Trades I’m Rooting For

Dave · July 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

With the trading deadline coming up, some different opportunities are starting to present themselves as chances for the Mariners to make some moves and help rebuild this roster. What follows are my suggestions (not rumors, not inside sources, suggestions) for three deals I’ll be rooting for the M’s to make.

Raul Ibanez to the Mets for LHP Jon Niese and 1B Mike Carp

The Mets are surging, but their outfield is a mess. Moises Alou is out for the year, and Ryan Church’s status is up in the air thanks to lingering concussion issues. Omar Minaya is going to make a move, so the M’s should put themselves in the forefront of his thoughts and convince him that Ibanez is the guy he wants. He has no problem emptying his farm system in attempts to win now, and Ibanez has the reputation to command more than he’s worth.

Niese is a 21-year-old southpaw with an average fastball and good curve who mixes his pitches well and is already succeeding in Double-A. He’s not a high upside guy, but as a potential #3/#4 starter, he’d help give the M’s a legitimate young pitching prospect who could potentially help the team as early as next year.

Carp is a 22-year-old left handed hitting first baseman with a good eye at the plate and gap power. Right now, he projects as a Lyle Overbay type, but there is room in his swing for some extra pop, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he grows into a 25 to 30 home run guy down the line.

Why The M’s Should Do This: Ibanez is obviously in decline, and 2008 might be the last year he’s a starting quality player. As such, he shouldn’t spend the rest of the year in Seattle. Niese and Carp give the M’s some moderate reward youngsters that could be useful players down the line.

Why The Mets Should Do This: They sold the farm to get Johan and they’re running down the Phillies in the east, but a Fernando Tatis/Endy Chavez combination isn’t going to work in RF/LF. While they would prefer to keep Niese and Carp, Ibanez will almost certainly be a Type A free agent, so if they offer him arbitration and let him leave in the winter, they’ll get two draft picks to replace the prospects they gave up. The addition of Ibanez for the stretch run and the draft picks makes it worth doing for New York

Yuniesky Betancourt to the Dodgers for Andre Ethier and Chin-Lung Hu

The Dodgers badly need a shortstop to make up for Furcal’s injury, and they don’t have a long term answer if they Rafael leave at years end. Betancourt would stop in and give them a huge offensive upgrade over Angel Berroa once they realize that Nomar is going to kill them at shortstop. Thanks to the contracts they gave Jones and Pierre, Ethier is somewhat expendable, and their need for a shortstop outweighs their need to keep him around.

Ethier is a 26-year-old left-handed outfielder who doesn’t have any one special skill but has a solid all around game. He’s solid defensively and hits RHPs quite well, and while he’s not going to be a star, his combination of offense and defense would make him one of the M’s best players, and his style of hitting is a good fit for Safeco Field.

Hu is a 22-year-old 2B/SS who is terrific defensively and has a questionable bat. He might end up as a defensive replacement, but if the bat develops at all, he could be a nice option to hold down one of the middle infield spots for a few years.

Why The M’s Should Do This: The M’s need to vastly improve their defense to help the contact pitchers on the staff, and bringing Ethier to replace Ibanez and committing to finding a new shortstop is a good step in that direction. Betancourt’s defensive reputation hasn’t matched his performance the last few years, and his swing-at-everything approach is too repetitive in this line-up. Betancourt’s not going to develop into the star the organization hoped he would, so trading him now before other teams realize that is the right way to begin rebuilding a bad group of position players.

Why The Dodgers Should Do This: The Dodgers production from SS since Furcal got hurt has been as bad as the M’s DH production. They need a guy who can fill that gap while they make a playoff run, and Betancourt would be the best SS on the market. Yes, they lose Ethier, but they’re committed to getting at-bats to Pierre and Jones, so he wasn’t going to play enough in LA as is, and if they need to pick up another OF to replace his loss, that’s easier than finding a shortstop.

Jarrod Washburn and Jose Lopez for Chris Duncan and Jamie Garcia

The Cardinals aren’t going to give up Colby Rasmus, so they’re not going to get a frontline starter to match what the Brewers and Cubs have added, but they’re still going to make a move to try and stay in the race. With their rotation struggling to stay healthy, Washburn would give them a 5th starter that would give them predictable results, while Lopez would solidify their long time second base hole for both this year and the future.

Duncan is a 27-year-old first baseman who has played some LF, but is St. Louis’ version of Raul Ibanez out there. He’s suffered a power outage this year, but he’d shown some real power from the left side the last few years, and he’s also more than willing to draw a walk. If he finds his power again, he’d be the M’s best hitter.

Why The M’s Should Do This: Getting rid of Washburn is a plus, so this deal breaks down from their perspective as Lopez for Duncan and Garcia. While he’s having a nice resurgent year with the bat, his defense has become a problem, and the M’s need to transition away from right handed free swingers. With Orlando Hudson and Mark Ellis hitting free agency this winter, they’d be able to spend some money to fill the hole created by his departure, while Duncan would give them a 1B/DH option and Garcia would give them another good young left-handed arm.

