If the Mariners plan to make an aggressive move at the July 31 non-waiver deadline, they’ve got an interesting way of showing it.
While one Mariners official says the team is “wide open” on potential deals, rival clubs report that the M’s have made a long list of players untouchable in trades.
The list includes right-hander Felix Hernandez, second baseman Dustin Ackley and third baseman Kyle Seager, plus the Mariners’ four top prospects, according to Baseball America - right-hander Taijuan Walker, left-handers Danny Hultzen and James Paxton and shortstop Nick Franklin.
The Mariners’ reluctance to include such players in most trades is understandable, rival executives say. But to make a bigger move – say, for Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton – the team would need to part with upper-level talent.
Some executives also question whether Ackley and Seager should be off-limits when neither is established as a productive major leaguer, much less a star.
The Mariners entered the All-Star break with a 36-51 record, the worst in the American League.