With the Astros off to a blazing start, it appears Seattle's best hope to end its MLB-worst 16-year postseason drought is through the wild card. The Mariners wee 3 1/2 games out in that race entering Thursday, but it's safe to assume that whatever direction they ultimately take, they will be sellers. As Tacoma News-Tribune beat writer Bob Dutton noted last week, M's GM Jerry Dipoto has averaged one 40-man roster-related transaction every 15 hours and 18 minutes since Opening Day. Of course, much of that activity thus far concerns a rotation that lost pitchers Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton to injuries; so far, only Paxton is back, and the other two are at least a couple weeks away.
Seattle's core is under club control through at least next year, so it's difficult to envision Dipoto blowing things up completely. If he doesn't, expect supporting cast members like infielder Danny Valencia, outfielder Jarrod Dyson, reliever Steve Cishek and catcher Carlos Ruiz—all pending free agents—to be the ones most likely to head out of town.