be on the way in which. The Mariners anticipate the return of Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis from the injured checklist early within the second half. Plus, Taylor Trammell needs to be again from a hamstring pressure sooner or later. There’s motive for guarded optimism concerning the outfield.

Once we take a look at the infield, the general state of affairs is sweet with one obtrusive exception. The Mariners are receiving solid-or-better manufacturing from first basemen Ty France and Carlos Santana, shortstop J.P. Crawford, and third baseman Eugenio Suárez. Then there’s second base.

Throughout the board, Seattle second basemen collectively rank within the bottom-five in practically each important offensive class with two notable exceptions. They’ve the bottom strikeout charge in MLB in comparison with their second base contemporaries and are mid-pack at drawing walks. In any other case, it’s been an unproductive first half.

Certain, Opening Day second baseman Adam Frazier and first backup Abraham Toro have delivered with their bats, at occasions. However the duo’s total numbers throughout Seattle’s first 82 video games recommend extra is required from the place transferring ahead.

M’s 2B Stats vs MLB Averages for 2B
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
Frazier
8.5
11.6
.219
.287
.290
71
0.1
Toro
6.2
16.2
.185
.237
.333
63
-0.2
MLB
7.9
19.5
.242
.308
.378
95

As we just lately mentioned, a problem probably affecting the productiveness of Frazier and Toro is the low quantity of exhausting contact every has made this season. To be clear, hitters can contribute to an offense with out making numerous loud contact. However the margin for error is way smaller when well-struck balls are rare, which has been the case with Frazier and Toro.

Enterprise Notes

Okay, I’ve give you 5 potential commerce targets for the Mariners to pursue. First, a number of notes.

With an expanded playoff format this season, fewer golf equipment could also be enthusiastic about dealing away established gamers. Moreover, organizations prepared to promote might not have a lot left to commerce away. In any case, groups so dangerous they’re already out of competition might have barren cabinets.

The 5 names I’ve recognized needs to be recognizable to everybody. That mentioned, we don’t know whether or not their golf equipment can be amenable to dealing gamers with multiple yr of membership management remaining. Just one pending free agent seems on the checklist we’re about to debate.

Every participant carries some degree of threat whether or not it’s performance-wise, monetary, or each. That’s a part of doing enterprise within the weeks main as much as the MLB commerce deadline. Generally, your GM hits a house run. Different occasions, a deal will crash and burn together with their group.

Lastly, I don’t consider I’ve ever efficiently recognized a participant in a bit like this who went on to turn out to be a Mariner the identical yr. Let’s face it. Seattle’s entrance workplace is teeming with folks a lot smarter and extra astute than me. So, let’s simply have just a little enjoyable discussing the next names.


2B
HR
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
25
5
10.9
18.4
.263
.351
.424
116
1.3

As a lot as Seattle followers may need to see a reunion between the Mariners and the 28-year-old, this one is a attain contemplating he signed a five-year contract extension with Arizona in March. Nonetheless, stranger issues have occurred. Plus, I haven’t seen point out of a no-trade clause by media retailers of web sites like Baseball Prospectus and Spotrac. Then once more, it’s not unusual for partial and full no-trade stipulations to turn out to be public information later within the lifetime of a contract.

On the very least, contrasting Marte’s numbers to what the Mariners have obtained from its second baseman helps additional emphasize the necessity to get higher manufacturing from the place.

Marte isn’t producing on the similar degree he did in 2019 when he was an All-Star and fourth place finisher in NL MVP voting. However his present stats stay effectively above league averages. Moreover, the switch-hitter’s 25 doubles are eight greater than Seattle’s group chief – Suárez.

Clearly, Marte’s presence would characterize a right away and important improve for the Mariners. However there may be some monetary peril to think about. The native of the Dominican Republic continues to be owed $70 million via his age-33 season with a $Three million buyout for the next season (2028). Well being is one other issue to think about.

Ever since becoming a member of the D-Backs in 2017, Marte has handled nagging hamstring points that normally sidelined him for a number of days at most. However final yr he appeared in simply 90 video games resulting from a hamstring pressure and is presently nursing a balky hammy, which has restricted him to designated hitter duties for about two weeks. Transferring ahead, the likelihood exists lower-leg issues will worsen as soon as the eight-year veteran is on the flawed facet of 30.


2B
HR
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
15
17
7.2
22.2
.270
.331
.524
131
2.0

Our lone rental is having fun with a profession yr, which might be good or dangerous information. Maybe Drury is solely having a terrific season and able to capitalize on his pending free company. Then once more, we shouldn’t overlook how a lot Frazier scuffled after becoming a member of the Padres final July. Previous to the commerce, he was additionally placing up private bests and represented Pittsburgh on the 2021 All-Star recreation.

It’s doable Drury’s second-half numbers regress. In any case, he has a 90 wRC+ in simply over 2,000 plate appearances. Furthermore, he’s on a tempo to set a private greatest in video games performed. His present excessive is 135 video games set in 2017 and he hasn’t appeared in 100-plus contests since 2019. Maybe the right-handed hitter’s manufacturing normalizes over the ultimate two months of the season.

One thing else to think about. Drury performs his residence video games in hitter-friendly Nice American Ballpark. How his energy numbers may translate to T-Cellular Park is unclear. But it surely’s affordable to anticipate the Oregonian wouldn’t be as productive in Emerald Metropolis residence contests.

