Stone’s argument for Bedard

DMZ · January 21, 2008 at 9:40 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Larry Stone’s not as pro-Bedard-trade as some advocates, but he’d still give up Jones… with a lot of caveats. Caveats that in practice make him anti-Bedard-trade.

(updated to fix date: I thought this ran in the Sunday edition for some reason)

Comments

42 Responses to “Stone’s argument for Bedard”

  1. Carson on January 21st, 2008 9:49 am

    Stone wants us to give credit to Bavasi and Fontaine for building up the farm system in their time. I’m all for that, but not if they trade some of the best pieces away for one pitcher, regardless of how good he is.

    Also, would you agree that extended Bedard might still not be worth it? He’s close to the wrong side of 30, and has had injury issues. Stone makes that case, but I don’t think I like the trade even with that.

  2. gwangung on January 21st, 2008 9:52 am

    Stone wants us to give credit to Bavasi and Fontaine for building up the farm system in their time. I’m all for that, but not if they trade some of the best pieces away for one pitcher

    If it’s for what we need, that’s precisely what a farm system is for.

    Of course, at this point, one pitcher is NOT what we need….not for what we’d trade for him…

  3. Eastside Crank on January 21st, 2008 10:07 am

    What makes this very frustrating is the mediocre job the Mariners do to develop their prospects. Yes they have promising players in the minors but they need to be trained to be the best that they can be. Looking at the current roster the stars came up through someone else’s system. Putz would be the biggest exception and Felix has a chance but is not there yet. If the AAA players need to go outside the organization to become stars should you go ahead and trade them if you can get established players in return?

  4. Chris88 on January 21st, 2008 10:11 am

    Luke Scott, great. Im a fan of his bat vs lefties, but beyond that….

  5. Carson on January 21st, 2008 10:53 am

    2 – Aye, that more accurately states what I meant.

    I’d of course empty the farm if it gave us a real chance at a ring. This trade doesn’t even get us into serious contention, so we’d still need tons of luck.

  6. Boy9988 on January 21st, 2008 11:10 am

    Im with 3. We have these great prospects, but recently we just haven’t been able to make them pan out in the end. What was the last good offensive player the Mariners produced….Rodriguez? I say trade these guys. I hear that the O’s dont want Clement, so i would try to swing a deal to bring in a more powerful outfielder to take Jones place. Maybe the Pirates will go for a Clement/Scott for Bay deal?

  7. Gregor on January 21st, 2008 11:21 am

    Minor nitpick: Stone’s article was actually in today’s paper, contrary to what the headline of this blog entry would make you believe.

  8. rrose on January 21st, 2008 11:23 am

    Depressing.

    Why do I have the feeling that the Front Office will take this latest editorial as an indication of the direction the winds are blowing in Marinerfandom, and assume they have the green light to mortgage the future to reclaim the have-dozen Pythagorean wins that they’re likely to lose? (Well, aside from the fact that wishful-thinking appears to be the engine behind much of the organizations decision making). With the likely denouement the same half-dozen game deficit in the division that ’07 produced.

    It’s all about probabilities, and the probability that this trade (as constructed in the prevailing rumors) looks good three years down the road appears to be quite poor. And the odds of it looking good at the end of the ’08 season aren’t very inspiring either.

  9. Sports on a Schtick on January 21st, 2008 11:31 am

    #6

    I think the Pirates are asking for the farm for Jason Bay.

    Bay was worth 73 runs in 2007 (albeit it was a bad year for him). Jones will likely be nearly as productive if he played full-time in 2008.

  10. Taylor H on January 21st, 2008 11:47 am

    We ought to be realistic here. At least 90% of minor leaguers never make it to the majors, and at least a good 25% of those that do don’t pan out. Everyone points to the Lowe and Varitek for Slocumb deal as proof why the M’s shouldn’t trade Jones and several of their top minor leaguers for Bedard, but it is very unlikely Chris Tillman and Matt Tuiasosopo (or whatever minor leaguers are in the potential deal) will become All-Stars. Even AJ (who in all likelihood will get a few gold gloves in his career) could be a dud. How do we know he won’t be the next Carl Everett?

    Also, Sherrill is easily replaceable. We have RRS, Eric O’Flaherty, and maybe Cesar Jimenez to fill his spot (and possibly Arthur Rhodes). The management doesn’t seem to know how to handle Morrow – maybe he could be the 8th inning guy.

