After the Cliff Lee trade blew up, many fans thought the Yankees and Mariners would never do business again. Not only have Brian Cashman and Jack Zduriencik forgotten their grievances, but they’ve become extremely active trade partners. Over the last year and a half, the two teams have made three major trades, sending Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos, swapping D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar for Ichiro Suzuki, and sending Abraham Almonte to Seattle for Shawn Kelley. As the Mariners are yet again in the position to sell, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Brian Cashman knock on Zduriencik’s door to see what’s available.
The Mariners have a few free agents to be that likely wouldn’t receive qualifying offers, and thus have more value on the trade market. Left-handed slugger Raul Ibanez is having a resurgence at the age of 41. After hitting just 19 home runs all year in 2012 for the Yankees, he’s already hit 21 for the Mariners, and is currently sporting an .859 OPS. With that said, the Yankees don’t need another left-handed designated hitter.
Switch hitter Kendrys Morales is also having a solid season, and owns a triple slash of .272/.332/.438 through 349 plate appearances. Morales is hitting for more power on the road, and his left-handed swing would work more efficiently in Yankee Stadium. As a first baseman, he fits the team’s needs more appropriately than Ibanez.
The Mariners also have Jason Bay and Michael Morse, both right-handed hitters who can play the outfield. Bay’s failures in New York may prevent the Yankees from developing much interest. Of the two, Morse has more versatility, as he can play first base as well, and has a better opposite field power stroke, which works better in Yankee Stadium. Both have posted mid .700 OPS’s this season.
The Mariners may also be willing to part with a couple of younger guys. Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley were once top prospects in the Mariner’s minor league system. Saunders now owns a career .643 OPS, but the left-hander has been slightly better on the road. In 2012, he posted nearly an .800 OPS away from Safeco, but in 2013, he’s struggled everywhere he’s gone. Ackley has had similar trouble over his career, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Mariners give up on either player.
Of course, the Mariners also have Jesus Montero. I highly doubt the Yankees would be interested in the designated hitter, but it’s not too crazy to see why fans want him back. Montero had a great month with the Yankees in 2011, and his swing would work much better in Yankee Stadium. The problem with this type of acquisition is that he has no position. The team has put a strong emphasis on catcher defense, and he would be a huge question at first base.
The Yankees have some excess pitching and outfield prospects that the Mariners would probably be interested in. The organization is also receiving insurance money for Teixeira’s lost time, so they can take on the money that Ibanez, Morse, Bay, or Morales bring to the table. With their current trade history, the two teams match up very well.