No, I am not dead. I have not quit being a Mariners fan. I have not given up blogging. I was in Europe for two weeks, my lovely wife and I are going to be moving into our first home in a month, and the Mariners haven't had enough going on that either excites me or frustrates me enough to forsake other things to write about. Okay, done with excuses.
Briefly: I'm going to try to identify potential trading partners with the Mariners, based on needs of each team. The Twins aren't looking for a young catcher. The Rangers aren't looking for a second baseman. The White Sox aren't looking for anyone. Nor are the Devil Rays, but for a very different reason.
Who do the Mariners have to give, realistically? Boone, obviously, with rumors already swirling about him going to San Diego. Surprisingly, Moyer has also been mentioned--I think that's a very shrewd move, but not likely to go over well with the sentimental part of the fan base. Winn's an obvious choice, too. We have Ichiro and three other young outfielders (Reed being the most advanced), so the Mariners could dangle one of those, too. Below, I've identified potential trading partners grouped by tradee.
San Diego: As the rumor reports have said, Boone could be seen as an upgrade to Damian Jackson. The Padres lead only the Nationals and Astros in slugging in the NL, and have the worst composite SLG for their 2nd basemen in the majors.
Atlanta: 2.5 games back of the Nats and leading in the Wild Card, the Braves are 7th in the NL in OPS, and could use a serious upgrade to their outfield; Andruw Jones is the only real offensive threat.
Florida: If they ever realize Juan Pierre can't steal first base, Winn could provide some offense in center, leaving Pierre to pinch-run and play defense, which are his strengths.
Yankees: If you're putting Tony Womack in left field, you need some help. Hey, if you're the Yankees, you always need one more player. Last I heard, however, GM Brian Cashman has little to offer in the way of prospects anymore.
Baltimore: Eric Bedard is out for a month, and the O's can't afford to lose ground in a division with the Yankess and Red Sox. Plus, the back end of the rotation is underwhelming, even when Bedard returns.
Philadelphia: Randy Wolf is out with injuries, and the Phils might be feeling the heat to make a move after several years of underachieving. There only barely still in the running, 5.5 back of the Nats but in fourth place.
L.A. (Dodgers, of course; I refuse to say the Angels are from L.A.): Not a great candidate, but Odalis Perez is recovering from injury and Jeff Weaver wishes it was three years ago in Detroit, when he was good.
Well, there are a few of the possibilities. San Diego is really the only contending team for which Boone would be an upgrade at second. Both Winn and Moyer are the sort of player that teams want to add for a penant run--not too pricey, little to no long-term commitment, experience. The only problem is that some of the divisional titles are quickly becoming unrealistic goals for a lot of teams.