Choose Your Own Conclusion

Dave · December 23, 2009 at 9:04 am · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s not quite an adventure, but the Morrow for League/Chavez trade is certainly a departure from what we have come to expect from the Mariners over the last year. Safe to say, there are not too many Mariner fans who like the return. Whatever you think of Morrow, an arbitration eligible reliever and an A-ball version of Wladimir Balentien is not exactly what we expected his market value to be.

So, I think this trade leads to three possible conclusions. You can pick any of the three.

1. These guys are not fans, at all, of Brandon Morrow, and had no interest beginning the season with him in the starting rotation. They shopped him all winter, and this was the best they could do. They like League as a reliever more than Morrow as a reliever, and since they didn’t see Brandon as a starter, they took the chance to upgrade the bullpen. This also requires us to conclude that no one in baseball sees Morrow as a particularly valuable piece, since this was theoretically the best the team could do during a winter where it was obvious that he was going to be traded.

2. This trade is a setup to another deal. Some yet unnamed third team wanted League or Chavez, and the M’s will use them as chips to get something that they couldn’t use Morrow to get. Or perhaps some team wants Aardsma or Lowe or Kelley, and the Mariners preferred to bring in their replacement before they trade them away.

3. This deal was part of the Cliff Lee trade. It was always weird that the Halladay and Lee portions of the deal were announced together, yet they were essentially two separate transactions, with no players going back and forth between Seattle and Toronto. Remember, we all feel like the Mariners got Lee for significantly less than he should have cost, and the expectation the entire time the rumor was developing was that Morrow was going to be in the deal. Perhaps that portion of the negotiations just couldn’t get finalized before the trade had to be announced (remember, the Phillies only had 72 hours to negotiate with Halladay), so the Mariners and Blue Jays agreed to work out the Morrow aspect of the trade at a later date.

Personally, I think I believe #3. Can I prove it? No, of course not. But it makes the most sense. Does all of baseball not valuing Morrow strike anyone as likely, especially after rumors of Detroit offering up Edwin Jackson for him and the Brewers coveting him for several years now? Does it seem likely that the Mariners would trade Morrow for a less valuable reliever and a mediocre prospect in an effort to make another deal without actually securing that deal at the time? Jack knows how to make a three way deal, so if he was flipping parts to another organization for someone else, why wouldn’t they just do it at the same time?

To me, the last one is the most logical. The M’s didn’t give up enough to get Lee unless you include this as part of that deal, in which case the price is much more fair. This makes the Halladay deal look a lot better for Toronto, and explains why they were willing to kick in $6 million in salary to help Philadelphia be able to make the deal. It also explains why Philadelphia shipped Lee to Seattle, rather than shopping him for a better package somewhere else.

If we conclude that this deal was part of last week’s trade, then it answers a lot of questions. It explains why a team that has made so many good moves inexplicably makes a lousy one. It explains why the Mariners were able to get Cliff Lee for three mediocre prospects. It explains why the Phillies weren’t willing to look for another team who would pay more for Lee in the three way deal.

So, that’s my theory. The M’s actually traded Brandon Morrow, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez for Cliff Lee, Brandon League, and Johermyn Chavez.

Comments

173 Responses to “Choose Your Own Conclusion”

  1. JMHawkins on December 23rd, 2009 9:13 am

    #3 makes a lot more sense, but wow, talk about handshake deals. That’s one GM putting a lot of trust in his fellow GMs.

  2. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 9:17 am

    Dave I do have one question–Did Morrow have any options left? Maybe there was concern that he wouldn’t fit into the 25 man roster and if he didn’t have any options he would have been picked up by another time if DFA. Maybe the M’s wanted to make sure they got something for him.

  3. IHaveALittleProject on December 23rd, 2009 9:19 am

    I’m going to choose to believe #3, because I don’t want to believe #1 or #2 – more Bavasi-esque plans that we haven’t seen, or expect, to be in Z’s repertoire.

  4. fiftyone on December 23rd, 2009 9:20 am

    But if it’s #3, why not let the world know? To be sure, the front office has lots of cred built up, and even many who dislike the trade conclude by saying “In Jack We Trust,” but that way you could avoid some potential future backlash if Morrow ever breaks out.

  5. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 9:23 am

    but that way you could avoid some potential future backlash if Morrow ever breaks out.

    Maybe this FO isn’t concerned about future backlash if Morrow breaks out. Maybe they wish the best for him.

  6. diderot on December 23rd, 2009 9:24 am

    I don’t believe the conspiracy theory. Just viewing this as Morrow-for-League straight up, this is a clear win for the M’s. And not only because League is a better pitcher right now than Morrow…but he’s also now the best pitcher in our bullpen.

    Last year, xFIP, he’s virtually a full run better than either Lowe or Aardsma. While Aardsma has a slight edge in K9, League has a clear advantage in K/BB. But the real difference in this: last year Aardsma threw 54% fly balls, but only 4.2% went over the fence. Is that really sustainable? On the other hand, League’s FB rate was only 26%, but a bizarre 15% were homers. That, also, is not going to continue–especially in Safeco.

    I sincerely hope our pitching is is good this year as it was last, and that particularly goes for Aardsma, who seems like a good guy. But we can’t take his performance for granted. I say it’s even money that we will be having a conversation this year as to whether it’s time to move League into the closer role. And I think that’s the reason this deal happened.

  7. Kazinski on December 23rd, 2009 9:26 am

    Is that legal?

    But it makes sense why the Phillies would ship Lee to Seattle rather than find a trade for Blanton.

  8. hub on December 23rd, 2009 9:27 am

    How much did the GB-heavy League get hurt by pitching on Turf?

  9. robbbbbb on December 23rd, 2009 9:29 am

    I think that #3 is entirely plausible. You can do that on a handshake deal, and you know that you’re not going to get burned because the world of GMs in baseball is a very small place indeed, and trust means a lot.

    That said, I’m coming around on this deal. I think it’s pretty even, honestly. If you look at the 80/20 outcomes it breaks down pretty well. (I like the 80th and 20th percentile for something like this. The 20th percentile is, “The worst you can expect as long as the player is healthy.” The 80th percentile is, “The dude breaks out.”)

    At the low end, the M’s flipped one relief pitcher for another. At the low end, Brandon League and Brandon Morrow are pretty much the same pitcher. Electric fastball that they rely on too much, but that they can use to get outs.

    At the high end, the Jays get the better end of the deal when you look at Morrow vs. League. Yeah, there’s a chance League breaks out and becomes David Aardsma, but at the top end Morrow is a quality starter and more valuable.

    What the M’s did in this deal is swap the top end of Brandon Morrow for Johermyn Chavez, who’s got a chance to become a quality major league outfielder.

    I think the M’s were never high on Morrow, and I think they chose to secure their bullpen and give them a chance at upside elsewhere.

  10. Garton on December 23rd, 2009 9:34 am

    I agree with Fiftyone:

    Scenario #3 definitely makes the most sense, but if that’s the case, why not present it that way? Or do you think they will when the trade becomes official? And obviously, if scenario #3 IS what happened, I still absolutely love the Cliff Lee deal!

  11. Oolon on December 23rd, 2009 9:34 am

    …trade Morrow for a less valuable reliever…

    Looking at the numbers, which is what we do around here, I’d prefer League over Morrow. The career xFIP a run better and almost twice the frequency of groundballs makes it a pretty easy decision.

  12. ivan on December 23rd, 2009 9:35 am

    I’m a little disappointed to see Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez all of a sudden described as “mediocre” prospects, now that they’re out of the organization. Nobody was claiming that they were of equal value to Cliff Lee, or that any of them were free of concerns, but “mediocre” is a little strong, don’t you think?

    I agree that Scenario #3 is the most logical, but the trade is to be made official today, and Jack will probably explain it then, so I’m curious to see how he explains it.

  13. Dave on December 23rd, 2009 9:37 am

    Looking at the numbers, which is what we do around here, I’d prefer League over Morrow.

