Process Of Elimination

Dave · July 29, 2009 at 7:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

We’ll hopefully find out about where Clement’s headed at some point today. Until then, we can do a little process of elimination to make an educated guess.

First off, let’s write off the entire National League. Clement’s a DH who might be able to learn how to play first or go back to catching eventually, but his primary position is hitter. National League clubs don’t have the fallback of letting him hit while his knee recovers, so they’re far less likely to trade for him.

Okay, now, write off the Angels/Rangers/A’s. Intra-division trades are rare enough, but division rivals don’t trade major league players to a team trying to catch them in the standings. Texas and Anaheim aren’t interested in helping make the M’s better. Oakland is already loaded with Clement-type players. Deals with those three don’t make much sense.

Now, write off the Yankees. Even with Matsui leaving at the end of the season, they need to save their DH spot for Jorge Posada. Also, their top prospect is a kid names Jesus Montero, a monster hitter who probably can’t catch. In other words, they already have their Jeff Clement. They don’t need ours.

Boston? Nope. Ortiz is hitting again, they just acquired Adam LaRoche to serve as their LH bat off the bench, and they’re not giving up pieces from their big league roster while they try to make the playoffs.

Detroit? No – he doesn’t fit their needs and they don’t have the kinds of players the M’s would be looking for.

White Sox? No – they already have six DH’s on their roster.

Minnesota? No – Mauer/Morneau/Kubel.

KC? Not a Royals kind of player.

That leaves four teams that make some sense.

Tampa Bay – they aren’t getting any offense from Dioner Navarro or Pat Burrell, and they’ve expressed interest in Clement before. Reid Brignac, as has been discussed many times, is exactly the kind of player that makes sense for the M’s to be pursuing. The M’s could also afford to take on Scott Kazmir’s contract to give Tampa some financial flexibility. Morrow + Clement for Kazmir + Brignac makes sense for both teams, even without the whole Cleveland angle.

Cleveland – They don’t need a catcher, but they just traded Ryan Garko and they might deal Victor Martinez, so there would be some 1B/DH at-bats open, and he’s their kind of hitter. Jhonny Peralta could be a good fit for the M’s if they think he can play shortstop.

Toronto – The Blue Jays ownership has just stated that they’re going to get “costs under control”, which might prevent the Jays from offering arbitration to Marco Scutaro this winter. Clement and some lower level prospects might be enough to get you Scutaro, in that case – he’d be a rental unless the team liked him enough to try to sign him long term, but as a Type A free agent, the M’s could prefer the draft picks to the prospects they’re giving up.

Baltimore – They have this Wieters kid, so he’d be a 1B/DH only in Baltimore, but Aubrey Huff is a free agent at years end and the O’s could use another young power bat. What they would give up in return is less clear, but they at least fit the mold of a team that would be interested in Clement.

If I had to bet, I’d say it’s a deal with Tampa Bay. Kazmir impressed in his start against the Yankees, and the Rays would probably prefer to be free of his contract even if they can’t pull off the Cliff Lee deal. Brignac, obviously, fits a big need too. This just makes the most sense of anything. But it’s not the only possibility – I could see him going to Cleveland, Toronto, or Baltimore as well.


39 Responses to “Process Of Elimination”

  1. shemberry on July 29th, 2009 7:43 am

    I am just glad that I am actually excited about this trade and I don’t even know who it is for. In the past I would have been dreading the news, certain that we had just dug ourselves a little deeper hole.

  2. mymrbig on July 29th, 2009 7:47 am

    I could see a 3-team deal with the Brewers and Rays that sends Kazmir to the Brewers, Clement to the Rays, Brignac to the M’s, with other pieces moving around to even things up.

  3. edclayton on July 29th, 2009 7:48 am

    Isn’t one of the teams that actually needs Clement’s skill set the most right here in Seattle? The M’s are obviously in need of some offensive firepower, and they will clearly have room at DH/1B/emergency C to play him next year. Unless they are able to acquire a young SS who can play defense, I don’t see why they would make this move. Wouldn’t that eliminate Toronto and Baltimore, who don’t appear to have any strong SS candidates in the wings?

  4. Dave on July 29th, 2009 7:54 am

    The M’s have Mike Carp and Brad Nelson hanging out in Tacoma too. Clement’s not their only left-handed DH down there.

  5. scottiedawg on July 29th, 2009 7:57 am

    Is Kazmir just injured? His rates are worsening, and his velocity is down. 2004-2007 he was extremely valuable and even last year he accumulated 2 WAR. I see Kazmir and Brignac for Morrow and Clement as a HUGE win for the M’s.

