Trading Options

Dave · July 27, 2005 at 8:20 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you probably know that the non-waiver trade deadline is this Sunday, and that the M’s are likely going to be making some moves. The week leading up to the trade deadline is always humerous, as teams, fans, and journalists create trade rumors and perpetuate falsities for various reasons. Most of what is floating around is so poorly sourced that a junior high paper wouldn’t publish it, but hey, fans eat this stuff up. So, we get local beat writers “guessing” that Carl Pavano will be coming to the M’s in exchange for Randy Winn (he’s not), rumors of crazy three way deals sending all-stars across the country, and an awful lot of Peter Gammons on TV.

As much as I’m not a fan of the way journalists cover the deadline, and I’d rather stay out of the whole rumor mongering circle, I know you guys are going to take over every thread with trade speculation until Monday rolls around, so we might as well get this out in the open. So, here’s what I’m hearing in regards to the M’s heading up to the deadline and my WAG for where the guys on the table will be come Monday.

Almost Certain To Be Dealt

Randy Winn

The worst kept secret in sports. The Yankees want him, the Mariners don’t need him, and they’ll get something done by Sunday. There have been talks of expanding the package to get New York some arms for their depleted staff as well, but as of right now, the most likely option appears to be the teams agreeing to swap Winn for LHP Sean Henn.

Team On August 1st: New York Yankees

Likely To Be Dealt

Jeff Nelson

Nelson has several things going for him that contenders are looking for: a low salary, playoff experience, and a specialized role. Despite his command problems, he’s still death to right-handed batters. Righties are hitting just .187/.311/.213 against him in 75 at-bats. There’s enough teams (New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago) with marginal relievers pitching critical situations that there will be a market for Nelson. Don’t expect a significant return, however. If the M’s can get even a semi-interesting prospect for Nelly, they’ll have done well. If the M’s and Yankees do end up expanding the Winn deal, Nelson could be wearing pinstripes yet again.

Team On August 1st: New York Yankees

Shigetoshi Hasegawa

Hasegawa’s ERA, 4.41, is respectable enough to interest teams that simply want a more experienced middle-man for the stretch drive without giving up anything. If he is moved, which depends more on whether the M’s find buyers for their other relievers, expect it to be for an organizational player or perhaps just a bit of cash.

Team On August 1st: Seattle Mariners

Available for the Right Price

Eddie Guardado

Despite pitching with an injured arm and throwing 88 MPH fastballs towards home plate, Guardado has been dominant this year, posting a 1.59 ERA, sparkling ratios, and 23 saves. He’s left-handed, a proven closer, relatively inexpensive, and has all the intangibles that teams want from their postseason acquisitions. The M’s know that the market for his services is substantial—he’s probably the most coveted player available, even moreso than A.J. Burnett, though his lower price tag in players and salary have a lot to do with that—and they’re leveraging that strength, letting it be known that he won’t go cheaply. Among the teams that are believed to have made inquiries are the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Florida, and the New York Mets and Yankees. The M’s won’t let him go for anything less than an elite prospect or several significant young players. If a deal goes down, it will be because the M’s are getting an arm back that is in the Anibal Sanchez/Philip Hughes/Rich Hill/Cole Hamels class of prospects. They won’t deal him just to deal him, but if a team offers to give up one of the brightest young arms in the game, they’ll listen.

Team On August 1st: Atlanta Braves

Ron Villone

Villone doesn’t have as much value as Guardado, but there is interest in him from most of the same clubs that are interested in Eddie. Villone most likely goes only if Guardado does not go. I’d be surprised if the team dealt both. The return for Villone won’t be an elite prospect like the M’s are demanding for Guardado, but the price for him is a significant prospect who could have an impact on the club in the future. Because of his smaller salary for 2006 and the fact that he’s been effective, the M’s are willing to keep him if they don’t get an offer that they feel is fair value. Like Nelson, he could also end up in pinstripes if the Winn-to-New York deal gets expanded.

