Lackey v Weaver. Neither team made a move.
Lineups, meh. Jones still not there.
Lackey’s awesome. Weaver… I missed a whole run of effective Weaver, it looks like, because his ERA is under six (if barely) going into this game. Sure, his K rate’s still bad, and way under career numbers, but the walks are okay, he’s not giving up home runs. That’s not the bounce-back playing-for-a-long-term-contract year they wanted from Weaver, certainly.
On behalf of the Mariner blogosphere, here’s the internet version of a standing ovation. Way to not give in to the pressure to make a bad move. We appreciate it.
Okay, so, today’s the day when the rumors can finally die, and in 6 hours or so, the trade deadline will have passed. After talking it over, Derek and I have decided to turn comments off until after the deadline passes or news breaks about a Mariner deal. Thanks to the growth of the site, and the desire of so many of you guys to hit refresh constantly to read new comments, this is our best way to keep the site up and running today. If you absolutely have to post something for others to read, I suggest the diaries section over at Lookout Landing.
We’ll be updating this thread with analysis of moves that happen and giving our reactions on things of substance, kind of like one of the old running diaries from before we enabled comments a few years ago. And if news of an M’s trade breaks, that move will get its own post, and we’ll turn the comments back on. However, we’ll still ask that you be nice to the server and understand that there are going to be a lot of people visiting the blog today, and we’re doing the best we can to make sure that there’s a site for them to come to.
Anyway, on to the commentary.
The only rumor that has any real legs kicking around is the Jeff Clement for Al Reyes swap that has been discussed the last few days. You should be able to guess our stance on this one – the Mariners just don’t need another right-handed relief pitcher, and certainly not at this cost. I understand that some people like old guys instead of young guys, and I realize that depth is hardly a bad thing, but those in favor of this move are simply failing to do a cost benefit analysis. With the M’s current roster, moving one of their better young players for a 37-year-old oft-injured reliever is like a traveler having the following conversation while trying to pick a hotel on a road trip. Imagine it like a Choose Your Own Adventure story:
“Hey, look honey, a Super 8. Only $40 a night and it’s right off this exit. How convenient.”
“A super 8? Come on. We’re better than that. This is our vacation. We need to make it as enjoyable as possible. Super 8’s only have outdoor pools, and I really want to swim in an indoor pool.”
“A pool is a pool, right?”
“No. I like indoor pools. Hey, look, there’s a Best Western. They have an indoor pool! Let’s go there.”
“Okay, we’ll check it out. Hi, Mr. Best Western Clerk – how much is a room for the night. $50,000? Are you insane? $50,000! You’re a Best Western in the middle of Utah!”
“But honey, they have an indoor pool! If you love me, money should be no object. Don’t you love me?”
To choose to stay in the Best Western but spend all your money for the luxury of an indoor pool, turn to page 342, then go outside and throw yourself in front of oncoming traffic. To choose to stay in the Super 8 and keep the $49,960 for something slightly more useful at a later date (potential suggestion – a new wife), turn to page 184.
Since I doubt many people reading this are in favor of a Clement-Reyes swap, I’ll spare you all the analysis of why a reliever would simply be redundant for this team, and why the marginal cost so outweighs the marginal value that this is an idea that is just incomprehendably bad. Let us all join together and root that the Mariners organization learned something, anything, from the Lowe/Varitek for Slocumb debacle of ten years ago.
While I’ve dropped the name J.P. Howell multiple times the past week as someone I actually would be interested in, I’ve never really expanded, and I’ve gotten a few questions about what I’d give up for him. Obviously, considering his ERA and the fact that Tampa sent him back to Durham, the goal would be to get him as cheaply as possible, but if I had to surrender Clement or Balentien straight up, I’d do it. Besides Adam Jones and Carlos Triunfel (6 for 6 last night, by the way, now hitting .340 in high-A as a 17-year-old), I’d swap any other player in the system straight up for Howell.
I know, I know, he had a 7.36 ERA and Tampa decided he wasn’t good enough to pitch for them despite having the worst pitching staff in baseball. I don’t care. He throws strikes, misses bats, and gets groundballs, and you can’t find an example of a guy with these kinds of peripheral stats that stayed healthy and didn’t turn into a useful major league pitcher. He’s never really gotten a shot and he’s played on two of the worst teams in baseball in his career. Get him into Safeco and watch what happens.
If the Mariners make a trade with Tampa Bay and don’t at least ask about J.P. Howell, they might as well just resign in shame.
The Cardinals just traded for Joel Pineiro. On purpose! He now gets to team with Spiezio again. Hope the pharmacies stay open late in St. Louis.
