Currently in last place in the AL West, the Mariners will approach the trading deadline as sellers, writes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s John Hickey.
The Houston Astros apparently turned down the Mariners last week when the Seattle club offered outfielder Randy Winn for pitcher Brandon Backe, who is 6-6 for the Astros. It’s possible that trade is being revisited.
No deal was in place last night, but Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi spent plenty of time over the weekend talking with his San Diego counterpart, Kevin Towers. The two have been frequent trading partners in the past.
While one Seattle club source said something could happen before tomorrow’s first game of a series in Oakland, another high-ranking member of the Seattle brain trust said after the game no deal is close.
Boone is in the last year of his contract, and he’s known a trade would be a real possibility if the Mariners weren’t in contention. He’s had a down year (.237, six homers and 33 RBIs) but after some time off to work on his swing, Boone had six hits in the three-game series against the Padres, including his first home run in four weeks.
Rookie Jose Lopez (above), the heir apparent at second base, is still on Seattle’s roster. Lopez started four games for Boone last week when Boone was given time off.
The Mariners have made it clear they want Lopez, 21, to play every day, either in Seattle or at Triple-A Tacoma, and the fact he is still on the roster may indicate Boone’s days with the Mariners are dwindling. If no deal is done by tomorrow, it’s likely Lopez would be sent back to Tacoma.
Moyer would be more difficult to trade because he’s a 10-and-5 man, a 10-year veteran who has played the past five years with the same team. Winn has been among the club’s most consistent hitters, and with a relatively modest contract ($3.75 million this year and a possible $5 million next) could be attractive to clubs who don’t have money to burn.