This season, Drury has performed third base (39 begins) extra usually than second base (17 begins). However he does have roughly the identical variety of profession video games at every place. The 29-year-old additionally has frolicked at each nook outfield spots, however by no means as a starter.

Having mentioned all that, Drury has a comparatively modest wage – $700 thousand. Subsequently, the monetary burden for an MLB group is minimal.


2B
HR
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
9
2
8.5
13.9
.210
.292
.268
69
-0.1

Between his 4 years with the Astros and present stint in Oakland, Mariners followers are very acquainted with the Tennessean. That mentioned, he might not be the form of participant they need the group purchase this month. It seems Kemp’s 2022 numbers look similar to Frazier’s.

Nonetheless, Kemp does have postseason expertise from his Houston days. On high of that, he’s been in playoff races as a member of the Cubs and A’s. This sort of expertise within the Mariners clubhouse may probably present dividends past what the left-handed hitter delivers together with his bat.

In recent times, Kemp has primarily appeared at second base and left subject. He additionally has 38 profession begins in middle subject. Nonetheless, his most up-to-date begin on the place was in 2019 with the Astros.

Whereas fan apprehension with Kemp’s manufacturing this yr could be comprehensible, it’s vital to acknowledge he’s only a season faraway from hitting .279/.382/.418 with a 127 wRC+ with Oakland. Maybe the franchise’s offseason purge of expertise and taking part in for a group destined for the AL West basement is weighing on the previous Vanderbilt Commodore. A change of surroundings to a location with a contending ballclub might be precisely what the 30-year-old wants.


2B
HR
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
8
2
7.8
9.5
.295
.353
.429
124
1.3

The Wilmington, Delaware native possesses intensive profession expertise at second base and third base. Plus, he began 23 video games at shortstop with Tampa Bay final yr and he’s frolicked at each nook outfield spots, though it’s been a number of years. That is the form of positional versatility the Mariners covet. Even higher, Wendle can hit.

As with Kemp, the 32-year-old Wendle possesses postseason expertise from 4 years with he Rays, together with the 2020 World Sequence. Once more, this intangible is one thing to think about when pursuing roster assist for a group with a variety of younger gamers and veterans with restricted playoff expertise.

Wendle missed all of June with a hamstring damage, however is about to return on July 8. Assuming he’s wholesome, it’s doable Miami would contemplate parting methods with the 2021 All-Star. Nonetheless, the Marlins are solely three video games away from the third NL wild card berth. It’s believable the group opts to maintain Wendle and chase the postseason.

Then once more, the Marlins are infamous for sustaining a low payroll. Wendle is incomes $4.6 million this season with a $6.Three million membership choice for subsequent yr with a $75,000 buyout. If the group decides to attend one other yr to contend, dealing the left-handed hitter might be an choice.


2B
HR
BB%
Ok%
AVG
OBP
SLG
wRC+
fWAR
5
5
9.0
25.6
.212
.293
.415
106
0.4

Up to now, we’ve been discussing NL gamers since one of the best AL candidates are taking part in for groups forward of the Mariners within the standings. Then once more, GM Jerry Dipoto hasn’t made a deal commerce with the Rays in a few yr – JeDi is overdue!

Why not a commerce for a second baseman?

Lowe’s manufacturing is down this season, which is probably going attributable to a decrease again damage that has him on the 60-day IL. That mentioned, the 28-year-old tasks to rejoin the Rays after the All-Star break. Regardless of his difficulties this season, Lowe shouldn’t be neglected as a possible improve for the Mariners. In any case, he does have a profession .251/.337/.508 slash-line with a 132 wRC+, was a 2019 All-Star, and obtained AL MVP votes in 2020 and 2021.

Would Dipoto really feel snug with dealing away prospects to amass a participant, who’s been largely absent within the first half of the season? One thing else to ponder. Decrease again issues can typically turn out to be continual. Most significantly, will the Rays have curiosity in dealing the Suffolk, Virginia native throughout a heated postseason race to a membership additionally within the subject of contenders?

Assuming the Mariners have an interest, monetary concerns may immediate the low-revenue Rays to maneuver Lowe – even when it means transferring him to a possible wild card rival. The Maryland native is signed via the 2024 season and owed $14 million over the following two years. Plus, there are two membership choices for 2025-26 totaling $21 million. Maybe the chance to pare payroll entices Tampa Bay into brokering a deal.


Actuality Test

Though Mariners followers might not need hear it, the group may select to stay with Frazier and Toro at second base. Frazier does have a profession 99 wRC+, which suggests he’s been a league-average hitter throughout his seven big-league seasons. Furthermore, the group is reportedly smitten with the potential current in Toro’s bat.

Nonetheless, the Mariners lineup wants an improve past the return of Haniger and Lewis. Not solely to enhance present manufacturing ranges, however to hedge towards the lack of different gamers to damage and guard towards regression by the group’s present high performers. A number of of the second basemen we’ve mentioned are succesful doing this for Dipoto’s membership.

My Oh My…

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Luke Arkins

Luke is a local New Yorker, who grew up as a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he determined to make Seattle his residence.
In 2014, Luke joined the Prospect Insider group. Throughout baseball season, he can usually be discovered observing the native group at T-Cellular Park.
You possibly can observe Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins

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