Team On August 1st: Seattle Mariners

Gil Meche

The M’s aren’t shopping Meche, but he is available and could be moved. He’d almost certainly be part of a bigger package (with Winn to New York, with Guardado to the Cubs, or with Guardado or Villone to Atlanta) and the goal would be to obtain a near major league ready arm with less service time who could fill Meche’s spot in the rotation next year. The M’s aren’t giving up on Gil Meche, but he has frustrated them for several years, and they won’t say no if they can get a player they like.

Team On August 1st: Seattle Mariners

Potentially Available, Not Heavily Pursued

Jamie Moyer

The market for Moyer is soft, and the M’s aren’t real inclined to deal him, so I don’t expect him to be moved. However, it is, at least, theoretically possible that a contender (Philadelphia has been mentioned most often) would be interested in picking him up without giving up a significant player in return.

Team On August 1st: Seattle Mariners

Joel Pineiro

The M’s aren’t looking forward to paying Pineiro $6.25 million next year. His velocity is down, his command is down, and he’s getting rocked on a regular basis. While selling low is usually a bad idea and the team would hate to see him go elsewhere and prosper, realistically, he’s nothing like a $6 million pitcher right now. There’s no market for Pineiro, but his name has come up in connection with the expanded Winn-to-New York deal. This would essentially be a salary dump with the organization simply deciding they would rather spend $6 million on someone else in 2006.

Team On August 1st: New York Yankees

Others Who Might Be Moved For Basically Nothing

Ryan Franklin, Aaron Sele, Scott Spiezio, Dave Hansen, Pat Borders, Wiki Gonzalez

These guys have no trade value to speak of, but could go for cash or a non-prospect if the M’s are looking to save a little bit of money and to build relationships with other clubs.

You’ll probably notice that Raul Ibanez isn’t on the list. I don’t see any scenario where they trade him. There is very little market for him and the team doesn’t want to move him.

Also, keep in mind that the M’s aren’t going to trade half their pitching staff, even though nearly everyone is available. You’ll likely see, at most, two starters and two relievers dealt, so if Moyer and Meche get moved, Sele, Franklin, and Pineiro will stay. Same goes for the bullpen; if Guardado and Nelson go, Hasegawa and Villone probably stay, and vice versa.

So, that’s what I’m hearing around the league. There have been a few rumored offers that have gotten me legitimately excited, and I think the M’s could extract a couple of potential impact players if things fall their way.


188 Responses to “Trading Options”

  1. Dave on July 27th, 2005 3:58 pm

    144 scrapped is maybe not the right word but it became a rare pitch as opposed to a regularly thrown pitch.

    No one’s going to take your word for it, Jim. We remember it a lot differently than you do. Freddy was always very curve ball heavy. I had many, many conversations with people about Freddy essentially being a junkball artist despite throwing 94.

  2. Peter on July 27th, 2005 4:05 pm

    Apologies for not being clear enough in post 118.

    What I meant was, has Snelling been sent down to get his work in? Will he back before September? If he is the Mariners left fielder of the future will the team commit serious big league playing time to him before this season is out?

  3. Nick on July 27th, 2005 4:05 pm

    2004 MEche Post All-Star Game Stats:

    6-2, 3.95 ERA, 13 Starts, 1 CG, 84 1/3 IP, 102 H+W (1.21 WHIP), 58K

    While probably not All-Star numbers I would have to say, YES, MEche did have a good second half last year.

  4. Steve Thornton on July 27th, 2005 4:12 pm

    I remember the slider too, but neither the curve nor the fastball went away. I remember Garcia just not being able to get them over the plate. I think he was trying the slider more out of desperation.

  5. jaketrash on July 27th, 2005 4:13 pm

    Taking the Meche example – If I recall from my perch in the stands or the couch, Meche was trying to be a five pitch wonder and it looked like it was distracting him from throwing good pitches. Price wanted him to dump two of the pitches (sinker/slider) and concentrate on the three and was sent to Tacoma last year to emphasize the point and get used to it (along with the second opinion).

