The Seattle Mariners are currently in third place in the AL west (1.5 GB) and have a 16-16 record.
New general manager Jack Zduriencik said this offseason that the Mariners front office wants to acquire players than can have the team competing now and long term.
Which is what they did when they made the big three-team trade involving JJ Putz.
There are a few people around the league that expect the Mariners to have a fire sale during or close to the trade deadline with the prediction that they would be out of contention by July.
Now it looks like they could be “in the hunt”. If the Mariners are in first, second, or third (third depending on how far out GB-wise) maybe the Mariners would hold on to their trade pieces like Bedard, Felix, Ichiro, Washburn, and Beltre, among others.
I think, from an overall standpoint, no matter where the Mariners are place-wise in the division, come end of June/early July they need to put Felix Hernandez out on the market.
The Mariners are going to have a very high price tag on Felix if they did trade him and one team that I think would be interested would be the Boston Red Sox (The Nation).
The Redsox have the pieces to offer to the Mariners. A possible trade involving Felix to Boston could look like this.
OF Jason Bay (Pacific Northwest native, and wants a contract extension), SP Jon Lester (Also a Pacific Northwest native and would be a nice story to see him come back), SP Clay Buchholz (I think the Sox would be willing to give up Buchholz because they still have Bowden), and OF Josh Reddick.
The Mariners could also include Rob Johnson with Felix.
If you a Red Sox fan you would love to see this rotation:
The Mariners rotation would look like this:
1) Erik Bedard (the Mariners would extend him if they traded Felix)
2) Jon Lester
Now I’m not saying this is close to happening, but I think it would be an even trade and one the fans of both teams would like. Most likely the Mariners would follow that up by trading Ichiro (Balentien/Saunders would replace him), Washburn, and Beltre.