A versatile infielder from the Rockies is the Mariners’ trade target.

The number of teams interested in trading for the Seattle Mariners at the MLB trade deadline on July 30 is somewhat uncertain, as almost every National League team is still very much in the running for the playoffs.

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Nonetheless, a few National League teams are currently in a situation that suggests they may decide to sell in the upcoming weeks. Seattle’s three-game series against the Miami Marlins this weekend is scheduled to begin with one of those clubs; yet, in a recent piece by The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, the focus was on the other NL cellar-dweller, whom the M’s have already seen this season.

According to Bowden, the Mariners will receive shortstop prospect Michael Arroyo and right-handed starter Emerson Hancock from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for third baseman Ryan McMahon. Mike Lefko, a guest host, and Brock Huard of Seattle Sports talked about the potential trade of Salk and Brock on Friday.

“How do you not do something like that if you’re only giving up those two, two guys who aren’t even on the big-league roster?” Lefko enquired.

After making his professional debut in 2017, the 29-year-old McMahon established himself as a mainstay in Colorado’s lineup by slugging 24 home runs in 2019 with a slash line of.250/.328/.450. McMahon has hit 20 home runs or more in four consecutive seasons (not counting the 2020 COVID-shortened season), and he has hit 13 through 73 games in 2024.

He pursues a profession.246/.326/.433 slash line and has improved this season both at the plate and in his hitting.All of those scores would be career-bests: 274, 349, and 477. For McMahon, the underlying numbers are also present this season. Baseball Savant rates his hard-hit percentage, launch-angle sweet spot, average exit velocity, barrel rate, xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG at 81st percentile or above. Nevertheless, with a 28% strikeout rate and a 29th percentile chase rate, he does exhibit a fair amount of swing and miss in his game.

A noteworthy aspect of McMahon’s offensive output is that, throughout his career, he has been something of a Coors Field merchant, hitting in the mile-high atmosphere at home with a batting average 45 points higher and a slugging percentage 116 points higher. H has, however, actually had somewhat better results when traveling in 2024, hitting.281/.354/.500 as opposed to.267/.345/.450 when at home.

Being able to play both first base and second adds another layer of defensive versatility to McMahon’s game, and he has consistently proven to be a strong defender in his career. In the majors, he is among the top 25 with 23 runs saved since 2021 and among the top 20 with 29 outs over average.

Furthermore, McMahon signed a contract extension in 2022, putting him under club control until 2027. He will earn $16 million in 2026 and 2027 in addition to $12 million this season and the next.

The cost
In addition to assisting Seattle’s offense, Bowden’s trade suggestion keeps one of its highly valued farm system prospects in tact. Hancock, who was selected sixth overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, is presently a Triple-A player for the Tacoma Rainiers and serves as the Mariners’ sixth starter. After making his debut in 2023 and spending some time with the Mariners in 2024, the 25-year-old has graduated past the prospect level. MLB Pipeline ranks Arroyo as Seattle’s No. 9 prospect, but there are four other possible shortstops in the organization ahead of him. Arroyo, 19, is presently playing for the Modesto Nuts in Single-A.

However, there is some risk involved in trading Hancock at this time. There is some uncertainty in the lineup due to starter Bryan Woo’s persistent arm health issues, and selling Hancock would leave Seattle with no starting staff insurance.

It is a game that you engage in. You have to give up worth in order to obtain something valuable, according to Huard.

Lefko made the observation that adding a hitter while taking a chance with the rotation might be the kind of move that decides a postseason series for Seattle.

It’s not like a regular, daily schedule, with the amount of respite that’s built into a best-of-seven series, according to Lefko. “You play the two games in one place, take a day off, go on the road, play a few more games, and then take another day off. For the duration of a series, you can lineup three or four starters, and if you win the first three, you suddenly won’t even need to go past your top three starters in a best-of-five scenario.

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