  6. Salty Dog on July 29th, 2009 8:02 am

    Seattle doesn’t see Clement as a C. He would have a lot more value to a team that sees him as a C long term. I would imagine any team getting him would be hoping for him to play there.

    Put another way, SS is a gaping hole. 1B/DH is much easier to fill.

    Kazmir’s injury history worries me, too. If he’s healthy, Clement/Morrow for Brignac/Kazmir is super. Felix/Kazmir is an awesome 1-2 punch over the next few years. It sounds like his injury history isn’t *too* bad, so I think I’m on board with it.

  7. Soonerman22 on July 29th, 2009 8:05 am


    If they trade Morrow and Clement to whoever and get a top prospect SS and a Pitcher, do you still trade Washburn, or do you try and resign him?

    Yes the Mariners are 7 1/2 back, but would the not “sell” per say, but add these guys and see what happens. Would they go into it with a mind set of “If we win the division we win, and if not we finish well and have a good building block for next year.” (Also maybe showing Felix and other free agents this off season we aren’t in a 5 year rebuilding project, but we are rebuilding while still trying to be competitive every night?)

    I remember in 2004 they brought up everyone from Tacoma to play in Seattle, and though the Mariners have brought up Saunders and Shelton, they seem to be smart call ups. Not just calling guys up so they can get playing time in the bigs. Guys they think can succeed and putting them in positions to succeed.

    Am I right, or am I smoking crack?

  8. scottiedawg on July 29th, 2009 8:06 am

    It looks like Kazmir’s only been on the 15-day DL four times in his career for: thigh strain, elbow strain, shoulder fatigue, and shoulder inflammation. Nothing too serious.

  9. Brian on July 29th, 2009 8:08 am

    Rosenthal now saying that Indian and Rays officials are saying they aren’t involved in Clement talks.

  10. GarForever on July 29th, 2009 8:16 am

    I’m not right very often, but I had a feeling about the Brewers not taking their chances very seriously, at least not seriously enough to give us back value for Washburn.

  11. ComeBacktoUsZalphabet on July 29th, 2009 8:23 am

    If it had been a couple weeks ago, I think the Brewers would have given up some value for Washburn. That window has closed for sure. I still think that they are willing to trade Hardy, only now they’d want prospects rather than a rental pitcher.

  12. gregry17 on July 29th, 2009 8:30 am

    [deleted, stupidity]

  13. Godori on July 29th, 2009 8:32 am

    If the Rays and Tribe are out of this, then I’m deeply disappointed (unless it’s with the Brewers) but I can’t see the logic in trading with either Toronto or the O’s?

    Ugggghhhh… just hurry up already and make the announcement M’s!

  14. edclayton on July 29th, 2009 8:35 am

    Put another way, SS is a gaping hole. 1B/DH is much easier to fill.

    I agree. But I don’t think trading Clement for Marco Scutaro or Robert Andino is exactly what you would call filling that hole. That’s why I can’t see the Jays or Orioles as potential trading partners.

  15. rsrobinson on July 29th, 2009 8:35 am

    I’m not sure if I’d automatically write off the entire National League since a team may be looking at Clement as a future C/1B prospect rather than to fill an immediate need. And trading Hardy actually makes more sense for the Brewers now that they’re falling out of the pennant race.

  16. tmac9311 on July 29th, 2009 8:38 am

    Just because it’s Toronto or the O’s doesn’t mean they are trading us anything. Guti was the centerpiece of a deal where Putz went to the Mets, Brigac or Hardy could still be the centerpiece, with prospects from the M’s and Jays going to Milwakuee

  17. mymrbig on July 29th, 2009 8:43 am

    Another possibility could be a 3-team trade with the Rays, M’s, and Blue Jays. The Rays have denied discussions about Clement, but Clement, Morrow, and a couple Rays prospects to the Jays, with Kazmir and Brignac to the M’s, and Halladay to the Rays could make some sense for all 3 teams.

    As an aside, I really hope the Rays are buyers, rather than sellers. Not only from an M’s perspective (they have lots of nice trade chips if they are buyers), but also for all of baseball. You can count me securely in the camp that will be thrilled if either the Yankees or Red Sox (particularly the Yankees) miss the playoffs. The Jays are too talented to fold with 2 months remaining.

  18. mymrbig on July 29th, 2009 8:46 am

    Clearly I meant “the RAYS are too talented to fold…” Rays and Jays are easy for my fingers to confuse without enough coffee coursing through my veins…

  19. mlathrop3 on July 29th, 2009 8:49 am

    So, does this mean our long term C solution in Seattle is…. Rob Johnson? I guess I don’t know the minors situation at C for us.

    I like the fact Johnson’s from Butte and is “Butte Tough”, but really?