    The point of my rant is that even if the M’s only get Bedard for 2 years, it makes more sense to go with the guy who has proven himself as a veritable ace. The only reason he’s never pitched 200 innings in a season is because he was getting injured. The M’s have Morrow, Baek, RRS, Feierabend – all capable replacements – in case he misses four or so starts. Remember, Felix missed about five starts last year, and he still won 14 games (plus Baek did pretty well, up until his last two starts).

    It’s a plus if Bedard makes 34 starts. I think we need him to make at least 30 or so to be worth the trade. Even if he’s great all year, but gets injured at the end and misses the postseason, at least we Mariner fans would get a Mariner postseason. It’s a plus if he resigns for two-three more years with us. We don’t know if AJ will be great, but we do know that Bedard will be great as long as he’s healthy.

    And to address the outfield issue, in the event of this trade occurring, we would need to find a good defensive right fielder to replace Jones. Heck, they could bat .230 and I’d be happy as long as they hit for power and played above-average D (yes, I know I just described Adam Jones). We need someone like that, maybe Luke Scott? I dunno. Don’t nitpick my comment TOO much guys, I spent an hour writing it.

  11. Pete on January 21st, 2008 11:52 am

    #8

    Dude, I hope that’s the last time you use the word denouement when chatting about baseball.

    Save it.

  12. Pete Livengood on January 21st, 2008 12:00 pm

    Tyalor H. wrote:

    “We ought to be realistic here. At least 90% of minor leaguers never make it to the majors, and at least a good 25% of those that do don’t pan out. Everyone points to the Lowe and Varitek for Slocumb deal as proof why the M’s shouldn’t trade Jones and several of their top minor leaguers for Bedard, but it is very unlikely Chris Tillman and Matt Tuiasosopo (or whatever minor leaguers are in the potential deal) will become All-Stars. Even AJ (who in all likelihood will get a few gold gloves in his career) could be a dud. How do we know he won’t be the next Carl Everett?”

    Taylor – Hope there’s not too much nit-picking here, but there are two LARGE problems with your basic premise(s). First, just because 90% of minor leaguers don’t make an impact in MLB (or whatever the number is) doesn’t mean that a top prospect who has achieved as much as AJ has, at as high a level and at as young an age, will also fail at that average rate. In fact the numbers are almost reversed – he’s quite likely to succeed (sure, no guarantees), historically. I’d point you to a Lookout Landing post by Jeff Sullivan on exactly this point that says all this much better than I could:

    http://www.lookoutlanding.com/story/2008/1/11/18858/7669

    Second, to maybe even a greater extent than is true of the prospects for success for a guy like AJ, “proven” major-leaguers like Bedard also fail. Particularly as they near 30+ (Bedard is 29), and particularly pitchers who have already shown a tendency toward injury (like Bedard). There is risk on both sides of the equation. Don’t minimize the one (Bedard) while overstating the other (AJ).

  13. Sports on a Schtick on January 21st, 2008 12:04 pm

    At least 90% of minor leaguers never make it to the majors, and at least a good 25% of those that do don’t pan out.

    But a lot of elite prospects tend to become very good players. Jones, if he was still a rookie, would be an elite prospect.

    The only reason he’s never pitched 200 innings in a season is because he was getting injured.

    That’s a huge reason for concern.

    Even if he’s great all year, but gets injured at the end and misses the postseason, at least we Mariner fans would get a Mariner postseason.

    The M’s are not guaranteed a postseason berth – with Jones or Bedard.

  14. Carson on January 21st, 2008 12:18 pm

    10 – Adam Jones is about 437 all you can eat buffets away from being Carl Everett.

  15. Transient Gadfly on January 21st, 2008 12:39 pm

    [i]What was the last good offensive player the Mariners produced…Rodriguez?[/i]

    David Ortiz says hi.
    Jason Varitek says hi.
    Carlos Guillen says hi.

    On the other hand, I don’t know if there’s really a lesson there, other than hitting stars don’t come along that often, and watching them become hitting stars for the teams to which you’ve traded them is the baseball/psychic equivalent of a kick in the crotch. For those three guys we traded away for nothing, there are ‘n’ other guys we traded away for something whose names have been devoured by history (Darren Bragg waves hello from the deep within the turgid bowels of time).

    As for me, I can’t even bring myself to the conclusion that the Mariners plus Bedard minus Jones and Sherrill are a better team than the Mariners without Bedard next year, let alone 2010. Has somebody out there done the runs added/runs lost calculation for adding Bedard minus whatever we lose going from Jones to Random Right Fielder and Sherrill to Random LOOGY? I just can’t see, given the options now available, that we don’t give those runs that we gain with Bedard in the bullpen right back from RF/bullpen.

