It’s May And Trade Talk Is Already Heating Up For The Mariners

Mariners Rebounding But Many Think They’ll Deal

The Seattle Mariners are finally playing the kind of baseball we all expected they’d be playing way back in the first part of April. (Maybe not the last two games, but still)  The starting pitching is better, the hitting has been tremendous and the bullpen is still a little shaky but has improved with the additions of Joe Beimel and Mark Lowe.

Despite the fact that home runs are flying and the M’s winning, a great many people believe the M’s are shopping , for more offense, specifically.  The name I’m hearing the most is one that is somewhat familiar, Troy Tulowitzki.

The Colorado Rockies shortstop certainly is a force to be reckoned with if you are a pitcher.  Currently the scrappy right hander is hitting .298 with 13 doubles, a couple of homers and 11 RBIs.  Seems pretty good to me.  Why would the Rockies want to ship him out?

Troy Tulowitzki

Does Troy want out of Colorado?

Well, the Rockies might feel they are out of it already.  The Rockies find themselves in last place at 11-18 and a whopping 9.5 games out of first place.  That’s a lot to be behind after just six weeks of a season.  Then  again, it is just six weeks into a season.

Maybe it’s Tulowitzki himself that feels that way.  It’s certainly not the only time we’ve heard Tulowitzki might not be happy.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s Troy that wants out because he wants to be on a contender.

If the M’s want to make this deal the price is going to be high and I’m not even talking about the players required to make the deal happen.  We’ll get to that in a minute.  I’m talking about Tulowitzki’s contract.

Currently, Troy is signed through 2020 with an option for the 2021 season.   If you keep him on your roster through 2020, that privilege will cost you $98 million if you are the Mariners.  If you want that extra year, it jumps up to $109 million.

That works out to nearly 19 million per season for the next six seasons and we haven’t even talked about the fact that you still owe him the remainder of his $20 million salary for this season.    That’s a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy that’s already passed the age of 30.

On top of all that money, the Rockies are going to want players, several players, in exchange for Tulowitzki’s services.  First and most obvious, they’re going to need a shortstop in exchange.

The fact that Brad Miller is unhappy as a utility man makes him a likely trading piece.

The fact that Brad Miller is unhappy as a utility man makes him a likely trading piece.

The good news here is that the Mariners have shortstops coming out of their ears.  Chris Taylor is major league ready and Brad Miller can play short , although recently, the M’s have decided he’s not a shortstop anymore and he’s better suited for a utility role, a move that Miller does not like.  That disappointment in Miller about not being a starting shortstop anymore might just be enough of a difference between Miller and Taylor to make Miller the guy that goes.

Let’s be honest here– we know it won’t be just Miller required to get Troy away from the Rockies. It’s going to take a top level, young player or prospect to be included and the name that Colorado will ask for is Taijuan Walker.

In the past, Jack Zduriencik has been reluctant to trade Walker.  He’s passed on several deals (Upton, Kemp, to name a couple) that would have brought a bat in and sent Walker out.  Could a gold glove shortstop with a hot, powerful bat be the type of return that would finally make Jack cave?

I honestly don’t know that answer to that, but let’s assume the answer is yes for a moment.  I still don’t think Walker and Miller are a big enough package to satisfy the Rockies demands in exchange for Tulowitzki.  No, the Rockies will want at least a prospect as part of the deal too.

Danny Hultzen is a name that comes to mind as are young hitters like DJ Peterson or Alex Jackson.  Perhaps now you are thinking twice if you are Zduriencik here.  A package of Miller, Walker and Peterson plus over $100 million in payroll is a steep, steep price.

Anyone else thinking twice?  You should be.  This is precisely why I don’t think the rumors have much merit.  The Mariners are not going to give up the kind of talent required AND take on the huge amount of salary that Tulowitzki will bring to their payroll.

It’s fun to dream but in this case, I don’t see the deal happening for the Mariners.  It just doesn’t make sense.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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