  6. Andrew on July 27th, 2005 4:15 pm

    If I remember last season correctly Meche simply stopped striking out and walking people and became dependent on a freakish BABIP too put up those numbers. So he had a lucky second half, not a good one. He was basically 2003 Ryan Franklin.

  7. adam on July 27th, 2005 4:23 pm

    Blaming Price for Freddy is just stupid.

    Freddy never stopped throwing the curveball, but obviously he wasn’t using it as often for stretches after going to the slider…he simply couldn’t locate it.

    The same thing is happening with all our pitchers…we’ve all seen Meche and Pineiro have stretches where they can get the big curveball over for a strike….but we also see them struggle to get it anywhere near the zone.

    The curveball is a “feel” type of pitch and when your falling behind in the count while throwing it…it’s tempting to go to the easier to throw slider.

  8. bill on July 27th, 2005 4:24 pm

    Or…perhaps Price knows that the pitchers he has to work with are in fact damn dependent on defense for outs. He therefore coaches them to use what skill they do have for the out.

    If they can’t fool the hitter, no sense in trying and that leaves only walking hitters or pitch-to-contact.

    If we discount each starter’s first year in the majors, we can see that Meche, Pineiro, and Franklin are having their career worst k/9 ratios (and it’s not that close). Moyer has had 1 year worse than this (’96) and Sele is pretty much all over the map. It seems like these guys could strike a few people out at one point. Hell, as of last year Meche was striking out 6.98/9ip and Joel was at 7.1k/9. What happened?

  9. Mr. Egaas on July 27th, 2005 4:24 pm

    The Yankees have more class than to deal Bernie Williams like this. And good lord, Seattle doesn’t want him. At least the Seattle fans don’t.

    He is neither young, powerful, or good defensively. I’d rather have Bloomquist roaming left field.

  10. John in L.A. on July 27th, 2005 4:26 pm

    If I see Bernie Williams playing centerfield for the Mariners so much as one inning, I swear to God I am calling my lawyer and suing the team for emotional distress.

  11. Steve Thornton on July 27th, 2005 4:31 pm

    I don’t think I realized until I looked now just how uniformly incompetent our pitching rotation is at striking batters out. There are 105 pitchers with 100 or more IP this year, and our rotation ranks from a high of 68th (Meche) to 99th (Sele) in SO/9. Even last year’s crappy rotation had everybody but Franklin above 5; this year only Meche is, by a hair. It’s nice to have a good defense, but give me a break.

  12. David J Corcoran on July 27th, 2005 4:38 pm

    159: What if we turn around and trade Bernie Williams for Vlad Guerrero after he plays 1 inning in centerfield for the Mariners?

  13. Brian Rust on July 27th, 2005 4:39 pm

    Maybe Price is just no good at dealing with head cases.

  14. jtopps on July 27th, 2005 4:42 pm


    I think the official line on this was that they wanted Snelling to play and he was mostly riding the bench in the majors. Unofficially, it may have had something to do with trades happening/not happening, especially concerning Winn. Who knows?

    That said, I think we will probably see Snelling playing in Seattle soon. Especially as some of the older guys, ie Spiezio and Hansen, are cleared out to make room on the roster. You have to figure that they want to take a good look at him for next year. Then again, this team has done some really weird and counter-intuitive things with Snelling this year…

  15. jtopps on July 27th, 2005 4:53 pm

    I would be really happy of course, until i woke up.

  16. JP on July 27th, 2005 5:06 pm

    I think Hansen was activated purely to trade him (because he couldn’t be traded while on the DL).

  17. Steve on July 27th, 2005 5:13 pm

    #145 & #152:

    Meche post-ASB 2004 defense independent ERA = 4.72.

    If we slot that in with the season records for the 70 other pitchers who logged at least 100 IP, that ranks 33rd, just slightly above the median mark.