    You can’t compare rate stats between relievers and starters. Morrow is more valuable than League, even with worse numbers, because of the starter’s value over a reliever.

  14. diderot on December 23rd, 2009 9:40 am

    Yeah, there’s a chance League breaks out and becomes David Aardsma,

    Actually, I think League is already better than Aardsma.

  15. PositivePaul on December 23rd, 2009 9:45 am

    Yeah, #3 is reasonably logical. Sorta the way I look at the M’s historical trade with the Red Sox:

    Jamie Moyer + Heathcliff Slocumb for Darren Bragg, Derek Lowe + Jason Varitek…

  16. MarinerDan on December 23rd, 2009 9:45 am

    The M’s actually traded Brandon Morrow, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez for Cliff Lee, Brandon League, and Johermyn Chavez.

    Given that, what is your view of the trade now? Still a big win for the M’s or more of a push?

  17. MarinerDan on December 23rd, 2009 9:45 am

    The M’s actually traded Brandon Morrow, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez for Cliff Lee, Brandon League, and Johermyn Chavez.

    Given that, what is your view of the trade now? Still a big win for the M’s or more of a push?

  18. Paul B on December 23rd, 2009 9:46 am

    I’m going to believe #1 until we are told otherwise, seems sort of the simplest explanation, Occam and all that.

    I’ll be interested in interviews with Jack after the trade is official, to see what he says and if he verfies #3..

  19. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 9:47 am

    If you’re looking for evidence for or against option 3, I’d suggest asking whether there was some reason that one or more people involved couldn’t be available to complete a physical during the 72-hour window of the Halladay negotiations last week.

  20. Briggstar on December 23rd, 2009 9:49 am

    As Oolon and others have been saying, this swap seems pretty even based strictly on the numbers. I understand the “potential starter” upside that Morrow represented, but that was as much in flux as his ability to find the strike zone.

    Add JoeHerman, a raw/undisciplined yet powerful outfielder to the minor league system as future trade bait, and you’ve slightly upgraded the bullpen and the farm system while giving both talented pitchers a fresh start with the change of scenery.

    Take away the emotion and high hopes attached to Morrow’s name, and I don’t really see what all the fuss is about. Although if Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and followed it up with healing a sniffly nose, I could understand the very distinct feeling of being let down.

  21. Sports on a Schtick on December 23rd, 2009 9:50 am

    Yeah, #3 is reasonably logical. Sorta the way I look at the M’s historical trade with the Red Sox:

    Jamie Moyer + Heathcliff Slocumb for Darren Bragg, Derek Lowe + Jason Varitek…

    Then shouldn’t we have gotten more for Jose Cruz Jr? Hahaha.

    #3 makes the most sense. By itself don’t like the trade. Offseason as a whole love what Zduriencik is doing.

  22. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 9:51 am

    Yeah Dave, I think you’re right. I like the Lee deal a whole lot less now. The Mariners will be right back out looking for a #2 starter next year and I think that Morrow had a reasonable chance of being that #2.

  23. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 9:53 am

    So, are we going to ask Jack this question on January 9th?

  24. SeasonTix on December 23rd, 2009 9:54 am

    I think the reality is that Morrow was a lot less valuable than most of us thought. On KJR yesterday, a Toronto beat writer laughed at the idea that the Jays might trade League+Wallace for Morrow. He thought the Morrow for League+prospect deal was a fair trade.

    So I’m inclined to go with Conclusion #1.

  25. Osfan on December 23rd, 2009 9:58 am

    I like to believe #3 as well, but what throws me is that this makes the trade look even worse from Philly’s perspective. The Hallady component of the Lee trade was not lopsided at all. I thought the Philly package to Toronto was about right. Maybe we will see another unusual trade between Philly and Toronto to balance things out, but failing this, the trade still makes no sense. Essentially, if #3 is correct, Philly would have offered their farm system and (Morrow – (League + Chavez)) to Toronto along with offering Lee to Seattle in order to receive Halladay, some B-level prospects from Seattle, and 6 million dollars. This would make worse an already absurdly bad trade for Philly. The value deficit should be between Seattle and Philly, not Seattle and Toronto. I don’t think Amaro is that bad of a GM. If we don’t see a lopsided trade between Toronto and Philly, I’ll have to go with Scenario 1 or 2.

  26. PackBob on December 23rd, 2009 10:02 am

    Yes, #3 seems to round out the deal rather nicely and really improves the Ms for 2010. A questionable starter in Morrow was replaced by a proven ace in Lee, and the Ms got a major league reliever to boot.

    Now, who is going to be that other starter the Ms have been said to want to get for the rotation?

  27. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 10:03 am

    Maybe its a whole lot of #1 and a little of #3. By that I mean maybe there was discussion about moving Morrow during th Lee trade and it didn’t work out. Jack put that into his memory chip and knowing that Toronto was interested reinvented the trade to what it is now. I don’t think Jack thouth that highly of Morrow and he wanted to get what he felt was the best deal for him.

  28. argh on December 23rd, 2009 10:03 am

    Conclusion #3 makes some sense as to internal baseball logic — where it doesn’t make sense is, ‘why divide the deal in the first place?’ I think there’s still a piece missing if we’re to make total sense out of all this unless it’s just boils down to a fundamental difference of opinion about Morrow’s value between MLB management and USSM. That doesn’t seem very likely either.

  29. sodomojo95 on December 23rd, 2009 10:03 am

    I think it’s probably a combination of 1 and 3. The M’s had to move some parts to Toronto and they felt League > Morrow out of the bullpen.

  30. Steve Nelson on December 23rd, 2009 10:06 am

    If you’re looking for evidence for or against option 3, I’d suggest asking whether there was some reason that one or more people involved couldn’t be available to complete a physical during the 72-hour window of the Halladay negotiations last week.

    Under option #3, it seems more likely to me that the Mariners and Toronto simply hadn’t yet agreed on the particular players involved in the deal. Most likely they agreed on League, but were still discussing the prospect. Perhaps, they had worked out a list of players from whom the Mariners would select one, and the Mariners spent the time deciding which one they wanted. Or they had agreed that the Blue Jays would protect a certain number of players and the Mariners could select from the remaining. The time since the Lee trade would have been occupied with Toronto deciding whom to protect and the Mariners then making their pick after being notified of the protected names.

    Of course, this scenario could also have been handled as the proverbial PTBNL.

  31. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    I think the reality is that Morrow was a lot less valuable than most of us thought

    It’s called “talking your book”. When we have Morrow his is very valuable, when we get rid of him, he is a failed prospect with poor mental makeup.

    You have to remember that when you are considering opinions, Dave has incentive to be right so he can maintain his reputation. Geoff Baker has incentive to spout the company line so he can keep his job.

    The Blue Jays did very well on this deal. Drabek, Wallace, and Morrow is a very good haul.

  32. Shanfan on December 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    If it is a continuation as in #3), let’s see if there’s not some sort of Morrow for Aumont ‘deal’ between the Jays and Phillies after this. This is closer to what the original reports were for bodies going where.

  33. Boy9988 on December 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    I guess we are in the minority. I too don’t subscribe to the #3 theory. They needed a whole week to decide on these two players the be included for Morrow? The whole idea doesn’t really play out well. I thought it before and I still do now, that this is a lateral move.

    No one really wins and no one loses. Its just flipping guys with good stuff who haven’t reach their potential and a mediocre prospect to balance the starter reliever side.

    I actually subscribe to the idea that this is a precursor to another trade. Not one that has specifically been agreed upon, but if Detroit wanted Kelley, maybe everyone else did too. And after trading Aumont, we don’t have enough bullpen depth to deal a bullpen arm without getting a new one. This will allow Jack to explore those trade possibilities.

    We all know Jack is a great GM and makes great three player swaps, but sometimes, you have to exchange currency to shop someplace else. Maybe Morrow wasn’t the hot commodity, maybe it was Kelley, who now can be moved.

