Commentary: M’s ownership must make ALL resources available ($$$) to help team at trade deadline

At the start of June, I said this month was all about putting the microscope on the Mariners offense. Would it gain momentum, or would it need some help?

July 1st is tomorrow, and I can definitively now say: It needs some help.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the big picture view that the M’s are in first place heading into July- a fact we could’ve only dreamed about at the start of the year. The M’s began the month with a four-game lead in the AL West and they’re ending it with a 3.5-game lead. And after taking a ten-game lead earlier this month, there’s no question they’ve got our attention. 

Which is why it’s time to make a move and acquire more offense. It is no longer early in the season, but fortunately, it’s not too late either. 

The Mariners have the worst batting average in all of baseball. They have the most strikeouts this season too, leading the league with 37 more than anyone else. Out of 30 teams, they’re bottom five in total runs and slugging percentage. 

Take a look at the other divisional leaders. All five rank in the top seven in the league in runs scored. Four of the five are in the top six in batting average. It’s clear that, thanks to an incredible pitching staff, Seattle has been able to somehow buck this trend. 

But with numbers that offensive (pun intended), they are playing with fire. And there are no excuses for not only making inquiries to acquire offensive help before the trade deadline, but getting those deals done.

And with that comes ownership’s ability to pay the salaries for the players they get. 

Case-in-point: If the Mariners were to trade for say, Vlad Guererro Jr., not only would they likely have to give up talented prospects, but they’d also be on the hook to pay for the rest of his salary this season. Because he was awarded $19.9 million in arbitration, the M’s would be paying him $6.5 million based on an acquisition date of July 30th, or more if acquired before then, unless the Blue Jays were willing to eat that cost. 

That means we’re back at square one, with a Mariners ownership group that set a smaller budget than anticipated this offseason - a group that has rightfully come under fire for being, let’s just say it: Cheap. 

Close to a month ago, team chairman John Stanton told the Seattle Times that the front office will have his support to be active in the trade market. "Jerry [Dipoto] and Justin [Hollander] are 10 times smarter about what it takes to have a successful baseball team," Stanton said. "My job is to make sure they have the resources available to get there."

Well, John: You’re smart enough to know that means money. And it’s far past time to put this team’s money where its mouth is.

We’ve all seen that when the Mariners are firing on all cylinders, they have pieces that not only get them to the playoffs, but make them a championship contender. But the margins are so slim that we’ve also seen the other side. Why play with fire when the opportunity is there to give them better odds to succeed? Don’t tell me it’s to save a couple bucks. 

And I hate to invoke the newest owners, but why bring Microsoft president Brad Smith and his wife Kathy into the ownership group, if not for a little extra financial help in these specific situations?

So, yeah. That’s where I’m at. The team has done its job with the talent it currently has. But there’s now enough of a sample set to definitively conclude that it needs some help. Which means the next 30 days will show us the true commitment of those in charge.

When it comes to this year’s trade deadline, don’t make us all Rue the Day you sat idly by and watched opportunity pass.

It’s a very simple ask: Stop with the lip service, and please, provide them what they need to get them over the top.