By Brent Stecker
The Seattle Mariners' 25-man roster looks the same as it did before Wednesday's MLB trade deadline, and ESPN senior baseball writer Jayson Stark is not a fan of their lack of moves.
Stark designated the Mariners as a loser in his "Trade deadline winners and losers" column, citing general manager Jack Zduriencik's high asking price for the team's veteran bats as the reason.
Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales was the subject of trade rumors, but he and the rest of the team's 25-man roster was left untouched at the MLB trade deadline Wednesday. (AP)
"No 'seller' inspired more consternation among the clubs we surveyed than the Mariners," wrote Stark. "In a market with essentially no power bats, this was a team that had three of them (Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez), all in the last year of their contracts – and priced every one of them as if they were Willie Mays."
It was expected that the Mariners would look to move at least one player from that trio to ensure they received some compensation from the soon-to-be free agents, but their decision to keep all three lends credence to the idea that Zduriencik will try to re-sign each in the offseason.
As Zduriencik told Mariners insider Shannon Drayer, he would have been open to any trade offer that blew him away. But with the team playing winning baseball in July, he wasn't going to alter its chemistry just to get a return of a few little-known prospects. Regardless of if that's a wise idea or not, it clearly didn't endear Zduriencik to an anonymous rival executive, as Stark noted.
"'What the heck is Jack doing?' one exasperated executive on a 'buyer' team asked Wednesday morning," Stark wrote. "'What he's asking for – it's crazy. He should be able to move any of those three guys. They could all be the final touch on somebody's roster. But with every one of them, it's always, 'If somebody wants to blow us away...' In this era, with all the parity in baseball today, why would any team want to risk giving up a premium prospect for a rental player?'"
The Mariners did make one trade Wednesday, but it was about as minor as it gets – they shipped Triple-A infielder Robert Andino to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash considerations.