With Houston holding a 17-game lead entering the week that has all but locked up the AL West, the Mariners have to ask themselves how far they want to go for a shot at a second wild-card when they’re sitting below .500 and 90,000 other teams are in the mix.
Just don’t tell that to Tradin’ Jerry Dipoto. The M’s GM seemed to make a deal every 12 seconds last off-season, and he followed through with a five-player deal last week, shipping four prospects to the Marlins for stingy reliever David Phelps. Even though outfield prospect Brayan Hernandez looks like the only truly intriguing name of the four sent to Miami, thinning out a so-so farm system to chase a reliever doesn’t look like the move a team would make if it were lying low.
If Seattle is going to vault back into the race and end the longest playoff drought in baseball, though, it would help if some of the team’s established stars could power through some 2017 woes. Felix Hernandez allowing just two earned runs over his past three starts is a helpful step in that direction. Another would be having Kyle Seager build on his strong start to the second half, in which he has hit .318/.381/.684.