Trade Deadline Thread
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.