Hot Sexy Seattle Mariners Trade Rumors Update

This is a very deadline-appropriate picture

All right everybody, let's see what we've got! Everything qualifies come trade deadline season!

(1) You may have seen this article yesterday in which Chuck Armstrong calls a Brandon League trade "not likely at all." What's very interesting about this is that Chuck Armstrong is not the Mariners' general manager! The Mariners' general manager must have been unavailable, as he was presumably tied up fielding phone calls from the Yankees and Red Sox about Felix Hernandez.

Dave dropped in to make the case for trading League over at USSM, and I think he's right. League's a closer having an effective season. He has another year and a half of team control. There'll be a ton of relievers available this winter, and by next summer League will be a rental, if he's even still pitching well. It doesn't seem like there's much reason to hang on to him beyond this deadline. But then, there are a lot of relievers available right now, too, so it's entirely possible League just isn't generating sufficient interest. It doesn't help that there are whispers that his closer mentality has deteriorated over the past three weeks. Oh no, he's tentative again!

I suspect that Brandon League is available. I suspect that the Mariners have received a few phone calls, and will receive at least a few more. I do not know if he's going to be moved, because the reliever market is hard to pin down at the moment. The Mariners can't let themselves think that League is unmovable because he would leave the bullpen in tatters. The main priority right now is not building the Major League roster. It is building the organization, and if someone offers a decent package for League, it should be accepted.

(2) "Once and for all," Jon Heyman confirms that the Mariners aren't trading Felix. Once and for all, indeed. There's a very good and very rational argument to be made that the Mariners should consider a Felix deal, but the constant check-ins are enough to make anyone dig in their heels. I can't blame the Mariners if some of this is coming out of stubbornness, because that's only human. I'd be pissed off and stubborn too.

Phone: /rings
Cashman: Hello?
Zduriencik: Hi, this is Jack Zduriencik. I'd like to talk to you about Robinson Cano.
Cashman: He is not available.
Zduriencik: All right, thank you.

Phone: /rings
Cashman: Hello?
Zduriencik: Hi, this is Jack Zduriencik. I'd like to talk to you about Robinson Cano.
Cashman: He is not available.
Zduriencik: All right, thank you.

Phone: /rings
Cashman: Hello?
Zduriencik: Hi, this is Jack Zduriencik. I'd like to talk to you about Robinson Cano.
Cashman: He is not available.
Zduriencik: All right, thank you.

Phone: /rings
Cashman: Hello?
Zduriencik: Hi, this is Jack Zduriencik. I'd like to talk to you about Robinson Cano.
Cashman: He is not available.
Zduriencik: All right, thank you.

Phone: /rings
Cashman: Hello?
Zduriencik: Hi, this is Jack Zduriencik. I'd like to talk to you about Robinson Cano.
Cashman: HE IS NOT AVAILABLE
Zduriencik: DO YOU SEE
Cashman:
Cashman: Man, I had no idea.
Zduriencik: Right?
Cashman: I'm really sorry.
Zduriencik: Isn't it annoying?
Cashman: I'm really sorry, my bad.
Zduriencik: It's all right, I get it.
Cashman: It's just-
Zduriencik: Yeah.
Cashman: Cool.
Zduriencik: Cool.
Cashman: Hey, you want a Brandon Laird?
Zduriencik: What's that?
Cashman: Hell if I know, but I got one.
Zduriencik: Sure, I'll toss you a ptbnl.
Cashman: You know that's an acronym right
Cashman: It's not a word that you say

(3) Erik Bedard's coming off the DL on Friday, and Jon Heyman paints it as a "big showcase," which makes sense. I initially mistyped that as "bi showcase," which made less sense. Heyman specifically names the Tigers and Red Sox as interested parties, but suggests that the pool of potential suitors is quite large.

As it should be. Bedard is as talented as any other starter on the market, and though he obviously carries a certain known risk, his health history and the fact that he won't bring back free agent compensation should drive down his price. Which makes him an affordable possible ace. There's a lot of risk, but there's a lot of potential reward.

So we'll see how this one goes, and we can all cross our fingers that Bedard is healthy and effective against Tampa Bay. He could be held until August, but the Mariners probably won't want to be too patient. He could also be held all year and then re-signed, but he could be re-signed after the season regardless.

What would Bedard bring back? Not a blockbuster, or even anything close. But a decent, non-elite prospect would be reasonable, and Bedard could also be included as part of a package. Might the Mariners be able to find a young, moderately talented bat? Stay tuned!

(4) Jon Morosi says that the Mariners have checked in on Colby Rasmus, making them one of a million teams to have checked in on Colby Rasmus. There is not a front office in baseball who has an excuse for not checking in on Colby Rasmus. But Rasmus is a good example of a guy Zduriencik could target should he look to do more than simply sell. Rasmus would be a piece for now, and a piece for the future.

If you're unfamiliar, Rasmus is a soon-to-be 25-year-old outfielder under team control through 2014 who's long been locked in Tony La Russa's doghouse. The Cardinals have driven down his value lately by giving him more sporadic playing time. But he's one of the top talents in the league, the possessor of zillions of tools, and by no means would he be moved on the cheap. If you're talking Rasmus, you could easily be talking Michael Pineda.

I know that's hard to think about, but big talent doesn't come for nothing. I wouldn't anticipate that anything will materialize here, but should something happen, it'll be a doozy.

(5) Finally, there's talk that teams are looking at both Jason Vargas and Doug Fister. Vargas has done anything but improve his stock lately, but he has that durable-left-hander feel to him, while Fister throws strikes and is under team control forever. It makes sense that other teams would be paying attention, since these are two moderately effective arms on a team going nowhere. Their value can't possibly be that high, though. The key for the Mariners might be pitching Fister as a younger and more available, AL-proven alternative to Hiroki Kuroda. But I just can't imagine another GM looking at either of these guys and thinking "I want to pay a lot for that." They're individually desirable, but not in a blockbuster kind of way.

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