July 31st Isn’t Really The M’s Deadline
Wondering why there are so few rumors involving what the M’s might do between now and 1 pm pacific time tomorrow, when the trade deadline passes? It’s fairly simple – for the Mariners, this deadline isn’t really one. Besides Brandon League and maybe David Aardsma, the guys that the M’s are willing to move are players who will clear waivers in August.
At this point, the best the Mariners can hope for with Jack Wilson is that another team agrees to assume the rest of his contract – there’s no way they’re going to get anything of value back as well. If a team put in a waiver claim in August, the M’s would (or should, at least) just let him go. Tomorrow’s deadline doesn’t really affect Jack Wilson.
While the situation is a little different with Jose Lopez, it’s still likely that the M’s could trade him in August. Because of the buy-out in his contract, they’re not really looking for salary relief, but that option/buyout is also why they’d be able to deal him past the deadline. For most of the non-contending teams, a guy who they’d have to buyout of his deal this winter isn’t very attractive, so it’s unlikely that they’d make a claim. The only teams who would be interested in Lopez’s services for the rest of 2010 are those who need some infield depth on the cheap, and it would only take one team to make a waiver claim for the Mariners to work out a deal with that club.
Casey Kotchman’s the same way. You might get a team to bite on him as a defensive replacement for their first baseman and 1B depth down the stretch, but his performance and salary will let him slide right through waivers.
For Jack Zduriencik, the only guys he really has to move by tomorrow if he wants to trade them this year are Aardsma and League. Power arms under team control for several more years wouldn’t get past too many teams, so they aren’t August trade chips. But pretty much everyone else on the roster can be traded after the deadline, which is why the M’s are on the periphery right now. Teams are focusing on making trades for guys who won’t be available on August 1st. Once they get that settled, they can come back and talk to the M’s about the guys they have, and perhaps make a deal in a week or two.