Why The Cardinals Should Do This: If St. Louis is going to hang with Milwaukee in the wild card race, they need a starter and a second baseman, and this is the only place they’ll find both in the same package. Washburn should be fine in the NL, and since neither he or Lopez are free agents at years end, they’re not mortgaging the future for a rent a player. Duncan doesn’t have a role with the Cards, and while Garcia is a tough arm to give up, questions about his command and durability make him the kind of higher risk arm that you can move in a deal where you get a 24-year-old sescond baseman who is under contract for three more years.

If the M’s made all three of these deals, they’d set themselves up to have a good off-season and contend in 2009. Yes, they’d have to get a new middle infield, but this is a good winter to go shopping for second baseman, and there are shortstops like Ronny Cedeno who will be available in trade in a few months. They add a few legitimate major league hitters to a line-up that needs some, pick up a couple solid young arms, shed a bit of payroll, and get a chance to build around position players who can both create runs and play a little defense.


71 Responses to “Trades I’m Rooting For”

  1. azruavatar on July 13th, 2008 1:37 pm

    Todd S./33 — the Cardinal’s minor league 2nd baseman (Jarrett Hoffpauir) isn’t really a tremendous prospect. He’s walks more than Miles but otherwise carries the some of the same disadvantages (little power, questionable defense). The Cardinals aren’t in any hurry to give him a shot at the bigs.

  2. edgar for mayor on July 13th, 2008 1:56 pm

    Mariners manager Jim Riggleman feels the M’s will be cautious with trade talks, and goes as far as saying he expects very little change. Riggleman says they “won’t move players just to move them.” Does this seem like the right strategy for a team with the second-worst record in baseball?

    I am really being hate hate Riggleman just as much as Mac…they are freaking twins.

  3. edgar for mayor on July 13th, 2008 1:58 pm

    Buster Olney says that requests for Max Scherzer are keeping the Dbacks from making any moves, such as for Raul Ibanez.” We’re shooting pretty high there aren’t we?

    At least this is the complete opposite of Bavasi’s theory of give me whatever you want and it should be fair.

  4. Bilbo on July 13th, 2008 2:13 pm

    The thing is, it really isn’t aiming that high when you know you will be getting two picks back in the next draft. Look at it this way, would you trade Max for an OFer you want for 08 plus pick #35 and #45 (which could be as high as #16 depending on who signs Raul) in the draft?
    If not that totally makes sense, but it isn’t as ridiculous as it otherwise would sound.
    BTW, this is yet another reason to be pissed about the Joh extension. He could have netted a nice return -or the draft picks- without that extension.

  5. killer_ewok18 on July 13th, 2008 2:26 pm

    54: Yeah, but the thing is, we’re going to re-sign Raul.

    So we’ll be getting… our own draft picks.

  6. Blastings Thrilledge on July 13th, 2008 2:29 pm

    Re: Ibanez. God. NO. I do not want “LF” Ibanez in the outfield. And forget the two picks. The Mets woud re-sign him pronto.

  7. jzalman on July 13th, 2008 2:55 pm

    Re possible trade with the Cardinals, would they give up Anthony Reyes? They clearly don’t value/view him as the prospect he is, as they screw around with starting/relieving/majors/minors so much with him. He’s a legit talent, still quite young, and we might be able to steal him because they don’t seem to like him.

  8. joser on July 13th, 2008 4:48 pm

    I must admit I thought the scenario with the Dodgers was rather implausible until I recalled that Ned Colletti is their GM.

    True, but the LA Times has suggested that won’t be true for long, which means he immediately goes onto the interview list for any other team looking for a GM. There are only a couple of GMs that are worse than Bavasi, and Colletti is one of them (his mentor Sabean is another one, which may go a long way to explaining the NL West divisional record this year).

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  9. gwangung on July 13th, 2008 5:03 pm

    True, but the LA Times has suggested that won’t be true for long, which means he immediately goes onto the interview list for any other team looking for a GM.

    Which would mean Ng would get a shot there?

    Double ugh….

  10. galaxieboi on July 13th, 2008 5:58 pm

    I have no idea how that trade helps the Cardinals.

    Jarrod’s FIP is 4.39. Nothing fantastic, but better than Looper and not much worse than Joel and Wellmeyer. Figure some kind of adjustment for moving to the NL (if FIP doesn’t account for league) and he’d look better with better defense.

    As for their desire to aquire Lopez, he’s hitting better than Kennedy or Miles and while we can all agree Lopez’s defense it pretty bad at this point, I’m not sure it’s SO bad to make up the gap between Jose and the Cardinal incumbents.

    Frankly, I’ve been rooting for Chris Duncan to get moved to the AL for a couple years now. He could “play” firstbase, but his glove would look even better at DH.

  11. galaxieboi on July 13th, 2008 5:58 pm

    Nice post, by the way, Dave.

  12. JI on July 13th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Jarrod’s FIP is 4.39. Nothing fantastic, but better than Looper and not much worse than Joel and Wellmeyer. Figure some kind of adjustment for moving to the NL (if FIP doesn’t account for league) and he’d look better with better defense.