  16. Transient Gadfly on January 21st, 2008 12:41 pm

    Sorry, not only can I not use comment tags correctly, I meant, “…with Bedard in the rotation…” there in the last sentence.

  17. Jack Howland on January 21st, 2008 12:45 pm

    Guillen came through the Astros system and Ortiz was drafted before A-Rod.

    Varitek was drafted a year after A-Rod and qualifies. Still though you have to go back 13 years for a good example.

  18. Steve Nelson on January 21st, 2008 1:05 pm

    Re Mariners lack of producing offensive players.

    There are two other key factors to consider.

    First, under Gillick the Mariners had a tendency to punt the early rounds of the draft. Gillick believed that high draft picks were overvalued, so he readily disposed of them of blew them off. The shortage of high round draft inevitably showed up as a shortage of high value prospects.

    Second, the players the Mariners did draft were skewed toward pitchers. The Mariners believed that pitching was the most valuable commodity – if you had it you could trade it for whatever else you might need. In addition, the Mariners had a love affair with soft-tossing finesse pitchers – they were looking for the next Jamie Moyer. I guess they figured that so many other teams were looking for power pitchers that the “finesse” end of the market had more value.

    Compounding those factors, the Mariners were then reluctant to deal those pitchers. The Mariners apparently believed that other teams were lowballing the Mariners on the value of the Mariners young pitchers; the refrain was that the deals being bantered wouldn’t make the team better and the Mariners liked the players they already had more than what they would have received in the trade. History shows that other teams probably had a better grasp of the value of the Mariners pitching prospects than did the Mariners.

  19. Typical Idiot Fan on January 21st, 2008 1:06 pm

    Oy cats, not the “prospects may bust so trade them” arguments again…

    I thought Jeff Sullivan did a good job pointing out how highly rated position prospects have a great chance of at least being a useful major league player.

    The problem with saying:

    At least 90% of minor leaguers never make it to the majors, and at least a good 25% of those that do don’t pan out.

    …is that you’re blindly comparing all prospects together as one heaping mass of potential suck. You’re lumping pitchers, who do have a high attrition rate, in with position players. You’re also lumping all position A-class players like Adam Jones with career minor leaguers like Andy Hargrove.

    Further, who in this entire universe other then God can safely say that Erik Bedard repeats his 2007 awesomeness and avoids injury? Because only those two factors would make this deal anything but a complete and utter calamity.

  20. Jeff Nye on January 21st, 2008 1:33 pm

    Undervaluing young players for no good reason makes the pony unhappy.

    Please, won’t you think of the ponies?

  21. Mike G. on January 21st, 2008 1:46 pm

    I won’t get in to the ways that this trade shouldn’t be made. Dave and DMZ have provided the analysis. We all have debated ad nauseum. At this point all we can do is wait for an actual move.

    I do take exception with this from Mr. Stone:

    At issue, of course, is whether the Mariners should trade Jones and an amorphous, ever-changing group of potential future stars (or busts) for Bedard, an emerging ace for the Baltimore Orioles.

    This imponderable is loads of fun to ponder.

    I couldn’t disagree more. This has become miserable to follow. For something that’s supposed to be entertainment and an escape from real life it is just so agitating. I used to look forward to coming to this site, now I cringe when I see a new post dreading what it has to say.

    The moves this team makes are at best uninspired all the way down to embarrassing. When I have a friend of mind who’s a Cubs fan email me: “Carlos Silva for 4yrs/44 Mil? Really?” It gets old.

    [Note: I do keep this all in perspective. I don't lose sleep over it]

  22. Typical Idiot Fan on January 21st, 2008 2:04 pm

    I used to look forward to coming to this site, now I cringe when I see a new post dreading what it has to say.

    I admit, in the beginning of all this hooplah I was intrigued by the Mariners making such a bold move. But as things went on and I thought about it, I got less and less enthused. At this point I’m just tired of talking about it and would prefer for something either to be done or dead. I have resolved myself not to be upset for too long if things don’t go my way, and just go into 2008 cheering on my team as always.

  23. Jim Thomsen on January 21st, 2008 2:07 pm

    I don’t see where anybody gets the idea that Luke Scott can play every day in the outfield. At best, he’s a 200-at-bat platoon stick against lefties. AT BEST. Skimming past that as if it were a minor trifle is a big flaw in Stone’s reluctant acquiesence to a Bedard-Jones-et-al trade.

  24. joealb1 on January 21st, 2008 2:29 pm

    Uh, Jim, You mean a 350 at bat platoon against right handed pitchers? Scott hits left handed and has a .898 career ops against right handed pitching. His line for 2007 was .252 .506 .855 Looks to me like he might do pretty good in Safco…..