    If we limit the comparison to the 38 other starting pitchers who logged at least 100 innings, Meche’s second half ranks 23rd out of the 38, which is at the 40th percentile.

    I don’t think you can call it a good season when a guy “turns himself around” and after getting turned around he’s average at best.

  18. theberle on July 27th, 2005 5:27 pm

    I don’t think there’s a rule that you can’t be traded while on the DL, despite several reliable sources who claim there is (such as Rob Neyer).

    For example, at the trading deadline in July, 2003 Kurt Ainsworth was traded with Damian Moss from the Giants for Sidney Ponson, while Ainsworth was on the DL with a fractured shoulder blade. This was 2 weeks after the Indians traded Ricardo Rodriguez to Texas while he was on the DL.

    Will Carroll mentions it in this (currently free for the week) UTK column:

  19. Mountainman Ernie on July 27th, 2005 6:13 pm

    My belief is simple Price HAS to go. Why?. When Ryan was complaining about stollen signs, Price was sitting watching shinning the bench. Last year just before Jeff was traded, and had gotten into trouble on the mound he was laughing in the dugout. If he was truly a man, he’d had run out on the field to to support Ryan. For that matter Mike should have been there also. Anyone who has coached should support there players. Don’t you agree? Did you see Bob Melvin last week? He ran out and confronted the umps, got kicked out, then went to home plate and jumped up and down on it, and lastly kicked dirt on it. I thought I was seeing Lou again.

    Way to go Bob.

  20. msb on July 27th, 2005 6:33 pm

    jaketrash said:”Meche was trying to be a five pitch wonder and it looked like it was distracting him from throwing good pitches. Price wanted him to dump two of the pitches (sinker/slider) and concentrate on the three and was sent to Tacoma last year to emphasize the point and get used to it”

    and Price was thrilled when Cal McLish told Meche the same thing Price had been preaching, and Meche finally heard it:

    “McLish, who pitched 15 seasons with seven teams in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, told Meche to stop trying to be so cute. With a 95-mph fastball and a decent curveball, he shouldn’t have to paint the corners. He should “enter the zone” and challenge the hitters.

    Of course, others had told Meche the same thing, but it took a career 92-92 pitcher with the Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Cubs, Reds, White Sox and Phillies to get through. Mariners manager Bob Melvin is glad someone did.

    But what was it about McLish’s advice that stuck?

    “He was just so convinced about it,” Meche said yesterday. “He said, ‘Once you do this, kid, you’re going to have fun in this game.’ ”

  21. msb on July 27th, 2005 6:45 pm

    btw, speaking of trades, this just popped up on the transaction wire:

    Arizona Diamondbacks: designated OF Jose Cruz Jr. for assignment

  22. david h on July 27th, 2005 6:52 pm


    The rest of that goes: Connor Jackson called up from Tucson. And then after that comes an explanation as to why the ‘c’ comes before the ‘s.’

  23. G-Man on July 27th, 2005 7:16 pm

    It’s hard to find any source other than USSM which says that Winn is a great trade candidate because we have Doyle and even Choo to put in LF.

    Speaking of guys who aren’t on the big club, what’s the latest health report on Bucky Jacobsen?

  24. Nick on July 27th, 2005 7:18 pm

    On another transactions blurb…The Braves put Hampton on the DL and instead of calling up another pitcher they recalled Brayan Pena (C). I know Estrada begins serving a two day suspension tonight, but maybe we can also read into this McCann may be heading somewhere?

  25. G-Man on July 27th, 2005 7:19 pm

    OK, that doesn’t sound right. I meant, some other source SHOULD BE pointing out that Doyle is ready and waiting to fill Winn’s shoes in LF.

  26. The Ancient Mariner on July 27th, 2005 8:36 pm

    Re #139: you missed my point, which was that your memory of your impression of “about two dozen pre-game shows on FSN” doesn’t prove zip-squat, especially when set against the memory of a whole bunch of folks who don’t remember things that way at all.