    As for their desire to aquire Lopez, he’s hitting better than Kennedy or Miles and while we can all agree Lopez’s defense it pretty bad at this point, I’m not sure it’s SO bad to make up the gap between Jose and the Cardinal incumbents.

    Frankly, I’ve been rooting for Chris Duncan to get moved to the AL for a couple years now. He could “play” firstbase, but his glove would look even better at DH.

    Yes, but why would they give up so much for such a marginal upgrade? Lopez a small upgrade at best, and Washburn… he’s better than Ron Villone, but mostly just as bad as what they have (and Wellemeyer has much more talent then Washburn has at this point, he’s just been pitching hurt the last few starts).

    I see no reason why the Cardinals would want to take on Washburn’s contract plus give away talented players while hurting their depth at the MLB level when they have Wainwright returning in three weeks, and Carpenter shortly after.

    They’d be much better off if they spent their talent on Burnett, Wolf, or Maddux.

    *Also, Duncan is a natural firstbaseman, I’m not sure the quotes are entirely necessary.

  13. G-Man on July 13th, 2008 6:59 pm

    I’ve been looking at who I’d like to get rid of more – Yuni or Lopez. I lean toward Yuni because he’s signed for longer and for more $. Lopez actually is cheaper than I thought. OTOH, there is chance to land Mark Ellis this winter, and I think he’d be a great addition and he’s undervalued.

  14. coolpapabell on July 13th, 2008 8:22 pm

    How about Bobby Parnell, Carp and we’ll call it a day? If that is not your flavor, then maybe Carp and Nick Evans is more your flavor? No? Well we won’t go any further than Carp/Evans and David Murphy….in other words Niese is not going any where because we need him in the rotation next year. Only Maine, Pelfrey and Johan are signed through next year.

  15. coolpapabell on July 13th, 2008 9:14 pm

    By the bye, Mike Carp is a no glove solid stick guy, in other words….he has DH written all over him.

  16. G-Man on July 14th, 2008 11:40 am

    The longer I look at Yuni’s numbers (offense, defense, and contract), the more I want to get rid of him. I’d settle for Hu and a “C” prospect.

    And the more I look at all of the M’s hitters’ stats, the more depressed I get. But Lopez is one of the best of a sorry lot, and he’s cheap, so I say keep him.

  17. Carson on July 14th, 2008 1:24 pm

    I suppose this is the best place to post this, though it probably doesn’t mean much. An update over the blurb they had last week, From ESPN:

    The Twins have contacted the Mariners about the possibility of aquiring Adrian Beltre. It is unclear how deep the conversation got, but it is a step forward as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last week that the Twins had internal discussions about Beltre.

    Beltre, who was a Gold Glove winner last year, would be the bat the Twins are looking for against left-handed pitching.

  18. MKT on July 14th, 2008 1:39 pm

    I agree that the proposed trade would be bad for the Dodgers — and that their GM might just be dumb enough to go for it. The Ms in recent years have somewhat resembled the Cubs of years past (good ballpark and loyal fanbase so lots of revenue, and lots of salary expenditure, but on the wrong players), but maybe a better analogy is that the Mariners are a lightweight version of the Dodgers of recent years. Not just in their penchant for humongous contracts to aging former all-stars, but even in some wretched lineup decisions: this past Saturday I went to Dodger Stadium for the first time this season. The Dodger’s answer to Vidro is Andruw Jones, who before the game was hitting .172/.268/.261 — and the Dodgers batted him 5th. Jones responded to that vote of confidence by equalling a Dodger record with 5 strikeouts. (In 5 plate appearances; he did manage to reach base after the 5th strikeout due to a dropped 3rd strike.) That lineup decision likely cost the Dodgers a victory: if they had simply swapped their #6 hitter, Loney, into the #5 spot (and assuming that Loney’s plate appearances had the same outcomes, granted we don’t know how valid that is), the Dodgers would’ve scored an additional run in the first inning, and would’ve won the game 4-3 instead of losing in 11 innings 3-5.

  19. hansk on July 14th, 2008 2:12 pm

    Do you think maybe the Rays might be interested in Bedard? They’ve lost 7 games in a row, and they’ve lost the lead in the AL East. They might feel the need to add a key piece.

    I mention this because the Rays actually have some prospects to offer. So many, that trading with us won’t deplete their farm. The Phillies have nothing we want. Who might we want from TB?

    Could it be time that Crawford is too expensive for TB? He’s due $8.25 mil next year, and has a $10 mil option the year after that. Maybe he could be the center piece coming to Sea for Bedard?

  20. hansk on July 14th, 2008 6:16 pm

    Ok, now I got it: Betancourt and Ibanez to the Red Sox for Clay Buchholz/Michael Bowden and Brandon Moss.

    We probably couldn’t get Buchholz, but it’s nice to dream. Red Sox fill the hole at SS and get a new OF/DH to replace Ortiz.

    M’s get a young, high-ceiling SP’er, and Moss is a decent power hitting, LH, OF’er. If we want a IF prospect we can also talk about Jed Lowrie. Other possible pitchers include Charlie Zink and David Pauley.

  21. Spookymilk on July 17th, 2008 3:10 pm


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