  25. joealb1 on January 21st, 2008 2:29 pm

    SAFECO!

  26. marc w on January 21st, 2008 2:32 pm

    I’m with 24 – Scott seems to have lots of value as a platoon lefty, which would be nice, and despite a lot of grumblings from some about his foot speed, he rates as a well-above defensive RF. In PMR, he was +8 plays, and in the top 10 in baseball, and his RZR numbers at THT are positively Ichiro-esque.
    I’m not saying that’s a debate-ender, but it’s worth pointing out: too many people assume he’s a poor man’s Ben Broussard, and I’m not sure that’s accurate.

  27. et_blankenship on January 21st, 2008 2:39 pm

    Brad Wilkerson and Scott Boras are reportedly searching for a 3/$21 million deal. I can only assume this is because Wilkerson is the last RF on the market not in a wheelchair (although Wilkerson’s ZRs suggests otherwise). There is literally no way the Mariners (yes, even the Mariners) can justify an Adam Jones trade that does not include a RF in return, so when this trade is officially announced as dead we can all thank the empty market for our good fortune.

  28. imfinkspa on January 21st, 2008 3:01 pm

    Everett was a late bloomer, but if AJ can replicate his first 6 years, while playing excellent defensive, and without the attitude, the Mariners will have done very well indeed.

    Carl Everett ages 24-29:
    24 260/352/439 (289 ABs) 110 OPS+
    25 240/326/307 (192 ABs) 72 OPS+
    26 248/308/420 (443 ABs) 91 OPS+
    27 296/359/482 121 OPS+
    28 325/398/571 142 OPS+
    29 300/373/587 135 OPS+

    If that’s how a lesser prospect than AJ turned out through his cost controlled years, while being somewhat injury prone and playing a mediocre to poor corner outfield spot, then I’d think there is good reason to be optimistic about AJ. The fact is, if Everett’s offensive performance over his first 6 years were AJ’s most likely outcome, without the attitude and plus defense, then the Mariners would be insane to trade him for Bedard.

    Its all fine and good to dog on Everett. By the time he came to Seattle, he was clearly done. He was injury prone and a truly bizarre character with some real off-the-field drawbacks, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a productive ballplayer for a number of years.

  29. joealb1 on January 21st, 2008 3:05 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not support trading AJ. I just was pointing out that Luke Scott has shown an ability to hit right handed pitching. That means 350 to 400 ab’s in a full time platoon. Not 200 as Jim Thomsen stated. 200 would go to his right handed platoon partner. Were you just testing us Jim?

  30. Evan on January 21st, 2008 3:09 pm

    Jim might have been asserting that the M’s don’t seem willing to platoon, so any platoon player will either end up facing pitchers he can’t hit 200 times a year (thus canceling out some of his benefit), or not play regularly, and just get occasional playing time like Willie.

  31. joealb1 on January 21st, 2008 3:12 pm

    Look again #28. Crazy Carl played mostly CF from 1997 to 2000. But I agree, if AJ matches Crazy Carl in offensive production, which I personally think he will be much better, KEEP HIM!

  32. joealb1 on January 21st, 2008 3:13 pm

    Evan, that is a VERY good point!

  33. marc w on January 21st, 2008 4:09 pm

    That *is* a good point, Evan – the M’s could get a hell of a lot more out of the pieces they already have if they’d just use them intelligently.
    But it’s not just crazy talk to say that Scott could play every day in RF. Would that be ideal? No, it clearly wouldn’t be. But it’s not as dumb as sticking Ben Broussard in RF every day, or sticking Vidro at 2B or anything like that.
    Luke’s got a horrible reputation for massive platoon splits and non-existant defense.
    On the former, while his splits against LHs are worse, they’re not absolute line-up killers esp. when factoring in the number of LH starters he’d face. He averaged about a .900 OPS vs. Lefties at Round Rock (in 2005 and 2006) and hit .777 against them in MLB in 2006. That’s not awesome (at least the MLB number isn’t), but it’s not something to quash the deal assuming you can’t platoon the guy.
    And on the latter, it surprised me too, but he actually rates as a fine defender according to some PBP metrics. OK, small sample size and all that, but he’s played enough over 2 years to suspect that it isn’t just a fluke.

    In short, it would make *some* sense even if you assume he’s deployed sub-optimally.

  34. Jim Thomsen on January 21st, 2008 4:12 pm

    D’oh! Sorry about the handedness error. But, geez … thinking of giving a key role to a grab-bag 30-year-old outfielder? Come on.

