Officially The Worst Trade In Franchise History

Dave · September 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm · Filed Under Mariners, Off-topic ranting 

John Hickey gets Bedard to talk, and it’s not good.

“The start after I hurt my hip, I felt discomfort in the last inning I pitched,” Bedard said. “I know exactly when I did it. After that it got worse and worse”.

“We knew what it was after the MRI — it’s a tear in the labrum and a cyst,” Bedard said. “Surgery was always an option, but you want it to be the last option. You’re never 100 percent sure what will happen in surgery.”

“The surgery we’re talking about can be six to nine months (of rehabilitation) or it can be longer,” Bedard said. “To not be able to pitch, that’s the most frustrating part of the whole season. To not be able to do what you love is hard.”

A torn labrum isn’t quite the career ender it used to be, but it’s still as bad an injury as a pitcher can have. Apparently, the whole “exploratory surgery” thing was a lie, as Bedard clearly believes he’s having his labrum repaired when they cut him open.

Realistically, this news puts Bedard out until at least June or July of 2009. Since Bedard’s eligible for arbitration this winter and the team would have to offer him at least $6 million, there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to be non-tendered. In which case, he’d almost certainly sign elsewhere, and the Erik Bedard era in Seattle would be over.

80 meaningless innings in the worst season ever – that’s potentially Bedard’s entire Mariner career. No trading him for some prospects to try to recoup the losses. No draft picks when he leaves as a free agent. Just labrum surgery and a potential release, while the M’s try to rebuild without the core of their farm system, now enjoying success in Baltimore.

In terms of results, this is easily the worst trade in franchise history. Everyone involved in making that trade should resign in disgrace.


103 Responses to “Officially The Worst Trade In Franchise History”

  1. Breadbaker on September 19th, 2008 5:36 pm

    There is a difference between “it was a bad trade the day it was made and it’s getting worse by the minute”, which is pretty hard to disagree with unless you live in Chuck Armstrong’s universe, and “In terms of results, this is easily the worst trade in franchise history.” On that one, I still say, “not proven.”

    On the day it was made, it was a trade in the class of Denny McLain for Joe Coleman and the left side of the Senators’ infield, which won the Tigers the AL East in 1972. In other words, it overpriced the value of a single starting pitcher (though the Tigers at least threw in a few prospects, including Elliott Maddox, who was supposed to be good but wasn’t), and undervalued what was being traded for him.

    It was also a trade in the nature of the 1998 Johnson trade, from the standpoint of the Astros (though they had enough in the farm system to replace the three guys we got, while the M’s couldn’t replace Adam Jones with anything all year).

    Its best competitor for worst trade ever, the Slocumb trade, is a lot like the Doyle Alexander trade in 1987. The Tigers got what they wanted, a division title, and the Braves got 20+ years of John Smoltz. The M’s got similar results from Slocumb. But remember, at the time, it was the Cruz trade, not the Slocumb trade, that everyone was up in arms about.

    The real difference between the Slocumb and Bedard is in the evaluation of where the team was, not what they were giving up. With four potential Hall of Famers in their primes, the 1997 M’s had a reasonable expectation of winning a lot of pennants if they could fill a hole. After that trade, Dan Wilson did indeed play in three playoff series (with perhaps the worst playoff batting record of any player ever), so it’s not like the M’s didn’t consider Varitek expendable. Lowe was considered a failure in his tryout in early 1997, and thus also expendable. While, as I’ve argued before, Sherrill was also expendable, Jones clearly was not, and the team’s complete misevaluation of the longterm prospects of three of its other starters makes the “throw-in” of three pitching prospects foolish in the extreme.

    So, to reiterate, bad trade at the time. Might be worst trade ever. Can’t say so yet.

  2. eponymous coward on September 19th, 2008 5:58 pm

    I agree there was plenty of risk. I applaud teams willing to take risk.

    That’s a little like saying “I applaud you for betting the mortgage money on Black 13 at the roulette wheel”, in the case of the Bedard trade.

    I’m not sure that the downside is as big as folks here make it out to be because even the best prospects wash out a majority of the time

    So do the best established players (injury, declining skill set). In fact, when using sophisticated analysis that looks at minor league performance and scouting information, prospects AREN’T really riskier than established MLB players… and they have the bonus of being a hell of a lot cheaper.

    The reality is that the Bedard trade was, on its face, not knowing what would happen in 2008, a bad deal for Bavasi to make at the time. Bavasi took a team that objective evidence suggested was a .500 team with significant problems, weakened it at two positions (OF and bullpen) that were problems all year in 2008, and while adding a superior player in the rotation, blew the farm system wad while ignoring other problems (DH, 1B, overall defense).

    The fact that Bedard turned out to be damaged goods is just the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae of awful decision making that went into this.

  3. vic_romano on September 20th, 2008 11:47 pm

    How about the Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard trade? Now, I’m not saying this is on the same level as Bedard or Slocumb trades, but we literally gave him away to the Indians for nothing, since they in turn gave Broussard away to the Rangers.

    How does a .304 BA, .394 OBP, & 13 HR 57 RBI’s sound for a LF?

    I’d take it!

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