The Seattle Mariners are very interested in adding a potent starting pitcher, and in this years group of potential trades, there appears to be many fish to choose from.
According to Fox Sports, a rival executive says the Mariners are actively seeking a player to boost their starting rotation.
Good news for Seattle is there are likely to be some serious arms on the available market in the coming few months. David Price, James Shields and Cliff Lee have all been linked to trade rumors and speculation. The job for the Mariners is choosing which player fits their needs, and which contract can get done.
Cubs' ace Jeff Samardzija and teammate Jason Hammel are also reportedly available, although much talk lately has centered around the Cubs working out an extension with Samardzija.
Hammel would be much more affordable both in terms of money and prospects, if Seattle is looking to make a more affordable deal.
Given their rotation, the most likely scenario is attempting to find a fifth starter but it's within the realm of possibility that Seattle could be looking for another anchor alongside Felix Hernandez.
Pitching may not be where the Mariner's search ends this trade season.
According to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Times-Tribune, the Mariners are interested in trying to pick up Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
"Still, this rumor makes some sense: Ramirez, 32, is a right-handed bat - something the Mariners covet - and is enjoying a renaissance season with seven homers, 36 RBI and a .309 average in 69 games," Dutton pens.
He also pointed out that the Mariners would have to add payroll to accommodate the $9.5 million due Ramirez this year and the $10 million due next season. That should not be a huge issue for Seattle, as they can work around it.
After the big Robinson Cano deal, it's clear the mariners are getting serious and want to compete. They are currently 36-34, and 6 games back in the AL West. If this is going to be the season they hoped for, they need to improve now.