Also, the Dodgers just sent Wilson Betemit to the Yankees for Scott Proctor. It’s amazing how badly the Dodgers are being run right now. As most bad organizations do, Los Angeles focused on his batting average (just .229) and not his secondary skills (.359 OBP, .474 SLG) and decided that he couldn’t help them, despite the fact that they’re struggling to score runs while giving lots of at-bats to total scrubs like Juan Pierre. The Yankees make a golden pickup here, giving up nothing of value for a 25-year-old who can help them.
One hour to go, and the M’s don’t appear to be on the verge of any trades. To which I give an enthusiastic huzzah. I’m basically on the J.P. Howell or nothing bandwagon. Everyone else on the market is not that good and ridiculously overpriced.
Eric Gagne may be heading to Boston if he waives his no trade clause, with the Red Sox parting with David Murphy, Kason Gabbard, and Engel Beltre. To put this in Mariner terms, would you be happy if the M’s parted with Jeremy Reed, Ryan Feierabend, and Mario Martinez for Gagne? I might do that, even with my insistance that the M’s don’t need another reliever. This could be another win-win trade for both teams.
Rumors have the Braves aggressively pursuing Bronson Arroyo. I’ve never been a fan and I’m certainly not any more of one now.
55 minutes and counting. Stay strong, Bill – don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
12:15 pm (DMZ):
Word is the Dotel-for-Davies trade, rumored to be off/not final, is done.
12:20 pm (Dave):
Yep – both Braves deals are done. They get Teixeira and Dotel for a huge amount of young talent. John Schuerholz is a hall of fame GM, but he’s had better days.
12:45 pm (DMZ):
Mateo to the Phillies for… ?
12:50 pm (Dave):
Almost certainly nothing. The M’s were committed to sending Mateo somewhere else if anyone had interest, and this looks like the classic give-a-guy-a-shot-elsewhere trade that Bavasi believes in. I’m totally fine with this – Mateo wasn’t going to help the M’s, and now we don’t have to worry about ever seeing him in Seattle again. Irony upon irony – he now gets to setup for Brett Myers.
1:00 pm (Dave):
Looks like shipping Mateo to Philly is the only move the M’s have made, though sometimes deals trickle in after the deadline. As long as they are submitted to MLB offices by now, they can still be made public later. But it looks like we may have gotten our wish, and Bill Bavasi stood his ground in the face of public pressure to do something, anything, to show he was being active. Well, there wasn’t anything worth doing this year, and I’m certainly glad the M’s didn’t punt a valuable trade chip for a marginal middle reliever.
Escobar v Batista. 7:05, FSN.
DH-B Vidro. Really? I’m out six weeks and he’s still… okay…
3B-R Beltre. Wow, he tore the cover off the ball while I was out.
LF-L Ibanez. Wait, what? The Cliff claims another 30-something Mariner hitter.
1B-R Sexson. Is that really his stat line?
C-R Johjima. Wooo!
Okay, what else… Hargrove’s gone, no one knows why still… Adam Jones still in Tacoma for no discernible reason. The team’s still a couple of games back in the races… Dave’s been on fire for so long those giant tanker planes are dumping water on his place and it turns to steam immediately…
Update: Octavio Dotel to Atlanta for Kyle Davies. Winner? The Mariners. Thank you, John Schuerholz, for saving us from ourselves
A quick recap of what’s happened so far, leading up to tomorrow’s deadline.
Brewers acquire Scott Linebrink for trio of arms
I like Doug Melvin a lot, but he paid for what Linebrink was and not what he is. None of the guys he gave up are world beaters, but neither is Linebrink. Useful relief arms come cheaper than this. The key will be to see whether he gets classified as a Type A free agent and if the Brewers receive a couple of draft picks after he walks at seasons end – if he does, and they do, then the Brewers win this one.
Indians acquire Kenny Lofton for Max Ramirez
The classic deal that makes sense for both teams. Lofton gives the Indians some more depth in the outfield and improves their 25 man roster for a playoff run, while the Rangers get a guy who I like a lot in Max Ramirez. He’s a pure line drive hitter and could develop into a very solid player in a few years. The definition of a win-win trade.
Phillies acquire Tadahito Iguchi for nothing
Okay, Michael Dubee actually exists, but he’s a minor league reliever and not a particularly impressive one. Iguchi’s not having a great year, but he’ll help the Phillies, and he cost nothing. I never thought I’d utter these words, but nice trade by Pat Gillick. Prepare for armageddon.
Devil Rays acquire Dan Wheeler for Ty Wigginton
A blase veteran reliever for a blase veteran utility player with two guys going from one non-contender to another. This trade couldn’t matter any less.
Braves acquire Mark Teixeira for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and others
A total home run for the Rangers here. Teixeira is a good but not great player, and in return for a year and a half of his services at not-bargain rates, they extracted one of the best young catchers in baseball, a very high upside middle infielder, and reportedly got a couple other players of value. A+ for Jon Daniels. Teixeira won’t help the Braves as much as they think he will, and the upgrade from Salty to T-Rex isn’t worth the price they paid. But John Schuerholz is pretty close to being beyond reproach, so that’s all I’ll say about that.
