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Jun 27, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) looks on from the dugout against the New York Mets during the tenth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 3-2 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners trade rumors: Seattle pursuing Pirates' Starling Marte

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The Mariners’ pursuit of another bat to help beef up that questionable lineup continues. The latest rumor, via Timesonline.com, has Seattle showing a lot of interest in Pirates outfielder Starling Marte.

John Perrotto says Pittsburgh could consider dealing Marte despite having just signed him to a five-year contract in spring training. Marte has had a less-than-spectacular season and Pittsburgh could dangle him as bait to land one of Seattle’s better players, perhaps Taijuan Walker or Nick Franklin.

Walker might be a solution to Pittsburgh’s starter issue. Or they could pursue Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett or even Jon Lester.

Marte is just 25 and isn’t making an outrageously high salary, so he should still be attractive despite his disappointing 2014 numbers. The outfielder is hitting just .255/.328/.385, though he does have decent runs (40) and steals (21) totals.

The Mariners are believed to be in pursuit of a top-of-the-order guy, and Marte would fit that bill. So would the Rays’ Ben Zobrist, another player believed to be on Seattle’s target list.

With the M’s and Pirates in the thick of their leagues’ respective wild card races, look for both those teams to be heavy players as we near the trade deadline.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates Seattle Mariners Starling Marte

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