The Seattle Mariners chose to engage in some transactions at the Major League Baseball trading deadline, as Brandon League heads to the Dodgers and Steve Delabar went to Toronto. Neither of these deals were blockbusters by any means, nor do I think you could argue that the Mariners really moved forward or backwards with these deals. Sound uninspiring? In general, these deals weren't that significant or particularly exciting.
What they got
With these two deals, the Mariners got more prospects. This is standard procedure for the Mariners, as they were unlikely to get proven Major League talent. Maybe these youngsters will develop, but I don't have high hopes. Eric Thames and Leon Landry sound like a semi-interesting outfielders, and Logan Bawcom is probably a future middle reliever. If Mariner fans were hoping to get a dynamic young hitter from these deals, they will probably be disappointed. However, Seattle didn't exactly give up a lot to get these prospects.
The trades not made
I am glad that the Mariners did not trade away Jason Vargas. While Vargas has been an up-and-down pitcher, he just seems like a guy that would do well somewhere else, and make Seattle regret a trade. If Vargas had been traded, I don't know if the Mariners would have gotten great value for him. Kevin Millwood also wasn't dealt, though I wonder if he might be involved in a waiver wire transaction at some point.
What it means
League is still a good thrower, and he has the talent to be a closer in this league. However, the emergence of Tom Wilhelmsen made Brandon expendable, particularly since the Mariners might not have signed him in the offseason. It also means that the Mariners are not necessarily ready to jettison Vargas or Millwood. Kevin won't necessarily be around long term, but perhaps the M's will work on a multi-year deal for Jason.
Are the Mariners waving the white flag? Not exactly. However, they didn't exactly upgrade the team.
The author lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in Seattle and still roots faithfully for the Mariners even though they are sometimes frustrating to watch. He gets to Seattle whenever he can to see his M's. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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