Should Mariners go into sell mode? June will be vital

Without a revival to above .500, the Mariners are facing the distinct possibility of a veteran sell-off that could even reach down to some of their core players.

The Mariners find themselves in a weird sort of limbo as the trade-deadline assessment period approaches.

They’ve been limping along for weeks, trying desperately to stay afloat until they get their full team back. A .500 road trip is suddenly cause for celebration.

They still think they have the foundation to be the contending team that everyone fully expected at the outset of the season. And yet the standings — five games under .500, third-worst in the American League after Tuesday’s road-trip finale win in Colorado — say otherwise. So does the amount of talent still sitting idle on the disabled list, with no defined return date.

In the next several weeks, every team in baseball will have to decide if it is in or out, and act accordingly before the July 31 deadline for making nonwaiver deals. Oh, you can try to finesse your way around that decision by being both a buyer and seller, a line Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto straddled last year. But the Mariners are one more extended losing stretch from having to face the day of reckoning that this season is a lost cause.

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Of course, in this age of parity, they’re also one extended winning stretch from being right back in the thick of the AL wild-card race. As shakily as things have been going for the Mariners, and even conceding the division to the rampaging Astros, they still entered Wednesday just 4½ games out of the second wild card. That’s close enough to dream.

That’s why the month of June will be hugely vital to the Mariners’ future. Without a revival, they are facing the distinct possibility of a veteran sell-off that could even reach down to some of their core players. But no one wants to face that scenario until they show definitively that they…

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