Ken Rosenthal just sent out a twitter message stating that sources have told him that the Mariners have reached a “tentative” agreement to trade Brandon Morrow to Toronto for Brandon League and a prospect.
My first reaction is that there’s information missing here. I can’t see the M’s dealing Morrow for a relief pitcher and a prospect as they gear up to win in 2010. There has to be more to this, unless the “prospect” is someone like Brett Wallace, who could step in and fill the gap at first base.
League, if you’re not aware, throws really hard. His average fastball is 95 MPH, and its not a hit-me four seam fastball, but instead a heavy, diving sinker. He gets a ton of ground balls with it, and finally started getting strikeouts last year as well. He could be an elite relief pitcher if he can keep command of his stuff. But, that’s the rub – he’s a relief pitcher, which inherently limits his value. He’s also arbitration eligible and only under team control for three more years, so he’s a short term asset.
That’s why the prospect is obviously the important factor. League is a nice pitcher, kind of like Mark Lowe with more ground balls, but not the value that you give up Morrow for.
Update: Jordan Bastian, a reliable reporter from Toronto, reports that Johermyn Chavez is the prospect the M’s are getting. Chavez is Toronto’s version of Greg Halman – toolsy RH outfielder with power and terrible plate discipline, hit well repeating low-A ball as a 20-year-old last year. Upside, sure, but a long way from the majors and lots of flaws. If true, this is the first deal Jack has made that I truly dislike. Full analysis when its official.