Baseball’s annual non-waiver trade deadline passed Monday with the Mariners making no deals, despite a flurry of reports and speculation that they sought Cincinnati Reds SS Zack Cozart, a six-year veteran batting .266 with 15 home runs and regarded as an above-average fielder.
Seattle had a transaction Monday, claiming utilityman Michael Freeman, 28, off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks, a move that will have no immediate impact on its major league roster. The Mariners assigned Freeman, who has eight games of big league experience, to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers.
In the days leading up to the deadline, GM Jerry Dipoto was more seller than buyer. He swapped LHP Mike Montgomery (along with RHP Jordan Pries) to the Chicago Cubs July 20 for minor leaguers Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn, and dispatched reliever Joaquin Benoit to Toronto July 26 for reliever Drew Storen.
Sunday, Dipoto sent starter Wade Miley, who had just thrown six perfect innings against the Cubs, to Baltimore for LHP Ariel Miranda, a 27-year-old Cuban defector who spent most of the season with AAA Norfolk. Miranda appeared in one game for the Orioles July 3 at Seattle, allowing three runs and four hits in two innings while striking out four.
So far, only Storen has played for the big club. In two games covering 2.1 innings, he has a 15.43 ERA.
With Cozart remaining in Cincinnati, the Mariners will stay with Shawn O’Malley at shortstop, at least until Ketel Marte (mononucleosis) comes off the disabled list. No timetable has been given for the 22-year-old’s return.
The Mariners, who scored their most impressive victory of the season Saturday, a 4-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, then lost in exasperating fashion Sunday by blowing a 6-0 lead and losing 7-6 in 12 innings, open a four-game set Monday night at Safeco Field against the Boston Red Sox.
The Mariners open with LHP James Paxton (3-5, 4.27), who will oppose LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4, 6.51), who has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his past three starts. But he’s given up a homer in each of his past eight.
The Mariners (52-51) trail AL West-leading Texas by 8.5 games and second-place Houston by 2.5. They are five games behind in the race for the second wild card slot.
Mariners recall Roach
Shortly after the deadline passed, the Mariners recalled RHP Donn Roach from Tacoma to take the roster spot vacated by Miley.
Roach, 26, appeared in three games with Seattle this season, winning in his Mariners debut June 24 vs. St. Louis.
In 21 games (17 starts) with Tacoma, Roach is 6-5 with one save and a 4.21 ERA. He signed with Seattle as a minor league free agent Dec. 5.