  34. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 10:14 am

    Also – if theory #3 is correct, it would mean that the Halladay/Lee extravaganza matched last year’s Putz/Gutierrez trade for the number of players involved, and even exceeded it by one in the number of teams participating.

  35. McExpos on December 23rd, 2009 10:15 am

    Even if you buy into his potential (which I don’t – I punted on the concept of Morrow as a valuable starter once the organization began their will-he/won’t-he shenanigans), I don’t think he was going to offer much more value than our other options next season.

    The Bill James projection for Doug Fister next season has him posting better numbers than Morrow, and both James and the fans poll weren’t very optimistic about Morrow as a starter in 2010. I think we are better served to put Fister (or whoever) in the rotation and League in the back of the bullpen than we would be trying to continue the Morrow experiment at the major league level.

    As for the future, who the heck knows? I personally don’t think he’ll ever clean up his control enough to be a starting pitcher in the major leagues, and that we just traded a reliever for a better version of himself plus a prospect. Even if I’m wrong, and Morrow does become a frontline starter… well, us Mariners fans wear our lost commodities like a badge of honor, and I will console myself by knowing the deal made sense (to me) at the time.

  36. Eleven11 on December 23rd, 2009 10:15 am

    Number 3 does make sense. On the other hand, experience has shown that the new Management has a good eye for talent. If that is accepted then we should accept that they are also good at evaluating our own talent and did not see what they liked. Doesn’t totally explain the low value recieved though so may well be part of the Lee trade. Note Fangraphs not so down on the minor league guy. (not high either) Now that is a wishy washy post.

  37. Tek Jansen on December 23rd, 2009 10:15 am

    Right now the M’s have League, Lowe, Aardsma, and Kelley. I don’t subscribe to theory #2, but if an opportunity presents itself, the M’s have a surplus of power righty bullpen arms that they can use in a trade.

    Even if #3 is the correct theory, I still like the trade. It isn’t highway robbery, but the M’s got Lee and a really good major league reliever (plus a middling OF prospect) for three above average prospects and Brandon Morrow.

  38. Mark on December 23rd, 2009 10:16 am

    I trust Jack personally.

    I also believe that #3 is most likely cause the other GM’s trust him too.

    That said I think there is more to come…

  39. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:16 am

    We all know Jack is a great GM and makes great three player swaps

    When one knows (i.e., accepts as fact) something it tends to make one dismiss arguments that don’t support one’s conclusion. BTW, I do think JackZ is a good GM and I like him, but the hype has been overdone.

  40. JC Intellectual on December 23rd, 2009 10:18 am

    In terms of Morrow’s perceived value, what part does the diabetes info cloud play?

  41. sodomojo95 on December 23rd, 2009 10:18 am

    is it possible that Brandon League is to Jack Z as Chad Bradford is to Billy Beane?

    At the time, both teams got high GB, low HR pitchers with average K rates that the media and fans and other GMs had to scratch their heads about. But we know how Bradford turned out. Now he’s a $4M reliever at the age of 35

  42. dang on December 23rd, 2009 10:18 am

    I don’t understand how Dave’s third option explains the Phillies end of the trade. In option (3), either the Phillies got more for Lee but gave up more for Holladay (Morrow to Philly to Toronto) or they didn’t get much for Lee (the three M’s marginal prospects).

  43. PackBob on December 23rd, 2009 10:19 am

    If #3, and the reasoning seems logical, it underlies a desire by Jack Z to make 2010 the year the Ms return to the playoffs. Morrow was a question mark for the rotation, and now the Ms have a proven ace and a reliever that replace him.

    If the Ms go out and get another starter, the rotation should be in pretty good shape.

  44. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:22 am

    Even if you buy into his potential (which I don’t – I punted on the concept of Morrow as a valuable starter once the organization began their will-he/won’t-he shenanigans), I don’t think he was going to offer much more value than our other options next season.

    The Bill James projection for Doug Fister next season has him posting better numbers than Morrow, and both James and the fans poll weren’t very optimistic about Morrow as a starter in 2010. I think we are better served to put Fister (or whoever) in the rotation and League in the back of the bullpen than we would be trying to continue the Morrow experiment at the major league level.

    Even if I’m wrong, and Morrow does become a frontline starter… well, us Mariners fans wear our lost commodities like a badge of honor, and I will console myself by knowing the deal made sense (to me) at the time.

    Translation: I’m not wrong, but even if I am, I won’t admit it.

    No wonder why Bavasi lasted so long in Seattle.

  45. hub on December 23rd, 2009 10:23 am

    Option #4:

    Out of fear the rest of the league has caught on to ‘Jack-Z Greatness’, thus causing them to cease dealing with the M’s in an effort to avoid any future losses…Jack-Z intentionally tanks one to entice everyone back to the table. Opposing GMs: “Hey, Zduriencik is human afterall! Quick, re-open negotiations…”

    =^)

  46. dang on December 23rd, 2009 10:24 am

    BTW Leroy. From reading Baker, I’ve never had the impression that he “spouts company lines”. He seems to give an honest, thoughtful opinion based on facts, his own knowledge, and his sources.

  47. Liam on December 23rd, 2009 10:24 am

    A conspiracy theory that makes the most sense?

    #1 is the simplest explanation and time will tell if it was #2.

  48. Boy9988 on December 23rd, 2009 10:26 am

    Yeah Leroy I guess you missed it. The “I know” point wasn’t the point I was trying to make. He has made some good deals while he has been here, they just both happened to be three team trades. What I was hinting at is not all deals can be epic. Some of them are just…this.

  49. Briggstar on December 23rd, 2009 10:29 am

    @hub: I like the way you think, man.

  50. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 10:33 am

    I don’t understand how Dave’s third option explains the Phillies end of the trade. In option (3), either the Phillies got more for Lee but gave up more for Holladay (Morrow to Philly to Toronto) or they didn’t get much for Lee (the three M’s marginal prospects).

    What the Phillies got is Halladay to sign an extension that’s a tremendous bargain considering the market for his services. If you look at the trade this way, none of the teams came out badly, just one of the players (two maybe, depending on how things feel from Cliff Lee’s perspective).

  51. sodomojo95 on December 23rd, 2009 10:33 am

    I don’t understand how Dave’s third option explains the Phillies end of the trade.

    The Phillies save a J.A. Happ-type player by having the M’s trade Morrow as a part of the Halladay package

  52. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:34 am

    From reading Baker, I’ve never had the impression that he “spouts company lines”. He seems to give an honest, thoughtful opinion based on facts, his own knowledge, and his sources.

    It wasn’t meant as a knock against Baker. Dave and Geoff simply have different motivations. I’ll bet if you go back and look, Geoff was probably a lot more generous with Bavasi than was Dave.

  53. McExpos on December 23rd, 2009 10:34 am

    Translation: I’m not wrong, but even if I am, I won’t admit it.

    No wonder why Bavasi lasted so long in Seattle.

    Well, I thought the translation would be, I don’t think I’m wrong, but even if I am, I will understand the reasoning at the time the deal was made (that Morrow’s future was a mixed bag at best, that the team was trying to win in 2010, etc.).

    A lot has been written at this website about how to evaluate trades – that you need to look at the reasoning at the time, and not necessarily the results. Bias does come into play in that I’m not a big Morrow fan, but I certainly wasn’t trying to come across as stubborn as you interpreted.

    Ah well, too close to Christmas to be upset about being linked to Bavasi in a comment. Anyways, dude had a bitchin’ goatee. Respect the goatee.

  54. Captain Lars on December 23rd, 2009 10:37 am

    The issue that I’ve struggled with from the beginning of this deal is that we’re only guaranteed Lee for one year. All indications are that he’s planning on testing free agency at the end of the year and the Mariners are rarely players in the game of offering long, expensive contracts for pitchers (I hope Felix is the exception). If we were otherwise primed to take a run deep in the playoffs next year then one year of Cliff Lee would make more sense. I certainly think we’ve closed a lot of the gap with LAA but I’m still not convinced that 2010 is our year. Morrow, Aumont, Gilles and Ramirez for a chance to finish more respectably out of the playoffs next season is not feeling so great.

