Mariners Trade Central: 7/18 Update

The All Star break is over, and the July 31st trade deadline talk is heating up. Here are the latest red hot rumors from Mariners camp.

The Dodgers like Randy Winn, though the Mariners would like any deal involving Winn to also include Shigetoshi Hasagawa, making it a tough sell. Shiggy is a shadow of his 2003 self and he hasn't been 100 percent healthy either. The Mariners are looking for an upper tier prospect in return, though Chad Billingsley, Edwin Jackson and the still-injured Greg Miller are off limits.

Other big players for Winn's services include the Cubs and Yankees, who are also looking at Winn, quite closely. If Chicago trades Corey Patterson, the Cubs will certainly deal for an outfielder - especially if they stay in the race or get even closer.

The Mariners have reportedly temporarily pulled Eddie Guardado off the market until the end of July. Apparently the front office believes the Mariners still have a chance to contend after sweeping the Angels and are going to wait as long as they can to pull the trigger on a trade. No worries there, as there are several suitors lining up for Guardado's services.

Believe it or not, Ron Villone continues to be a hot commodity with no fewer than six teams inquiring about his availability. The versatile lefty is being scouted by the Dodgers, Mets, Yankees, Red Sox Braves and Cardinals, and is certain to bring a quality prospect in return.

Joel Piniero and Gil Meche continue to be mentioned in trade talks, though any deal involving either of these two would need to bring a starter in return, making any trade unlikely. Jaime Moyer on the other hand, is coveted by the Yankee's among others, but most experts don't feel the Yankees have enough to offer in return. Personally, the Yankees need another forty something pitcher like I need a hole in the head.

Raul Ibanez is often mentioned in trade rumors, though not from the Mariner camp. The Mariners value the vastly underrated (and underpaid) Ibanez very highly, though his talents are no longer a secret to the rest of the league. The price for Ibanez would be extremely steep, though, and would certainly involve top prospects for the Mariners to even entertain such offers.

Other notes of interest from around the league.

For the first time in recent memory, the Yankees aren't being mentioned as players for any of the big time trade opportunities. This is either due to the media finally realizing that Yankee farm system is bare or that Yankee management is shifting strategy and keeping quite about their desire for specific players.

Jim Thome is reportedly being offered up by the Phillies, but why anyone would want him is the question. Thome is hitting .207 with only seven home runs and owed another $54 million though 2008. He is currently blocking highly regarded top prospect Ryan Howard.

The Mariners will not be a player for his services

I mentioned Aubrey Huff last week in my update as being a great fit for the Mariners (as well as every other team) but A.J. Burnett is another available player who the Mariners will at least take a look at.

Mariner trade possibilities:

A.J. Burnett
Why the Mariners will look at him: Slowed by injuries and recovery from Tommy John surgery, Burnett still possesses a CY Young caliber arm that can hit 100 mph on occasion, and is certain to be the top player available come the deadline.

Why the Mariners won't look at him: Burnett will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and based on the premium being paid for starting pitching, is certain to come with a huge price tag. Every contending team in the league in need of pitching will be vying for his services at the deadline and his price tag in prospects may end up more then the Mariners have to offer.

Austin Kearns
Why the Mariners will look at him: Kearns has been considered a can't-miss prospect since his stellar debut in 2002, but injuries have somewhat derailed that promise. Kearns still has big power to all fields so he would plug the outfield power void if he can remain healthy. The Reds have too many talented young outfielders to retain all of them. He is also inexpensive and his two years club control remaining.

Why the Mariners won't look at him: As is the case with Adam Dunn, Kearns is extremely strikeout prone and his injury history can't be overlooked. The Reds will likely demand pitching for any deal, and additionally, the Mariners have a tarnished relationship with the Reds front office.

Mark Redman
Why the Mariners will look at him: Redman would nicely replace Jaime Moyer as a soft tosser between Joel Piniero and Gil Meche. He is a nibbler around the plate the Mariners could use someone like that after Moyer leaves.

Why the Mariners won't look at him: Redman comes with a hefty price tag ($4.5 million) for a guy with slightly better than Ryan Franklin level performance. Similar, cheaper options could potentially be found in Jorge Campillo, Cha Sueng Baek or Bobby Livingston. The Mariners have plenty of four and five starters in the system and need anchors, not complementary pieces right now.

The next week will determine the Mariners plans for the rest of the season, and will be on top of all the latest news.

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