Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 8/3/14
M’s Make Two Deadline Deals As a whole, the 2014 MLB trade deadline will likely be talked about as one of the most active days of trading in baseball history. Several teams like the A’s and Tigers went into “All In” mode and made some serious waves with their acquisitions. Did Jack make the right moves? The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, made some moves that might not seem as flashy on the surface.  They did make moves in an attempt to win now, and that is more than we can say in recent years. When you look at the Mariner’s moves I think you have to remember where they find themselves in the playoff chase to really understand why they didn’t start trading away bigger names. At deadline time the Mariners were tied with the Yankees at 3 games back of the Blue Jays for the 2nd AL Wild Card spot. This new playoff system deployed by MLB gives both leagues two Wild Cards who in turn play each other in a one game, do or die, showdown for the right to go on to a five game series with a divisional champion team. 1 game… ONE game. Is it wise for the Mariners, or any team to sell the house, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, DJ Peterson, and anyone else you can think of for just the CHANCE at one single, win or go home, playoff game? With a pitcher like Felix Hernandez on the mound, you could make a solid argument for going all in to get into that game and putting him out there to start it.  After all Felix is having his best season ever in 2014, right? In fact, in his last start he set a MLB record by going 7 innings and allowing 2 or fewer runs for the 14th consecutive time. There’s one thing you are forgetting though–  Felix LOST that game 2-0! Is it wise to sell the house for one game?  I say no which is why I give the Mariners a lot of credit for making the two deadline deal moves that they did make. Look for Denorfia to Platoon with Saunders (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) From the Padres the M’s acquired Chris Denorfia, an outfielder who will play right field for the Mariners.  He will replace Stefen Romero who is clearly just not ready to hit big league pitching. Denorfia is a guy who owns a .301 career average against lefties.  That’s something that the Mariners really were lacking on offense. When Michael Saunders returns in a couple of weeks from the DL it will set up a nice platoon situation in right field with Saunders and Denorfia. All the Mariners had to give up to rent Denorfia for the remainder of this year was Abraham Almonte whom they had given up on anyway and a AA pitcher that wasn’t even their top 15 prospects list. The other player the M’s brought in is Austin Jackson from Detroit.  Jackson is a true lead off hitter and legit centerfielder whom the M’s will control through the 2015 season. Austin Jackson is an upgrade in center and at the plate. Jackson gives the M’s some credibility defensively in center as he is much more polished than James Jones. There won’t be many Jackson home runs but he does have a little pop in that bat.  James Jones hit okay to begin with but the league adjusted to him and his average was beginning to plummet.  Jones also has next to no power at the plate. To acquire Jackson the M’s did a three way deal with Detroit and Tampa.  Nick Franklin winds up heading to the Rays where he will finally get a much deserved, legit chance to play 2nd base.  With Robinson Cano on board for 10 years the M’s knew he wouldn’t get that shot here. I like these moves.  Anyone who says the M’s failed again at the deadline or is defining them “losers” as a result of these two pickups is just hating to hate.  Will they be enough to get the M’s into the Wild Card game?  Maybe, maybe not, but I think the improvements they made are proportionate to their current standings in the playoff chase. The M’s were wise and did not sell Walker, Paxton and Peterson to chase down one game.  Jack Zduriencik clearly did not make desperate moves to try and save this season and/or his job either. For that, I give Jack, and his acquisitions a big A+.
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