  55. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:41 am

    Yeah Leroy I guess you missed it. The “I know” point wasn’t the point I was trying to make. He has made some good deals while he has been here, they just both happened to be three team trades. What I was hinting at is not all deals can be epic. Some of them are just…this.

    True, I probably did extract more meaning than was intended and it wasn’t fair to you. But I am not ready to anoint JackZ for sainthood just yet. And I don’t think that’s what you were doing, but a lot of people are.

  56. dang on December 23rd, 2009 10:42 am

    I think I’m figuring it out. Before the Morrow trade: overall Philly got a fair deal (received Holladay, Holladay extension, three prospects, $6m for Lee, three better prospects), Seattle got a steal (Lee for three marginal prospects), Toronto got shafted (Holladay, $6m for three prospects). After Morrow deal: Philly same fair deal, Seattle fairer deal, Toronto fairer deal. Make sense?

  57. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 10:45 am

    Yes, exactly.

  58. IB Stramezi on December 23rd, 2009 10:46 am

    In other words, you were forced to choose between the possibility the baseball marketplace doesn’t value the Lee and Morrow trades the same way you do, and a conspiracy. And you chose conspiracy?! Uh, do you also hear voices in your head?

  59. ballgamejr on December 23rd, 2009 10:46 am

    This deal will make a lot more sense to me if/when The M’s go out and sign Bedard/Sheets, which would have pushed Morrow to the Pen. I think League gives you more value than Relief Morrow. Yes you give up some future value however when looking at 2010, the M’s are better with League in the Pen than Morrow. Of course this all goes out the window if they do not sign another starter.

  60. et_blankenship on December 23rd, 2009 10:47 am

    Under option #3, it seems more likely to me that the Mariners and Toronto simply hadn’t yet agreed on the particular players involved in the deal. Most likely they agreed on League, but were still discussing the prospect. Perhaps, they had worked out a list of players from whom the Mariners would select one, and the Mariners spent the time deciding which one they wanted.

    This is exactly what happened. The M’s had two or more PTBNNow options in League and Overbay. There is no other explanation for all three of the following:

    a) The parties involved describing the Halladay and Lee trades as a 3-way trade when there was absolutely nothing 3-way about either one;
    b) There was no PTBNL announcement;
    c) Physicals for League and Morrow weren’t performed earlier.

    Also, the idea that the two sides made a handshake deal is crazy. Baseball is serious business and Jack is a serious businessman. You can bet your life that both parties formally agreed (in writing) to a due diligence period which extended beyond the 72-hour window so Jack and his scouts could make a well-informed decision on a pre-approved list of players.

  61. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:48 am

    Ah well, too close to Christmas to be upset about being linked to Bavasi in a comment. Anyways, dude had a bitchin’ goatee. Respect the goatee.

    See, now I feel bad. How could I link someone to Bavasi this close to Christmas? What a jerk I am. :)

    A lot of people are already trying to hedge their bets on Morrow. And, in fact, the jury is still out. Time will tell.

  62. onetreehugger on December 23rd, 2009 10:48 am

    Someone in another post mentioned player physicals. What makes me suspect that this isn’t part of the eaelier trade is that the earlier one went through without any of these players having cleared their physicals.

    So if this was part of that trade, what if Morrow had gone for his physical and the Dr. said he had a flabbergasted whiggie and it needed surger or it would bother him all year? Would Toronto get to pick another pitcher? Would you tell Lee he’s goint back? (No way!)

    What about option #4, for which I have no evidence. What if the Mariners see something in Chavez that we don’t and three or four years from now he’s here as a power hitter on the cheap. We’ve seen what it’s like trying to get power from outside the organization.

    Why doesn’t some reporter ask Z about this straight out? If he hedges around his answer we can probably take it as a ‘yes’ to #3.

  63. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 10:52 am

    And you chose conspiracy?

    You can call it a conspiracy all you want, but that doesn’t make it true. They probably just agreed on Morrow and League and would figure out the rest later. I think Dave’s point is that Toronto knew they’d be getting Morrow eventually.

  64. et_blankenship on December 23rd, 2009 10:58 am

    So if this was part of that trade, what if Morrow had gone for his physical and the Dr. said he had a flabbergasted whiggie and it needed surger or it would bother him all year? Would Toronto get to pick another pitcher? Would you tell Lee he’s goint back? (No way!)

    Contingency Scenario B, C or D as previously agreed to by both parties.

  65. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 10:58 am

    Is being linked to Bavasi at Christmas worse then being linked with Silva at Thanksgiving?

  66. KingCorran on December 23rd, 2009 11:00 am

    Conclusion #4, or perhaps 3b.

    The trade stands as is. In counter-point to #1, it’s not so much that Morrow is worth all that much less than we imagined, allowing for traditional home-player bias (although in some circles and with some players, we seem to be more biased AGAINST some of our own guys. Go figure). After all, the guy was the key to a Edwin Jackson deal which WE rejected. (And no – we didn’t nix that deal over Kelley. He’s a solid reliever, but ultimately replaceable for us when you get a sure plus starter).

    Option #4, then, is that Jack is much higher on League than we’ve been, and sees Chavez as a valuable trade chip down the road. The guy just put up excellent numbers relative to the league he was hitting in, something that other prospects we covet utterly failed to do. Put that guy in the PCL instead of a pitcher’s league (when he’s ready), and his perceived value will be off the charts nationally.

    But the key to Option #4 is still League, who appears to have the potential to be a top reliever (in the national sense, not just the ‘on our team’ sense). If this is the potential Jack sees – which of course I have no direct insight into, and he has yet to make a public statement on this move – then it makes a lot of sense. The trade-and-retrade possibilities here mean we might have more trade chip value in a year or two in these guys than we had now in Morrow, and we could get some solid MLB production from League in the meantime.

    I don’t mean to eliminate the possibility of a tie-in to the Lee deal; hence the ’3b’ label as well. But I also think there’s a solid chance Jack Z liked this deal on its own merits, even if there’s a chance he might have also been able to do something more spectacular with Morrow now.

  67. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:00 am

    the idea that the two sides made a handshake deal is crazy.

    It’s not crazy. Players and GMs make deals about contract provisions that are off-contract all the time and worth millions, and GMs make tremendous deals without written agreements with people they trust. Any close account of how they do their business reveals this.

    It’s part of why GMs who lose that trust, by stepping out on set deals to shop that deal around and see if they can do better, by reneging on deals, or whatever, can’t do their job effectively and end up with no trade partners and (eventually) fired.

    Not that there may not have been some agreement. But these things happen.

  68. coasty141 on December 23rd, 2009 11:01 am

    Is there any reason why Z would or wouldn’t confirm if this trade was part of the Lee/Halladay swap?

  69. Tek Jansen on December 23rd, 2009 11:01 am

    I am fairly certain that a flabbergasted whiggie is only identifiable through an MRI scan.

  70. Banton on December 23rd, 2009 11:06 am

    I agree with bits and pieces of 1,2 and 3.

    I don’t think that anyone truly valued Morrow the way that some do here in Seattle. I have said time and time again that, for reasons that both Morrow and the club hold responsibility, it was not working out here for Morrow. I was never a big believer in the fact that he would become the Second Coming that many expected. Better that we let him go. I did not see him in the rotation this year, and Z has said that he wants another front-line starter.

    We got a really good reliever for our ballpark, and a guy that can close if Aardsma is dealt (which I expect that he will be).

    And I agree with the above that Z did not have a “handshake” deal. That is not the way business works, and our CEO would never condone it-no CEO should, regardless of the intent of the parties.

