By Harry Page-Salisbury
Special to 710Sports.com
The Mariners' most glaring need outside of another bat is a fifth starter, and according to a report, they're looking for one via a trade.
The slot is currently occupied by Erasmo Ramirez, who on Monday made arguably his best start since April 1, walking five and allowing four hits over 4.2 innings while keeping the Rays scoreless. Ramirez is 1-4 in eight starts with a 5.97 ERA this year.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Seattle is looking at trade options to replace him in their rotation. Rosenthal tweeted Wednesday that the Mariners are shopping for a starter, saying that a rival league executive informed him of their search.
The Mariners' only legitimate healthy option to supplant Ramirez is Brandon Maurer, who was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after giving up five earned runs over four innings against the last-place Astros on May 29. Maurer is 1-4 with a 7.52 ERA this season.
If the Mariners are unable to find a better option through a trade, they will likely have to wait for one of their top pitching prospects to return from the disabled list.
Taijuan Walker allowed two earned runs over five innings in a Triple-A rehab start Monday and could be called up within a week or two. James Paxton, who was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA with the Mariners this season before injuring his lat, is likely a few weeks from returning.