It’s that time of year again, but this time the Mariners JUST might be buyers instead of sellers. Despite an underwhelming showing since the All-Star Game, it seems that the M’s are still willing to make some moves and grind out the rest of the season for that coveted second wild card spot. Just a few days ago in a move that could arguably be considered a hostage situation, the Mariners traded Stephen Pryor to Minnesota for Kendrys Morales. As Connor noted, this move alone fails to impress as Morales has been pretty dismal since return from his extended vacation. He’s put up .266/.257/.311 and has been worth -1.0 WAR in 42 plate appearances. Now, we do have to keep in mind that this small sample size does not clearly reflect his career numbers and true abilities, but the Mariners are really not in a position to let this play out with the season hanging by a thread.
But fear not! Jack Z must have something hidden up his sleeves (or in his jacket), right? RIGHT???
Well apparently he does, but it may not be the answer we’re really looking for. It seems that the Rockies, who have also been having a few rough years, have the outfield depth and losing record that makes them candidates for helping Seattle out. As such, It has been made clear that Zduriencik has made a public offer for Colorado’s CF Drew Stubbs. Stubbs has been putting up decent numbers on the surface this year with 1.9 WAR to-date and a line of .302/.338/.517 but upon further inspection, it seems that his numbers are bolstered by the thin air at Coors Field. Unfortunately, his numbers on the road paint a very different picture with a line of .229/.277/.343 and 2 HR vs. the 9 he has at home. This would not bode well for a player who has spent the majority of the season in the hitter’s haven, as Safeco is quite the opposite.
Some of you may be thinking, “Hey, but what about James Jones?” To which I say, maybe he’s not actually that good. While Stubbs’ offensive production is not much greater than Jones’, he does provide much more pop, better defense (0.4 UZR vs. Jonesy’s -9.1), a right hand in a lefty-heavy lineup. Check out this sweet catch Stubbs made just a few weeks back:
Personally, I could see a world where we play Stubbs in CF while moving Jones to a corner so that both may provide strong outfield defense. This could keep Jones’ speed in the lineup and also rid us of the very weird Romero-Chavez-Hart platoon that McClendon has been putting out.
In all, this is a very sticky situation that the M’s are treading, as the M’s would likely have to give up too many pieces to acquire Stubbs seeing as the Rockies have yet to answer the phone. He is only a year and a half away from free agency so giving up one of our top prospects would probably result in another loss of a future perennial All-Star and an increase of Rainier sales throughout Seattle. Regardless, Stubbs is probably not the answer on his own but would still make for a decent upgrade in our Saunder-less outfield. In the end, the Mariners still need to be thinking about making smarter offensive upgrades and acquiring another starting pitcher (Bartolo, where art thou?) before they blow their farm on these band-aid solutions. I just hope that Z thinks long and hard before he makes any brash decisions.