    As to Lee and FA at the end of the season-give him some time to settle in, get a feel for all that is good in Sea-town, and win the division. I don’t see him jumping ship if we go deep into the playoffs. He wants to win……

  71. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 11:08 am

    [ot]

  72. et_blankenship on December 23rd, 2009 11:10 am

    Even with a third party (PHI) involved? The potential maelstrom of liability would freak me out, but perhaps that is due to the nature of my job (investment real estate) and the sue-happy dirtbags who spoil an otherwise honest industry.

  73. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:11 am

    That is not the way business works, and our CEO would never condone it-no CEO should, regardless of the intent of the parties.

    Seriously? You guys have never read a Peter Gammons story about what goes on at the trade deadline, or winter meetings? Or read Moneyball?

  74. amnizu on December 23rd, 2009 11:11 am

    You can bet your life that both parties formally agreed (in writing) to a due diligence period which extended beyond the 72-hour window so Jack and his scouts could make a well-informed decision on a pre-approved list of players

    .

    The whole issue of the 72 hour time period just doesn’t pass my smell test. The conditions of the trade need to be worked out before the trade is communicated to the player’s agent who would be handling the contract extension negotiations. The Blue Jays and Phillies were under no obligation to notify Halladay earlier than they had to and earlier than made sense for every team involved. Why would the Blue Jays introduce additional risk of a Seattle to Toronto piece of the trade falling through to satisfy the needs of the player’s agent or the Phillies? You better damn well believe if Morrow coming to Toronto was a requirement to move Halladay it would have been formalized at the time Halladay was traded. Toronto was pretty hard nosed about their trade demands for the past 2 years with Halladay, I don’t see them as suddenly backing off this.

    It would have been just as easy to sort the details out between the three parties and then go to Halladay’s agent with the 72 hour negotiation window. I could see timing being a factor if this trade went down days before Halladay’s imposed deadline, or spring training but none of those factors existed.

    Because of this, I have to see these as two separate trades. In fact the only “evidence” presented that this is a follow-up to the Lee trade is that the trade took place with Toronto and Morrow was rumored to be part of the Lee trade otherwise there have been nothing else to support this.

  75. 92-93 on December 23rd, 2009 11:12 am

    It’s incredible that people feel the need to justify the deal because they STILL overrate the hell out of Brandon Morrow. The guy has a career 5.8 BB/9, which is beyond HORRENDOUS, and couldn’t even hit water if he fell out of a boat in college. When League is doing his thing, pumping high 90s fastballs with unnatural sink and keeping the ball on the ground, you’re all going to realize just how smart Jack Z was in making this trade. Frankly, I wish the Jays kept League for the year and used him full-time as their closer, as they aren’t going to be competing and Cito has already said he prefers Downs as his setup man. This would have been the perfect scenario to build up League’s trade value, if he has 35 shiny saves attached to his numbers. You guys are all going to love watching League, and anything Yohermyn manages to accomplish is just gravy.

  76. Carson on December 23rd, 2009 11:20 am

    Deal just went official. No word from Zduriencik validating #3, which isn’t a shock.

  77. Mike Snow on December 23rd, 2009 11:21 am

    Industry norms are much more powerful drivers of how businesses interact than fears of liability surrounding those interactions.

  78. Liam on December 23rd, 2009 11:21 am

    If we get no new information when this trade becomes official, I hope that the evaluation for it is not based on #3. Since people know that you are big fans of Jack Zduriencik, it just looks like you’re making excuses for him.

  79. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:22 am

    There’s a section of Moneyball where Beane negotiates a 19-team deal with 200 players moving in two dozen separate and distinct trades in a series of phone calls. And I’m not really exaggerating that much.

  80. Paul B on December 23rd, 2009 11:26 am

    92-93

    It’s incredible that people feel the need to justify the deal because they STILL overrate the hell out of Brandon Morrow

    couldn’t even hit water if he fell out of a boat in college

    So you think this was a terrible trade by Toronto. We get it.

  81. paorta on December 23rd, 2009 11:26 am

    Many of you guys are overrating Morrow. Which is understandable, but it’s causing you to give logic a little reach-around. Listen to the posters citing Occam’s razor.

    I’m in Toronto, and let me tell you that no one here thinks the deal is lop-sided. No one is making any suggestions that this is part of the Halladay trade. Brandon League is pretty much exactly Brandon Morrow, except Morrow has starter potential and League has proven he can be an incredibly effective closer–even a breathtaking one (though at times, also an ineffective one). Chavez, who is 10-15th ranked prospect in the Jays system, accounts for the fact that Morrow potentially has a higher ceiling. The reason Morrow’s value on this trade is so “low” is that he’s 25 and he hasn’t done anything yet. At some point, regardless of his potential ceiling, you have to acknowledge that. In any case, other GMs are fully aware of it.

    This was a fair trade. Time will decide who got the better of the other GM, but at this point it’s a wash. It’s a little embarrassing the way you guys are staggering around in disbelief, as if Z (or Morrow, I guess) is a messiah who just fell out of a cardboard cloud.

  82. Shrike on December 23rd, 2009 11:27 am

    The previous poster sums it up well. I have to think Morrow’s trade value is demonstrably much less than most here would like to admit.

    So … let’s all look forward to some exciting baseball next spring, and stop second-guessing the future of Morrow, who is likely to NOT enjoy pitching in the AL East. The Yankees and Red Sox will eat him alive.

  83. Twoodard89 on December 23rd, 2009 11:28 am

    I’m more inclined to believe number 2 just because I think its more in line with Z’s history to make a deal and be thinking 3 steps ahead. That being said if it is number 3, I still think the Lee trade was a great deal. But I was probably a lot more down on Morrow than most.

  84. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:28 am

    It sure is. Everyone! Please stop staggering around.

    Thanks.

    – MGMT

  85. paorta on December 23rd, 2009 11:29 am

    Sorry, I should have been more precise, and referred to League as a “bullpen guy” or “setup man” or something rather than “closer”, though he did a good job closing out some games last year.

  86. SCL on December 23rd, 2009 11:30 am

    Maybe GMZ is ready to trade Aardsma and replace him with League because:(1) Aardsma is due to get a lot more in arbitration than League (2) Aardsma has high trade value right now.

    Then take the cost savings and pick up a bigger FA.

    Question is if League can assume a closers role at this point.

  87. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:31 am

    I’m more concerned about what kind of cardboard.

  88. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 11:39 am

    I’m in Toronto, and let me tell you that no one here thinks the deal is lop-sided. No one is making any suggestions that this is part of the Halladay trade

    Well, I’m in San Diego but I can still read the Blue Jays’ blogs and, from what I’ve read, several people disagree with both your statements.

  89. amnizu on December 23rd, 2009 11:41 am

    I haven’t read money ball so I can’t speak directly to that particular instance. However, I would imagine that after all the negotiations were agreed to over the phone, Mr. Beene put his army of lawyers to work writing the contracts to complete the deals…. The days of the handshake deal are dead, it’s not 1952, if it’s not written down it didn’t happen.

  90. amnizu on December 23rd, 2009 11:44 am

    Forgot to mention, that the lawyers writing stuff down would be pretty boring to read about in a book, thus the reason it wouldn’t be there. IE every day business doesn’t make for good copy.

  91. Wood Dog on December 23rd, 2009 11:44 am

    I think this is for sure scenario 3, and what this really speaks to is the trust and respect that Z has with the rest of the league. I would guess that this type of deal, where one organization has to just trust another that they will come through with a pending piece of a trade like this isn’t all that common. Way to go Jack, you got Lee. That’s all that really matters here.

    And my prediction is that Aardsma is now part of the “next” big trade we pull off to complete the master plan.

  92. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 11:46 am

    It’s Beane.

    And it’s not dead, and you’re wrong, and being certain doesn’t mean you’re right, because there are a bazillion instances you could look at if you wanted to, and I don’t know what else to tell you.

  93. Paul B on December 23rd, 2009 11:49 am

    is that he’s 25 and he hasn’t done anything yet

    Is that how you evaluate pitchers? Really?

