Surging Mariners targeting Merrifield (source)

July 26th, 2021

The Mariners currently have the longest postseason drought in baseball at an even 20 years. And quite unexpectedly, Seattle appears to be a buyer as Friday's Trade Deadline looms after taking three of four from the A's over the weekend to move within a game and a half of Oakland and an American League Wild Card spot.

The Mariners are buyers in theory, but that could become reality very soon, as's Mark Feinsand and Daniel Kramer report Seattle is "making a push" to land two-time All-Star second baseman/outfielder from the Royals, according to their sources. Merrifield, who led the Majors in hits in both 2018 and '19, is on a team-friendly contract, with $2.75 million (plus incentives that could push that to $4.75 million) owed in 2022 and a team option for '23.

Merrifield is having a down year offensively, but had a tremendous month of June, when he hit .351/.375/.544. He's also leading the Majors with 25 steals, being caught only once. He provides great defensive versatility, able to play second base and every outfield position. He's also seen brief time at the infield corners in the Majors.

The Mariners have not gotten much offensive production from the second-base position this season, and Merrifield could obviously remedy that. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported that Seattle made the Pirates an offer for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier before he was dealt to the Padres, per sources, on Sunday.

Rosenthal wrote in a recent article for The Athletic (subscription required) that the Royals are "more open" to trading Merrifield than in the past, but Kansas City's asking price would likely be very high given his history with the club and an affordable two years of control remaining on his contract.