  35. gwangung on January 21st, 2008 4:52 pm

    Jim might have been asserting that the M’s don’t seem willing to platoon, so any platoon player will either end up facing pitchers he can’t hit 200 times a year (thus canceling out some of his benefit), or not play regularly, and just get occasional playing time like Willie.

    Now, why is that? Since McLaren seems to be following this, it has to be an organizational philosophy of late. So where’s it coming from? And why? (Because I’m pretty sure you can successful, even World Series successful, through platooning…)

  36. CCW on January 21st, 2008 5:05 pm

    Unlike other folks who argue in favor of trading Jones for Bedard, Stone at least is asking the right questions. The the gateway question is whether, with Bedard (and without Jones) the M’s have a real shot of beating the Angels. Stone thinks the Angels aren’t greatly improved and that the M’s, with Bedard, ought to be able to keep up with them.

    This, I think, is where he goes wrong. Stone is hoping rather than doing the analysis.

    The Angels *are* better than they were last year. The Hunter signing may not have been great, but in 2008, Hunter will add 3-4 wins as compared to what the Angels were running out in Center Field last year. Most people believe Ervin Santana will revert to 2006 form. Howie Kendrick will be healthy and back to being one of the best young middle infielders in the game. Kotchman is only getting better. Vlad will benefit from some DH time. The Angels have two catchers who are both under 27 and improving. They are going to be as good, or better than last year.

    Meanwhile, the M’s were a flukey 88-win team last year. Based on runs scored and allowed, they should have finished a few games under .500. They lost Guillen (and won’t have Jones to replace him, and are getting older and presumably worse at several positions. They might be 3-4 wins better with Bedard but that only gets them to 85 wins.

    So, the question is, do trade Jones (and others) to create an 85-win team? I don’t think so.

  37. Wishhiker on January 21st, 2008 5:14 pm

    Prospects…These guys are no longer prospects: Morrow, Jones, Sherrill. Too much Major League time to be considered so. All accounts I’ve heard is that Clements bat is Major League ready. Morrow made need to work on secondary pitches, and Clement defensive deficiencies, but we’re not talking about guys in the low minors. These guys are about as low risk as you can get (especially Jones). I’m not just responding to the 90%, but the overall idea that you’re trading prospects to get a Major League commodity.

    Anyone here think that Jones, Clement, Sherrill and Morrow can’t contribute to the club this year? If you’re trying to win, you trade prospects for Major League Veterans, right? Because the prospects can’t help this year anyway…but years down the road they may have been able to…These guys ARE NOT PROSPECTS. They can help the club now. That is the problem I’ve had all along with the trade ideas. You want to talk about trading prospects, talk about prospects.

  38. OppositeField on January 21st, 2008 5:31 pm

    I think we’d all agree with that, hence the FREE ADAM JONES movement last year, and Sherrill’s month-to-six-weeks of dominant setup work early on in the summer.

    The point is, regardless of how Mariner-ready these guys are, the club is treating them like prospects.

  39. Wishhiker on January 21st, 2008 5:32 pm

    I believe The 2007 M’s have the most flawed Pythagorean W/L in the history of the game. Keep quoting it if you must, but it’s pretty clear to me that when you have 2 starters serving up the most lopsided victories on the days they start that it’s going to lean to an overall of more allowed than scored. The loss of Guillens bat means much more to me in regards to them not repeating than Scored/Allowed because of the early season aberration of HoRam and JeWeeeeeeee.

  40. Taylor H on January 21st, 2008 6:32 pm

    About my earlier post… Sorry for being vague (probably not the right word), but I just wanted to point out that the minor leaguers being potentially traded along with AJ have not proven anything in the majors. AJ is a different story, being the top prospect and all (at least, he was when he was still a prospect), but he could still not live up to expectations. Although his expectations are actually quite reasonable, from what you USSM posters been telling me. Bedard, a flyball pitcher, with a much larger outfield and somewhat better infielders (overall) behind him, could potentially do very well as a Mariner.

    Also, my argument is kind of hinged on the hope that the M’s will somehow acquire a serviceable right fielder. That’s the major flaw in my thinking, because in all likelihood, they will not.

    And you guys were right, I shouldn’t lump Jones with all of the guys who are sure to never make it in the majors. I apologize for not giving AJ the respect he deserves. I just wanted to point out what a small percentage of total players in the MLB system go on to have at least somewhat successful major league careers.

  41. Taylor H on January 21st, 2008 6:33 pm

    Yes, I know Sherrill and AJ are not minor leaguers any more.
    Sorry for the back to back posts.

  42. lailaihei on January 21st, 2008 6:58 pm

    Bedard is a groundball pitcher.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.