Originally written on MLB Injury News  |  Last updated 10/21/14
As the All-Star break approaches, many teams on the bubble of contention have to decide they are buyers trying to win a postseason berth or sellers who need to retool for next year. As play begins on July 9, the Seattle Mariners find themselves just outside that bubble at 40-49, 12.5 games out in the A.L. West and 9.5 games out of a wild card slot. The Seattle Times Sports' Larry Stone has laid out some potential trade candidates that the Mariners have that he feels could benefit a contending team. Among them is the very powerful and popular outfielder Raul Ibanez. Stone says that Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik has not labeled the Mariners as a seller as of last week, but as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, he may not have much choice. Seattle would have to overcome Los Angeles, Oakland, and Texas for the division title and seven other contenders for the second wild card spot. That puts Seattle in much more of a seller's role. The Mariners have a very valuable trade chip in left-handed hitting Raul Ibanez, who has surprised the league in his third stint with the team. Ibanez is hitting .260/.306/.563 with 22 HR and 51 RBI. He is well on pace to break his career high of 34 home runs (Phillies, 2009). He is hitting equally well of both left- and right-handed pitchers. He can give a contender's outfield or bench some added pop, especially in the postseason. Yankee and Oriole fans especially remember Ibanez's heroics in the  2012 ALDS. The surprise comes in his age: 41. Would contending general managers want to give up top prospects for a 41-year-old? According to Stone, age and popularity with the fans could make a mid-season deal difficult. Stone also explains that Zduriencik would show Ibanez the courtesy of consulting him before making any moves. Teams on the contention bubble (such as the Yankees or Orioles) may want to take a chance, especially with their short right field fences. Stone mentions that many contending teams would want to look into Ibanez among others such as Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Oliver Perez, and Brendan Ryan. As popular as Ibanez is with the fans, Zduriencik needs to do what is best for the team. Seattle most likely will not contend. If trading Ibanez will improve the team for next year, then he needs to explore the options. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau. Like Raymond’s “Baseball Bureau” page on Facebook. Follow @mlbinjurynews Looking for fantasy baseball advice?

  • The Mariner management can not keep trading players and expect to become a contender. If we do trade we get a player that the other teams does not want.

    The Mariners need to keep a nucleus of players for at least 2 to 3 years in order for them to at least try to become a contender Jack needs to keep these players in order to build a contending team.
    As it is said the Mariners are the farm team for the major league...

  • They only need to get hot for a few weeks and they will be right back in the race. Rauuuuuul is far more important to the Mariners in mentoring the youngsters than any piece of meat they could get on a trade.
  • Come on man !!!!! I know Raul is trade bait but taking away the only excitement besides Felix that we have SUCKS. You dont ever give us a contender and when there is a reason to watch you take it away from us. Keep RAUL !!!!!!!!!!!
  • Yes, maybe we can trade him away and get another Richie Sexton or Casey Kotchman, Eric Bedard or Ben Broussard. Those always work out so well. For the other team, anyway.

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