Phillies acquire Kyle Lohse for nothing
The end is near. Pat Gillick makes two trades in the span of a couple of days, both times acquiring a guy with at least some potential to marginally improve his team and gives up nothing of value in either move. My world has just been thrown upside down.
Mets acquire Luis Castillo from the Twins for nothing
Remember the Ray Durham heist the A’s pulled off a few years ago, where they got two months of a solid player for nothing of consequence, then got two draft picks when Durham left as a free agent. This is the 2007 version of that. Terry Ryan simultaneously made his team worse now and in the future and got fleeced by Omar Minaya in the process.
M’s yet to make a move
Huzzah. There’s no one out there I want. I could offer up a big post on why J.P. Howell would be a really nice addition to the club, but he’s not 34 and injured, so I won’t bother.
Call this preventative maintenance, as it’s not a rumor yet, but I’m sure someone will make one out of it once news gets out that Wladimir Balentien will be missing his second consecutive game for the Rainiers today.
He hasn’t been traded. He’s nursing a sore right hand. Don’t freak out when he’s not in the line-up in a half hour. Yes, the Rainiers are playing a 10:00 am game today, since they’re on the road in Oklahoma. As always, you can catch it live at the Rainiers official site.
Since rumors continue to persist that the Mariners are shopping for a veteran right-handed setup man to work the 8th inning, I just thought I’d point out the following.
Sean Green, July: 10 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Green has inherited 13 runners this month. Not one of them has scored. He’s had two significant issues holding him back in his career – a lack of command and an inability to get left-handed hitters out. He now hasn’t walked anyone in his last 14 appearances, and he had no problem retiring Nick Swisher or Jack Cust today, the two best left-handed hitters in the A’s lineup.
And, to boot, we’ve got this:
Brandon Morrow, last four outings: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K
Morrow’s last four appearances are his best stretch of pitching as a pro. Even when he wasn’t giving up runs in May, he was having trouble throwing strikes, putting nearly as many balls out of the strike zone as in it. In these recent appearances, however, 74 of his 102 pitches have been strikes. To boot, he’s showing far more confidence in his splitter, throwing 10 of them in his last appearance against the A’s on Friday.
The only thing this team needs less than a new right-handed reliever is a new center fielder.
Washburn vs DiNardo, 1:05 pm.
Lenny DiNardo is the poster boy for evaluating pitchers based on repeatable skills and not performance. I should put his picture in the Evaluating Pitcher Talent article. The Mets took him in the 3rd round of the 2001 draft, but despite some decent performances in the minors, they weren’t terribly impressed with what they saw and left him available for the Rule 5 draft after the 2003 season. The Red Sox saw an extreme groundball pitcher who also had shown an ability to miss bats, and though he had some command problems, finding those two skills in a young left-hander made him a no brainer to pick off for just $50,000. They used him sparingly in 2004, but pitched well enough when he was used. 2005 was a lost year due to injuries, and he was terrible last year, lacking command and giving up a ton of home runs. When Boston decided they didn’t have any more need of him and placed him waivers, the A’s saw the same thing the Red Sox had seen a few years earlier – a cheap young left-handed pitcher with extreme groundball tendancies and the ability to miss bats occassionally, so they snagged him for nothing in February when he became available.
DiNardo has pitched in 22 games, including making 10 starts, and has the lowest ERA of any pitcher with at least 75 innings pitched in the American League. Now, he’s obviously not this good – the difference between his ERA and his xFIP is over 2.00 runs, a huge margin – and regression to the mean is going to get to him sooner or later. But because of his extreme sink on his fastball, he doesn’t give up home runs, and his command has reached the point where it’s good enough for him to succeed in the rotation.
DiNardo’s a better pitcher than Jarrod Washburn. The A’s got him for $25,000 because they were willing to claim a guy who ran a 7.85 ERA last year off waivers, ignoring the results and looking at the skills. The M’s are paying Jarrod Washburn $37.5 million over 4 years because they evaluated a pitcher by his results and not his skills.
This matchup couldn’t show the point any clearer. That said, I hope DiNardo gets bombed and Washburn throws a complete game shutout, and considering the opposing offenses, that’s completely possible.
Ramirez vs Gaudin, 1:05 pm.
More new line-ups from McLaren, even against a righty:
This might be the best line-up the M’s have run out there this year. The lefties are balanced throughout the order, Ibanez is out of the three hole, and Broussard provides some left-handed power. Well done, Johnny Mac.
Hernandez vs Braden, 7:05 pm.
Happy Felix Day. Please win.