This isn’t the end
To answer the question “are you still on the bandwagon?” I roll my eyes at the implication there is a bandwagon while sighing heavily, and yes, sure, for purposes of the question, why not.
I don’t know what’s going on with Morrow, and it’s a loss for the team if he’s not in the rotation (where he’d be the #2 starter following a future Bedard trade). What’s going on with Morrow though is the previous administration’s fault, and particularly their desire to improve the bullpen to compete immediately at the cost of player development. We don’t know how much they could have influenced Morrow, or if they’re conceding this battle now to make him happy with the intention of continuing to work on the issue
I clearly prefer Shelton over Sweeney, but I don’t think it’s that huge of a difference, and Dave (and everyone else) doesn’t see much of a difference at all. I’ll shrug and concede.
I’m disappointed about Walker: I thought that was a nice little move I wanted to see work out, it was good to see him pitch this spring, and I hope he can work his way back to the majors this year.
And on Clement, yeah, this sucks. For all the blathering about failing to prove himself at the major league level blah blah blah, no one seriously doubts he can hit, and the challenge is figuring out how to get his bat into a lineup. The team as constructed with Griffey (and, I should note, this should be an indication that they’re going to be parking Griffey at DH) didn’t leave Clement a lot of at-bats to pick up anyway. But going to Tacoma’s not going to help his development.
Look at this in contrast to last year, though: Silva and the Bedard trade. Huge, fat disasters, ones the team’s going to pay for for seasons to come, absurd on their face. As much as yesterday’s news isn’t happy fun time, they’re bad outcomes of close and difficult decisions. The smarts of the Branyan pickup isn’t lessened by whether they go with Shelton/Sweeney.
Last, on the same theme, there’s no chance the team’s not exploring options to clear up some of this. We saw with the Putz trade how highly they value proven closers: if that’s all Morrow wants to become they’re already pondering pump-and-dump schemes. Clement may have more value to a team willing to accept a defensive upgrade to get his bat, maybe betting he’ll listen to reason over the long term. If this all ends up kicking off a couple of huge trades that net the M’s a haul in prospects, in a couple of weeks none of this will have mattered and everyone decrying the awfulness of the front office yesterday will be asking for a hand back up onto the wagon, which we’ll helpfully provide.
This is in no way a disaster on the scope of previous off-seasons. Don’t freak out. If they make a series of huge bonehead moves, trust us to point that out.