2012 deadline deals in retrospect

Last June, I wrote a piece reflecting on several non-waiver deadline deals made in July 2011. My rationale for looking back so far was simple. Most of these trades involve prospects who are years away from reaching the majors — assuming they ever do. Since I enjoyed picking away at those old trades last year, I thought I’d do it again and put several 2012 deadline deals under the microscope this time. There weren’t many sexy moves that year, but I chose a few that I found interesting. I hope…

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Checking in on Happ and Saunders

After the conclusion of the 2014 season we had a pretty good idea that Michael Saunders had played his final game with the Seattle Mariners. Comments made by general manager Jack Zduriencik and the player suggested that it was time for the two sides to part ways. Such things happen in the world of professional sports, and the armchair GM’s quickly began to determine where Saunders would be dealt and what a potential return would be. I’ll admit it: I wasn’t particularly ecstatic to find out that J.A. Happ would…

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Dustin Ackley’s Future in Seattle

After falling one win short of a postseason berth in 2014, the Seattle Mariners have spent their off-season attempting to improve themselves in their two weakest areas; offensive production and the outfield. Adding outfielders Nelson Cruz, Justin Ruggiano, and Seth Smith during the off-season and Austin Jackson at last year’s trading deadline improves their offensive outlook and  dramatically transforms the team’s outfield situation. By adding these players and turning the page on Michael Saunders, Corey Hart, and Abraham Almonte, the Mariners are certain to have two different starting outfielders and…

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An alternate hot stove strategy for Seattle

For over five years, the Seattle Mariners’ offensive output has hampered the team from being considered competitive at the start of the regular season. Consequently, the organization has spent the past two years aggressively courting offensive player-makers capable of leading the team to their first postseason berth since 2001. The arrival of 2014 American League (AL) home run leader Nelson Cruz and the complimentary bats of Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano should bolster the Mariners’ offense. But, will these acquisitions be enough to let Seattle emerge as a serious contender…

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M’s still have financial flexibility for a big move

As the calendar turns into January, the hot stove typically cools until pitchers and catchers report in February. Although in recent years, including this one, a high-profile Scott Boras client has remained unsigned and figures to be a talking point for the next couple weeks. James Shields is also available, but Max Scherzer is the big fish that has yet to find a home. The Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees are the most discussed landing spots for Scherzer, and one can’t count out the Boston Red Sox or Los Angeles…

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Mariners need more than one more player

The Seattle Mariners fell tantalizingly short of making the 2014 postseason by just one game, which has led to high 2015 expectations by many in the national media and within the Mariners’ fan base. Many pundits and fans have hailed that the addition of slugger Nelson Cruz as the move that will get Seattle over the hump and into the postseason for the first time since 2001, while others believe that the team still needs one more bat to ensure contention. While Cruz will certainly help Seattle improve and adding…

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Ruggiano adds value to Mariners outfield

The Seattle Mariners added another right-handed bat to their roster today with the acquisition of outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league pitcher Matt Brazis. The former Cub had a .281/.337/.429 triple slash during an injury-plagued 2014. Intense trade rumors have swirled around the Mariners for the past 24 hours after Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported that the Seattle was close to trading for a hitter. Hearing rumblings that the #mariners are closing in on a trade for a hitter. — Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December…

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Is Byrd an answer for right field?

The outfield market was thin to begin with and after a couple transactions during the Winter Meetings, it is now even thinner. The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to trade Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox dealt Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers. Kemp in particular was a target of the Seattle Mariners who reportedly had a deal in place that would have sent Brad Miller and Michael Saunders to LA for the outfielder and cash. We have already heard that there is some talk…

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