  27. The Ancient Mariner on July 27th, 2005 8:37 pm

    Re #139: you missed my point, which was that your memory of your impression of “about two dozen pre-game shows on FSN” doesn’t prove zip-squat, especially when set against the memory of a whole bunch of folks who don’t remember things that way at all.

  28. The Ancient Mariner on July 27th, 2005 8:38 pm

    Sorry for the double post–not sure how that happened.

  29. km4_1999 on July 27th, 2005 8:58 pm

    Granted the M’s don’t have other options, but why do you guys love Doyle so much? Yeah he plays hard, but your lucky if he his .300 with 10 homers and 60 RBI’s. Big Deal

  30. JPMouton on July 27th, 2005 9:16 pm

    Dave, just so you know, Johnny Estrada is now hurt and McCann is the everyday C. The only people the Braves are trading at this point are minor league arms, Jorge Sosa, or Horacio Ramirez. Maybe Ryan Langerhans(who would make a very nice CF for some team). So I don’t think the Braves and Mariners are going to match up real well.

  31. MacMariner on July 27th, 2005 10:01 pm

    Hey, what about Sexson to the Mets for a couple of mid level prospects?


  32. eponymous coward on July 27th, 2005 10:17 pm

    Yeah, because the Mariners clearly can’t afford a $40 million 1B.

  33. troy on July 27th, 2005 10:53 pm

    I want to like Dayn Perry, I really do. I think it’s great anytime that a writer with a statistical analysis bent gets a gig with a major media outlet. (Okay, so may not be “major” depending on your definition.)

    But as much as I want to like Perry, everytime I read his pieces I keep running into the most asanine ideas. What good would clearing Sexson’s contract off the books do us? We’re already looking at a FA period where we’re going to be hard pressed to find worthwhile candidates to throw the money we do have available at. Why get rid of a legit MVP candidate just to save some millions?

  34. Kirk on July 28th, 2005 1:00 am


    Lucky if he hits .300? He’s hit .300 everywhere he’s been. Snelling is a good bet to hit .300 plus in the bigs if given an extended chance. Yes, he’s not a big HR guy, but he’ll probably get you 30+ doubles with those 10 home runs and he’ll walk enough to give you a .370+ OBP. He’d make a good #2 hitter, getting on base ahead of the boppers and hitting behind Ichiro with the gap between 1B and 2B when Ichiro gets on base. He’s Randy Winn, only cheaper, younger and with the potential to be better (and highly likely to be no worse than at least as good a hitter).

  35. The Ancient Mariner on July 28th, 2005 6:30 am

    Re #179: JP, just so you know, the only people the Mariners are asking for at this point are minor-league arms. So I do think the Braves and Mariners are going to match up real well.

  36. Mariners_are_sucking on July 28th, 2005 6:58 am

    Sexson to Mets!? LMAO. There is noooo chance that is happening. The M’s aren’t a cash strapped franchise or anything. Their one of the most prosprous franchises in baseball. So they don’t have to get 40 mil off their books.
    Yes, probably the Mets want Sexson, but to get him, the Mets are going to give up 6 of their top 10 prospects to do so. At a minimum. I got a pretty good laugh out of the article. thx for referring it.

  37. nindid on July 28th, 2005 9:08 am

    Not to mention that sending Sexon anywhere right now for anything less then pure gold would cause the Safeco stands to rise up and go after Bavasi. Nope… Sexon is our offense and is fun to watch – two things of which this team is in short supply.

  38. WoodyW on July 28th, 2005 9:52 am

    I am about to get ridiculous — pardon me.

    Manny demanded a trade from the Sox yet again.

    Imagine this: Manny + mega cash for Winn, Guardado, and Pineiro/Meche. Would it even be worth it given Manny’s personality?

    This is pure fantasy, but it’s fun to think of in a baseball card trading kind of way.