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August 14, 2017

The Mariners' starting rotation, already hanging by a thread, suffered a huge blow when staff ace James Paxton hit the disabled list with a chest injury. Considering Jerry Dipoto’s thirst for trading, one potential trade looks enticing if Seattle wants to keep pace in the playoff race. The Blue Jays' Marco Estrada offers a combination of a recent hot streak, pending free-agent status, and a spot in the rotation of a team that’s just about out of the playoff race (or at least as out as any team can be in this insanely crowded wild-card race). Estrada-to-Seattle would be an extremely logical trade some time in the next few days. Losing four straight at home to the Angels only makes the need more urgent.

Even if they do make a pitching move, the M’s will likely need to lean on offense to bounce back from a rough weekend and take aim at a wild card. Kyle Seager has led the recent charge, finally starting to duplicate his 2016 breakout campaign. The lefty-swinging third baseman hit a meager .248/.320/.404 in the first half of this season, managing just 10 home runs in 332 at-bats. But he’s raked since the break, batting .277/.347/.580 with eight long balls in 112 at-bats.

The M’s might not have envisioned a bunch of 9–7 wins as their path to the playoffs. But given how thin their pitching is and how deadly the middle of their lineup is when Seager’s mashing, Coors Field-style baseball might be their best bet.

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