  20. Rusty on July 29th, 2009 8:50 am

    I believe the USSM authors have said something to this effect in the past… that Safeco Field is optimal for power lefthanded pitchers. If that is indeed the case, then Kazmir could be a good get.

  21. awestby51 on July 29th, 2009 8:50 am

    So, does this mean our long term C solution in Seattle is…. Rob Johnson? I guess I don’t know the minors situation at C for us.

    Adam Moore.

  22. Carson on July 29th, 2009 9:02 am

    Dave, based on your piece over at FanGraphs, are you sure we want Kazmir? Has your opinion changed?

  23. Thonycycle on July 29th, 2009 9:04 am

    Am I right, or am I smoking crack?

    You are right (not so sure about your crack habit), the call ups this year do seem to fit, the future looks bright. I like the idea of adding a couple pieces here and there and being competitive every single night (with the exception of Cedeno OMG). I would mind seeing Kaz pitching behind Felix at the Safe.

  24. Thonycycle on July 29th, 2009 9:05 am

    Oops “I wouldn’t mind”

  25. bhdollman on July 29th, 2009 9:08 am

    Could this possibly be a deal for Freddy Sanchez or Jack Wilson. With the Indians and Rays denying involvement with Clement it just got me wondering.

  26. mlathrop3 on July 29th, 2009 9:18 am

    Cowherd is having a great conversation about the buy/sell pickle that Seattle is in right now.

    Although when he was discussing the poor drawing teams coming in, and how throwing up the white flag would hurt attendance, all I could think was, “we can win against those teams!”

  27. robbbbbb on July 29th, 2009 9:24 am

    “KC? Not a Royals kind of player.”

    Clement’s got talent?

  28. don52656 on July 29th, 2009 9:30 am

    Any chance that the M’s plan to call Clement up to platoon with Shelton at 1B, and that Branyan is the one getting traded? After all, Branyan has been “pulled” from the lineup too….

  29. Soonerman22 on July 29th, 2009 9:31 am

    that Safeco Field is optimal for power lefthanded pitchers. If that is indeed the case, then Kazmir could be a good get.

    If I remember correctly though we said the same thing about Erik Bedard and look at how that worked out. Maybe Kazmir can get things worked out in Seattle if he is included, but if you have looked at his stats the last couple years he has been very disappointing and struggling to go 5 innings (remind you of anyone?) He was very good in 06′ but the last 3 years he seems to slip a little bit every year.

    But IF he is coming to Seattle maybe he will work everything out, but keep in mind we would be getting 2009’s Kazmir and not 2006’s

  30. don52656 on July 29th, 2009 9:34 am

    Bedard has had health issues….when he has pitched, he has generally been quite effective at Safeco. There should be no reason to expect the same from Kazmir if we get him.

  31. Sports on a Schtick on July 29th, 2009 9:38 am

    Any chance that the M’s plan to call Clement up

    Multiple sources say Clement is going in a trade. Branyan’s back injury is legit.

  32. section331 on July 29th, 2009 9:39 am

    Fox Sports says that officials from the Rays and Cleveland have declared non-interest in the Clement deal…

  33. Sports on a Schtick on July 29th, 2009 9:46 am

    Ed Price (AOL Fanhouse) tweets a source says Clement to Pirates. Possible three-team trade.

  34. Tek Jansen on July 29th, 2009 9:49 am

    MLB Home Plate (xmradio) said Clement, Cedeno, and maybe something else for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.

  35. TheMsfan on July 29th, 2009 9:50 am

    Waiting sucks. Toronto’s beat writer is claiming we’ll have an answer to this before the game, which makes me wonder if this is Toronto.

    Kinda fun, but waiting sucks.

  36. Sports on a Schtick on July 29th, 2009 9:52 am


    Jack Wilson and Ian Snell for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock

  37. TheMsfan on July 29th, 2009 9:53 am

    And thats the danger of having a bad internet connection and weird refesh rates, now i look kinda stupid.

  38. ManifestDestiny on July 29th, 2009 9:54 am

    Dave’s wrong, Clement going to Pittsburgh. Here’s the deal, according to Dejan Kovacevic, who’s pretty solid and broke the LaRoche story

    #Pirates trade Wilson and Ian Snell for Jeff Clement,Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin, Nathan Adcock

    Link here

  39. ivan on July 29th, 2009 11:05 am

    I can’t believe Seattle will settle for Wilson. Doesn’t it make sense to flip Wilson to Milwaukee along with Washburn and Morrow for J.J. Hardy?

    That spares Milwaukee from having to use Escobar, putting all the pressure on him and making him a goat if the Brewers can’t catch the division leaders.

    Wilson’s the piece Milwaukee needs, plus two pitchers, but Hardy, not Wilson, is the piece Seattle needs.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.