    I notice, looking at his Fangraphs page, that his changeup rate went from to about 10% last year, from a couple of percent previously. He’s just learning how to pitch (due to a history that has been discussed a lot).

    The fangraphs fan projection has him at about 1.7 WAR in 2010. That’s a compilation of guesses, of course, but that would be higher than any setup reliever would be.

    Apparently, the fans on fangraphs and the Blue Jays office rate him of higher value than a lot of Blue Jays fans do (or at least the handful that post here).

  94. et_blankenship on December 23rd, 2009 11:52 am

    Billy Beane scribbles all of his contracts on the cardboard bottoms of his Copenhagen cans and uses one of those big chew dispenser racks you see in convenience stores for a file cabinet.

  95. joe simpson can hit on December 23rd, 2009 11:52 am

    OK, so now our bullpen is set. What do we do about our rotation and 1st base?

  96. jonw on December 23rd, 2009 11:53 am

    If this was a stand alone trade or linked to the Lee trade, it seems to me that our front office valued Morrow lower than most folks here. I for one can’t blame them after he begged to go back to the bullpen claiming he could not control his blood glucose. What a great load of fried house manure, this is baseball not an ironman.

    It is interesting that Z is willing to remove a member of the rotation when he has said that he wants to add more. Personally I hope he is thinking of offering Eric Bedard an incentive laden contract. I cringe as I write that given beating we took to (well mauling really) get him and how he has really been unable to pitch since coming here. He is still an elite pitcher when healthy. King, Lee, Bedard would be scary. I really enjoyed watching him when he was healthy, Take the risk and sign him.

  97. Jeff Nye on December 23rd, 2009 11:55 am

    *staggers around in blatant defiance of Derek*

  98. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 12:00 pm

    I notice, looking at his Fangraphs page, that his changeup rate went from to about 10% last year, from a couple of percent previously. He’s just learning how to pitch (due to a history that has been discussed a lot).

    Great observation, Paul. I noticed that too. Also, look at his K/9 when he went down to Tacoma last year. It dropped to 6.55 (or so, from memory). That tells me he was specifically working on his approach as a starter, i.e., his secondary offerings.

    Also, if you look at the video from his last game against Oakland, you’ll notice that his K’s (9) came on 4 different pitches. And the majority were left-handers. True, 3 were against Jack Cust, but still. And I know you can’t simply look at one dominating game and apply a lot of meaning to it. But it does, I think, show you what it will look like if he does establish himself. You can also go back and look at his near no-hitter against the Yankees (his first start) and see how different his approach was. He looked a lot more polished against Oakland.

  99. paorta on December 23rd, 2009 12:01 pm

    Well, I’m in San Diego but I can still read the Blue Jays’ blogs and, from what I’ve read, several people disagree with both your statements.

    Really? Who? Which blogs? Commenters, or the actual people who write the blogs? I can’t think of a single Blue Jays blogger who thought that giving up Drabek, Wallace, Stewart, Snider, etc would be “fair value”, and who was surprised (in the sense that they thought Toronto would be giving up a lot more) when the prospect turned out to be Chavez. They think it’s a good deal–a realistic deal–sure, because it benefits both teams–but I think that most Toronto bloggers recognize that League is both a better pitcher than his numbers suggest and that Morrow isn’t as good as most Seattle fans seem to think. There’s no need for conspiracy theories.

  100. Liam on December 23rd, 2009 12:04 pm

    Way to go Jack, you got Lee. That’s all that really matters here.

    This is very similar to what fans of the Phillies were saying about Halladay. If you connect the Halladay/Lee trade together, the Lee portion doesn’t look as bad. Mariner fans who buy into #3 are making the same mistake by linking two separate deals together.

  101. Leroy Stanton on December 23rd, 2009 12:09 pm

    Really? Who? Which blogs? Commenters, or the actual people who write the blogs?

    Commenters. But what does it matter? You said: “I’m in Toronto, and let me tell you that no one here …”.

    I didn’t say anything about Drabek, Wallace, Stewart, or Snider. Although, I don’t think Stewart belongs in that group.

  102. amnizu on December 23rd, 2009 12:09 pm

    It’s Beane.

    And it’s not dead, and you’re wrong, and being certain doesn’t mean you’re right, because there are a bazillion instances you could look at if you wanted to, and I don’t know what else to tell you.

    Yep misspelled that, my apologies.

    I definitely accept that baseball is still a bit of an old boys club. Of course it is it’s a male dominated sport full of the egos that go along with it. Doesn’t mean I think this particular trade was full of the “trades of lore” we read about where Player X gets traded for a bucket of chicken and a tub of double bubble.

    It’s also very interesting to me how the title of the thread is “Choose Your Own Conclusion” and then moderator / author of the site takes exception with people who do choose their own conclusions that happen to not agree with their own….

  103. SeasonTix on December 23rd, 2009 12:09 pm

    Shannon Drayer on KIRO says this was a “trade for need” simple as that. Jack Z wanted to beef up the bullpen. So no ulterior motives.

  104. ThundaPC on December 23rd, 2009 12:10 pm

    Scenario #3 sounds like a perfect fit for this situation.

    However, I’m still going to have to go with Scenario #1.

    For starters, I’m still wondering how every trade rumor involving Brandon Morrow eventually fell apart or disappeared? If I recall, we were in on Reid Brignac from the Rays, we had the interest from Milwaukee Brewers (involving possibly J.J. Hardy or Prince Fielder), and finally as part of the Edwin Jackson/Curtis Granderson trade. None of those panned out and we wound up with a promising reliever and a prospect. Huh?

    As we’ve noted a number of times (and having it confirmed no less), Brandon Morrow’s development was hosed up, setting him back as much as 2 years. If we’re to get anything out of Morrow we would have to spend the patience and time we should’ve taken in the 2008 season in 2010.

    And that’s time we suddenly don’t have. Jack Zduriencik is clearly building this team to win right now. The organization believes that Morrow still has plenty of work to do and it doesn’t sound like they can afford a rotation slot for development. They’re looking to get as many wins out of their rotation as possible. If Morrow doesn’t hold up then what? He gets sent down to AAA again? Toronto, on the otherhand, just traded Roy Halladay and are definitely looking to use 2010 to develop talent. That’s what it comes down to for me. The two orgs found a mutually agreeable situation where one player will be better off in another environment.

    I wish Morrow all the best and I wish our previous org didn’t screw him up as much as they have.

  105. SonOfZavaras on December 23rd, 2009 12:11 pm

    I’m choosing to believe #3.

    There’s simply no way Morrow’s value stood at merely a tick-above-average ML reliever and a boom-or-bust A-ball outfielder any other way.

    And I won’t lay odds against Lowe leaving in another transaction….but boy, the 6th-through-9th innings (Kelley, Lowe, League, Aardsma) look pretty nigh-impregnable.

    Dave, does this move put our bullpen, IYO, into the upper-tier in the major leagues? By my estimate, yes- top 10 material.

    It pains me to see Morrow leave….I’ve been a fan/supporter of him for a couple years. But it’s probably best for him to go.

    Now, he stands a chance of doing the best for his career without being constantly reminded that he was selected AHEAD of local-boy He-Wo-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned-Lest-I-Be-Smote.

  106. terry on December 23rd, 2009 12:15 pm

    It’s also very interesting to me how the title of the thread is “Choose Your Own Conclusion” and then moderator / author of the site takes exception with people who do choose their own conclusions that happen to not agree with their own….

    I choose to conclude that all metacommentary (except for my own of course) is extremely boring..

    I think this calls for a haiku:

    In the morning dew
    metacommentary is
    the suckiest thing.

  107. daroj on December 23rd, 2009 12:17 pm

    The days of the handshake deal are dead, it’s not 1952, if it’s not written down it didn’t happen.

    DMZ has already pointed to substantial evidence to the contrary within the baseball world. I just want to add a procedural point about business in general.

    There are lots of informal agreements, even when large amounts of money are at stake. Such agreements are more prevalent when the parties know each other well and when it’s a fairly small community.

