The Time For A Deal Is Now
The Seattle Mariners have a problem and it’s not a new problem either.
Fresh out of the All-Star break the same thing that haunts this team is still present. I guess I shouldn’t have expected it to go away just because the M’s had a few days off.
The problem is easily identifiable if you watched the most recent series against the Angels.
The M’s have enough arms to get by. Their starters outside of one spot have been pretty solid all year. Their bullpen has been the best in the AL.
The problem is the continued lack of offense. It causes the Mariners to continually play in tightly contested, low scoring games. More often than not, the Mariners lose these games.
In 2014 the Mariners have an 11-15 record in games decided by just one run. They have also been shut out 11 times on the season and we aren’t even through July.
The solutions seems easy in theory– The Mariners need to get more offense. Scoring more runs per game will allow them to win more closely contested games and not be shutout nearly as often.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, and their fans, runs and offensive production does not grow on trees, especially mid-season. The M’s are going to have to pull off a trade to get it and it will be a trade in which the M’s receive less than they give up.
I’m not knocking Jack Zduriencik’s ability to make a fair deal. That’s just the nature of a trade deadline deal if you are a buyer trying to make a run at the post season. The buyer almost always gets less.
Who to trade? That is the question and the name that I’ll throw out first might shock you. Yes M’s fans, it is time to say goodbye to Taijuan Walker.
A strong case can be made to keep Walker. He hasn’t pitched much this year due to injury so his numbers are skewed somewhat as a result.
When he pitches you can clearly see why scouts love the kid. His fast ball is electric and his breaking pitches have lots of bite.
Like most 21 year old pitchers he struggles with command of his pitches at times which results in him throwing too many pitches early in ball games.
Will he grow out of that habit?
The good ones do. The ones we have long forgotten about do not. Which one is Walker?
I think we are seeing some changing attitudes about Walker within the M’s organization. Skipper Lloyd McClendon seems more willing to watch Erasmo Ramirez go out there and get shelled over and over again than let Walker learn to pitch a bit at the major league level.
Why? It makes me wonder what’s going on back in that office.
Anyone’s guess is as good as mine on that question. What I do know is that Walker has now had arm problems at a relatively young age and on the surface it appears that he’s not in good favor with the M’s brass. Despite those things, there is still tons of interest from other teams in acquiring this guy.
At the beginning of the year I would have been the first person to say Walker is not available in any deal. Now, I find myself relaxing from that posture.
You can’t have it both ways M’s fans. You’ve all been begging for a long time for the M’s to take some risks, sign some big names, and make gutsy moves in order to get this team competitive again. Well, the M’s have done a couple of those things this year which seem to be working out.
Pull the trigger Jack and get a bat and an arm while Walker’s stock is still high. The team that keeps coming up in this discussion repeatedly is Tampa Bay.
Tampa is shopping David Price and Ben Zobrist.
Make a play for both of them Jack. Price and Zobrist for Walker, Nick Franklin, DJ Peterson and one other B level prospect.
Don’t stop there either. Dustin Ackley is doing his usual .300 plus batting average for the 2nd half of the season. He just might have value again.
Send Ackley to KC along with Chris Taylor and get Billy Butler over here to DH because I can’t watch anymore lack of production at the designated HITTER position.
That’s the deal or something close to it anyway. Do you have the stomach for it M’s fans?
If you do, I’ll see you in the post season. If not, well I guess we can look forward to watching a bunch of prospects play in September.