Gil Meche to the Cubs for Patterson?
Caution, Gil Meche fans. Just because your epic Babylonian hero is being tendered a contract does not mean he will be a Mariner this season.
Jon Paul Morosi of the P-I reports on a rumor that the team may ship the right-hander to the Cubs in exchange for Corey Patterson.
I’m certainly not averse to jettisoning Meche if the team can something useful in return, but this is not that scenario. Acquiring Patterson as a reclamation project might be worthwhile on its own merits, but that doesn’t appear to be what would go down.
A Meche-for-Patterson deal would make Seattle more willing to part with center fielder Jeremy Reed, given Reed’s market value in the wake of Johnny Damon’s defection from Boston. …That shift could help the Mariners have their pick of a pitcher in return — Bronson Arroyo or Matt Clement — and ensure that the Red Sox assume some of Clement’s remaining salary if that’s who is dealt.
Trading Jeremy Reed to install Corey Patterson as the starting center fielder is like selling off a young thoroughbred so you can concentrate on racing your adopted greyhound. Simply put, Reed is more valuable than Patterson in just about every way you can imagine.
Were you disappointed with Reed’s offensive performance last year? Well, as a rookie in a pitcher’s ballpark, he outpaced the career numbers Patterson has amassed playing half his games in Wrigley Field. Reed’s plate discipline is dramatically better than Patterson’s; he’s also two years younger and makes less money.
The past two seasons, Patterson has struck out 286 times and walked 78 times, posting a robust OBP of .254 last year. .254! That was Reed’s 2005 batting average. Lest you think I’m cherry-picking stats, Patterson has had 2,200 major league at-bats — and his career OBP is still less than .300.
I doubt a Clement deal is in the works because of the salary involved. It strikes me as unlikely that the team could get Boston to pick up enough of his paycheck to make the deal work, and even if that were the case, I still would be loath to give up Reed.
As for Arroyo, well, that would be even worse. Dave already did an admirable job of explaining why Reed-for-Arroyo doesn’t make sense for the M’s. Arroyo isn’t that hot a commodity, and to give up a guy with his career arc pointing in the right direction would be folly.
Essentially, the question is this: would you rather have Jeremy Reed and Gil Meche or Corey Patterson and Bronson Arroyo?
For me, the answer is easy.