    It’s also true that the details of such agreements are often made in triplicate by squads of lawyers and accountants after the basic deal is in place. This serves the dual purpose of giving maximum flexibility to the decision-maker as well as a period of due diligence to cover everyone’s hiney.

    So the issue is one of timing. Eventually, yes, everything gets written down, but not necessarily until a sequence of deals is done.

    My experience does not extend to MLB, but this is how business works, when it works well, a lot of the time. For a very good book on this and related subjects, see .

  108. Pete Livengood on December 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm

    I think there could be bits of truth to all three scenarios. I do think the league (and Jack) value Morrow a bit lower than most Mariner fans do. The optimist in all of us remembers the A’s game from late last year, or the Yankees game from the year before, and thinks we had a developing #2, but the reality is there is a reason Morrow flip-flopped so much between starter and reliever and the stone-cold analysis that other GMs (and Jack) probably made contained a healthy dose of skepticism that Morrow will ever reach his full potential as a starter. And I suspect our FO values League a lot more highly than he is being credit for here.

    As for #3, it may have some logic in that Seattle doesn’t quite make out like the bandit it appeared in the Lee trade, the logistics are implausible to me. Furthermore, I don’t think Toronto got hosed in that deal. If any part of the trade needed adjustment, it was the Seattle-Philly end, IMO.

    I may be one of the few here who does, but I think there is more #2 in this deal (and no, I did not mean it THAT way) than either of the other scenarios. And, while I think perhaps we could have gotten more for Morrow (the Edwin Jackson failed deal seems to indicate that), I’m inclined to think of this trade as a fair, mostly lateral move that is based on an educated guess about where Morrow was going to end up and the (lack of) fit on the M’s roster.

    I definitely sense that yet another shoe is about to drop. Man, how many feet does this guy have?

  109. seattleslew on December 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm

    Wow. Separate deals. Why not wait and see what you have this year with Morrow? If this is actually true, I am not a fan of this move. It just doesn’t make sense.

  110. Mike Honcho on December 23rd, 2009 12:22 pm

    Put me down for #2. I think more moves are coming, and wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Lowe or Aardsma moved.

    Although I’m not a fan of this deal, I can easily wrap my head around the idea that Zduriencik just didn’t see much value from Morrow, and moved him for what he felt was the best offer.

  111. hub on December 23rd, 2009 12:29 pm

    To ignore the cost for just a moment…

    I am quite excited to see just how well League might perform going from Toronto to Safeco, from Turf to Grass, from that defense to this defense. He could be quite fun to watch in 2010.

  112. Seattleguy527 on December 23rd, 2009 12:31 pm

    I agree with the others who says Morrow’s value probably wasn’t as high as a lot of M’s fans believed. I also can’t deny that League has fairly similar numbers to Morrow. Having said that, I think Morrow has a much higher ceiling than League. League could be a very good reliever, but Morrow can still be, in my opinion, a very good starter. The first thing Morrow needs is to pitch in an organization that doesn’t shuttle him between the minors and the bigs every time the wind blows 6-8 MPH from the east. Put him in the rotation, leave him there, see what he can do. Period. It’s not rocket science, but somehow is was for the M’s?

    Also, and this has already been pointed out, but if Z goes out and gets Sheets or Duch to be our #3, I won’t really mind Morrow getting dealt. A 3-5 of Sheets or Duch/RRS/Snell is pretty good. A 3-5 of RRS/Snell/Fister/Vargas/Olsen/Spoljaric/Charlton/Ayala/Rick the Peanut Guy makes me want to puke.

  113. behappy on December 23rd, 2009 12:33 pm

    When this trade first went down I was in disbelief. But I have come around to think of it as a fair deal for both teams. Maybe cause Christmas is around the corner and I am in a forgiving mood. Either way the deal does not look as bas as I first thought.

    The bullpen looks like a shutdown-blow-them-away-strike-them-out-playoff bound bullpen. And the Chavez kid might me better than I thought. Check this out.
    Marc Hulet over at fangraphs had this to say about the him:

    By reading other Websites, such as USSmariner, it’s clear that a lot of people were hoping for a more MLB-ready prospect like right-hander Zach Stewart, or infielder Brett Wallace. They are certainly more desirable prospects at this point, so I understand the disappointment that many felt when it was announced the prospect was going to be a player in the low minors.

    However, Chavez was certainly one of the Top 10 prospects (in a weaker system) that I had hoped would not be included in a trade, but he was in the latter half of the list. The outfielder originally signed his first pro contract at the age of 16 in 2005. He’s come a long way since then, and it certainly appears as though the Mariners organization acquired a diamond in the rough.

  114. SeasonTix on December 23rd, 2009 12:34 pm

    [see guidelines]

  115. DMZ on December 23rd, 2009 12:37 pm

    It’s also very interesting to me how the title of the thread is “Choose Your Own Conclusion” and then moderator / author of the site takes exception with people who do choose their own conclusions that happen to not agree with their own….

    What are you, Glenn Beck? If you want to call someone out just do it. Don’t fart around with this “isn’t it interesting that DMZ has the same initials as the area between South Korea and a TOTALITARIAN STATE WHERE ALL SPEECH IS CONTROLLED?!?!?!?”

    There’s also a huge jump between “there are a couple of things that could be happening” of the post and the “no one does handshake deals like that” contention of people which is entirely wrong and contradicted by vast amounts of evidence.

  116. ima-zeliever on December 23rd, 2009 12:38 pm

    Dave,

    I am glad to see you have come around to my way of thinking… :)

  117. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 12:45 pm

    Whether you like Glenn Beck or not there are times when he makes a lot of sense, but that’s not what this post is about. Z wanted help in the bull pen and got it. Pure and simple. Lets move on.

  118. Seattleguy527 on December 23rd, 2009 12:48 pm

    @seattleslew,

    My thoughts exactly. My whole problem with dealing Morrow is that we were dealing from a position of weakness. His value is already very low, so if we had kept him and he completely flailed and destroyed his trade value completely we would lose out on what, League and a prospect who may not even see the majors? Big deal.

    The other side of the coin is Morrow putting it together, and his trade value climbing to a much higher level. We could then either keep him in the rotation, or trade him for something much better than League and Chavez.

    I guess to put it simply, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no trade value and 10 being superstar) we traded Morrow at probably a 3, in my opinion. As it stood, his value could still go down a little, but it could also go way up. I think the risk far outweighed the reward in terms of keeping him around and seeing what he could do.

  119. TumwaterMike on December 23rd, 2009 12:48 pm

    Whatever Z wants Z gets. I think that’s why he will be anming a 3rd starter by the end of the month either through trade or Free agency. He’ll also get a 1st baseman before the end of next month guaranteed.

  120. wabbles on December 23rd, 2009 12:54 pm

    As Seinfeld noted, sports is cheering for laundry. But this one case where I really hope the cliche “change of scenery” helps Morrow and he does break out. He’s been treated here like a dog at the hands of an animal hoarder. So yeah, we probably got the one who is the better pitcher right now. That could change in the future but it wasn’t going to happen here. Now explain to me again how we have strong pitching? Bullpen, yes. Starters, not so much beyond Cliff-Freaking-Lee and King Felix.

  121. msb on December 23rd, 2009 1:10 pm

    entertaining myself.

    “Hendry focused on [Milton] Bradley right out of the box and struck a handshake deal with the controversial player in December, though a final deal couldn’t be completed until Hendry took care of some payroll shuffling.”–Chicago Sun Times, July 2, 2009

    “Faced last night with a midnight deadline to reach agreement on a new contract, offer arbitration or lose negotiating rights with the veteran center fielder until May, the Yankees received a handshake deal from Williams’ agent, Scott Boras, which buys them more time to work out a new pact and effectively ensures Williams will return to the Bronx.”–Daily News, Dec 8, 2005

    “Wells couldn’t return to New York without controversy. Turns out the Yankees thought they had a handshake deal over the winter to have Wells return in 2004 on a minor-league contract. Wells reportedly backed out when he realized the deal allowed the Yankees to monitor his weight and body-fat percentage. He ditched the Yankees — just like he dumped the Diamondbacks after a handshake deal before the 2002 season — and signed a major-league deal with the Padres.”–Chicago Sun-Times, June 13, 2004

    “According to Giants officials, [GM] Sabean, for deeply personal reasons, never signed a contract extension with the Giants last winter and is operating under a handshake deal with owner Peter Magowan.”–Star-Ledger, Apr 20, 2003

  122. BleacherBum on December 23rd, 2009 1:16 pm

    So it turns it was #1, with a little bit of #3.

