The Mariners sit at 13-19, 4.5 games out in the AL West. With 130 games left on the schedule, there's plenty of time to find some offense and climb to the top of the division. But should the Mariners continue to struggle for the next month or two, which players might hit the trading block?
Cliff Lee's name jumps out as the most intriguing trade chip. The Mariners could offer two or three months of the ace lefty, plus two potential draft picks if he leaves. The trade return would have to clearly exceed the value of those two draft picks for the Mariners. Lee has been traded for uninspiring packages twice in the last ten months, but that doesn't mean the Mariners would give him away.
The Ms could peddle a former ace lefty as well, once Erik Bedard returns from shoulder surgery. He might be ready to go in June, as he's yet to embark on a minor league rehab assignment.
Relievers David Aardsma, Mark Lowe, and Brandon League are under team control through 2012. They'll probably be retained since they'll be needed next year, but perhaps a big offer could pry one loose. The Mariners might be willing to trade Jose Lopez, who switched from second to third base this year. Until the 20 home run power returns, there won't be much of a market.
Ian Snell has a $4.25MM salary this year, so he'll probably be non-tendered after his '11 option is declined. Snell is now in the bullpen, so the Mariners may try to move him regardless of the standings. First baseman Casey Kotchman is another non-tender candidate after the season, if he doesn't start hitting. He'd presumably be available for a contender to use as a bench bat. Mike Sweeney and Ryan Langerhans would be expendable as well.