Mired in a long slump that has them 15 games out of the division lead, the Seattle Mariners are making several players available for trade
The Seattle Mariners have already unloaded veteran slugger Jay Bruce, and it appears they aren’t stopping there.
The Mariners are preparing to go into “sell mode,” according to the MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. General manager Jerry Dipoto is “trying to trade everyone,” Heyman quotes a rival team executive. In addition to Bruce, the players they are actively seeking new homes for are Edwin Encarnacion, Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Tim Beckham and Mike Leake.
Bruce was the first to go, being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. The veteran left-hander is hitting just .212 with Seattle this year with 14 home runs. The Phillies will take on the majority of his $14 million contract that runs into next season.
The Mariners had a strong start to the 2019 season, but a long slump since then has them seemingly giving up on contending this season already. Seattle won 13 of their first 15 games this year. In 45 games since, though, they are just 12-33, the worst record in baseball. They’ve been outscored by 99 runs in that span. The Mariners just ended a month of May where they went 7-21 and had the second-worst team ERA in the Majors.
Seattle enters June with a record of 25-36 and 15 games behind the AL West-leading Houston Astros.
It’s been an incredibly disappointing season for a team that won 89 games a year ago and was in contention for the franchise’s first postseason berth since 2001. The Mariners currently have the 11th-highest payroll in the league at $152 million, but the playoffs remain out of sight. If they want to start unloading salary, they can start with Encarnacion. The veteran first baseman is making more than $21 million this season and could provide a power boost to a contending team. His contract runs out after this season, although he does have a $20 million option for 2020.
Of the other players the Mariners are trying to move, former first-overall pick Beckham has a career-high .819 OPS this season and is still just 29 years old. Gordon is hitting .281 and is a threat to steal every time he’s on base, leading the league in steals three times in his career.
The Mariners 17-year playoff drought is currently the longest in North American professional sports. With the moves they’re trying to make, that streak is almost guaranteed to go up to 18 at the end of this season.