    The M’s didn’t place the same value on ‘potential’ as some here do. They saw a talented but inconsistent pitcher would have to fight for the 5th spot in the rotation, where they have a healthy competition, but they needed another strong arm for the bullpen. Toronto may have felt more of a need to develop for the future with the departure of Halladay. Trade makes sense from both teams angles. As Jack Z says, you have to give talent to get talent.

  123. SonOfZavaras on December 23rd, 2009 1:18 pm

    For what it’s worth,Derek- I’ve been to the DMZ (Paju City).

    I’ve crawled through the tunnels North Koreans mad e in South Korean territory, heard the broadcasts in Korean that say “come to our side” and even got a gander at the Bridge Of No Return.

    It’s creepy and the most tense environment I’ve ever been in.

    Your opinions are much more pleasant to digest! I promise.

  124. georgmi on December 23rd, 2009 1:24 pm

    explain to me again how we have strong pitching? Bullpen, yes. Starters, not so much beyond Cliff-Freaking-Lee and King Felix.

    Felix had 34 starts last year, had a 3.09 FIP and was 19-5. If the bullpen was .500 with the remaining 10 games he started, that’s 24 wins on Felix Day.

    Cliff Lee had a 3.11 FIP last year, which should translate to a very similar W-L, if he’d had the same defense behind him. 48 wins in 68 starts.

    If the rest of the rotation+bullpen can put up .500 ball, that’s an additional 47 wins out of the remaining 94 games, or a 95-win season for the M’s. 95 wins could have won the division last year, if you assume some of the additional games would have come at the expense of the Angels. And that’s before the positional improvements we’ve already seen, so you’re talking about a league-worst offense there.

    So, yeah. Felix+Lee+a bunch of league-average pitchers really is “strong pitching”.

  125. georgmi on December 23rd, 2009 1:26 pm

    Granted, that’s probably all so far out in speculation-land that it doesn’t really belong on this site. : )

  126. terry on December 23rd, 2009 1:42 pm

    Whether you like Glenn Beck or not there are times when he makes a lot of sense,

    Those would be the times you’re blitzed out of your brain right?

  127. IB Stramezi on December 23rd, 2009 1:43 pm

    The trade suggests Jack Z is persuaded by facts, not hopes or expectations. I admire that. In his place, I would have had a difficult time letting go of the pitcher I thought Morrow would become, rather than the one he has become.

    I am more perplexed about his overall plan, since I was kind of looking forward to a youth movement. Maybe he believes it is more effective to improve incrementally than fill your roster with young studs and watch them mature. Has Jack Z ever discussed his goals for the Mariners over the next few years?

  128. wabbles on December 23rd, 2009 1:47 pm

    @georgmi Hmmm….interesting. Kinda like having two Randy Johnsons then? Well, I hope they both stay healthy and put up those numbers and our remaining pitchers are indeed league average and not worse. (Oh wait, we turned one of them into Milton Bradley.)

  129. 300Level on December 23rd, 2009 1:52 pm

    What are you, Glenn Beck?

    I thought there was a no politics rule?

  130. georgmi on December 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm

    I am more perplexed about his overall plan, since I was kind of looking forward to a youth movement.

    As Dave has already noted, acquiring Cliff Lee on a short-term deal changes everything. Patience disappears when you’re going for it all right now, so we trade Morrow’s 2011-12 potential for known shutdown innings in 2010.

  131. BLYKMYK44 on December 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm

    And it’s not dead, and you’re wrong, and being certain doesn’t mean you’re right, because there are a bazillion instances you could look at if you wanted to, and I don’t know what else to tell you.

    - Wasn’t there a where the Ben Davis trade was done in a hotel bar on a napkin?? I think I’d actually tend to lean the other way and assume most trades and player decisions are done via hand shake

  132. BLYKMYK44 on December 23rd, 2009 1:55 pm

    “there a *story* where

  133. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 1:57 pm

    If we’re going to sign another starting pitcher, then there was no room for Morrow in the starting rotation (Lee, Felix, free agent, Rowland-Smith, Snell). We weren’t sending him to the bullpen, and we weren’t sending him to AAA.

    So we traded his bullpen-ness for League, and his starter potential for Chavez.

    If Jack Zduriencik thinks Yohermyn is a good ballplayer, and Dave and Derek don’t, I’m going with Jack Zduriencik. Dude knows his shit.

  134. eponymous coward on December 23rd, 2009 2:00 pm

    (Oh wait, we turned one of them into Milton Bradley.)

    We turned one of our worst pitchers into Milton Bradley. Big deal. The M’s right now have Snell, RRS, Vargas, French, Olson and Fister competing for 3 spots in the rotation. 6 guys going for 3 spots, I can live with.

  135. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 2:01 pm

    Wasn’t there a deal once between the Rockies and Red Sox that was near completion, and the Rockies pulled out, which led to the Sox to say “Fuck the Rockies, we’ll never work with them again”?

    Which is to say, a handshake deal to join this to the Lee deal is pretty much enforceable, in an unofficial way.

  136. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 2:04 pm

    Why does anybody think Snell is competing for a starting spot? Does that mean you believe that Zduriencik is only giving a guy he traded for two months to prove his worth? Snell was mediocre, but he wasn’t terrible.

    I’m sure his spot isn’t 100% secure, but he’s going to have to blow it or somebody else is going to have to steal it.

  137. georgmi on December 23rd, 2009 2:04 pm

    We turned one of our worst pitchers into Milton Bradley. Big deal.

    I think it was a good deal; that trade made the pitching staff and the offense better.

  138. galaxieboi on December 23rd, 2009 2:08 pm

    I thought there was a no politics rule?

    Oh, Glenn Beck isn’t politics. It’s more like asshattery. See, no rules violated. Move along, folks.

  139. wabbles on December 23rd, 2009 2:10 pm

    I think the general feeling is that Snell’s multimillion dollar contract pretty much assures him of a rotation spot.

  140. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 2:14 pm

    wabbles, I wouldn’t say the contract gets him a rotation spot. The fact that Zduriencik made a trade for him tells me he’s in the rotation.

  141. Asheme on December 23rd, 2009 2:14 pm

    #3 doesn’t make much sense to me. I’d understand a handshake deal with the Phillies, but a handshake deal with Toronto doesn’t seem to hold water.

    We got Cliff Lee from the Phillies, if any additional value needed to be sent out, it would make sense that it would be headed to Philadelphia, and not Toronto.

  142. georgmi on December 23rd, 2009 2:18 pm

    We turned one of our worst pitchers into Milton Bradley. Big deal.

    I think it was a good deal; that trade made the pitching staff and the offense better.

    Sorry, that should have read “it was a *big* deal”.

    But that’s what happens when you have an idiot doing your typing.

  143. eponymous coward on December 23rd, 2009 2:20 pm

    I’m pretty sure if Snell stunk the joint up to the point where there were three better starters, they’d do to him what they did to Batista or Silva- stick him into garbage relief or send him to the DL with acute suckitis.

  144. eponymous coward on December 23rd, 2009 2:23 pm

    Sorry, that should have read “it was a *big* deal”.

    My point is “who cares if we lost Carlos Silva as a potential starter in 2010?”. I see any of our backend guys as being able to take advantage of good defense + pitcher’s park as much as Silva could. At some point, they are all kind of randomly interchangeable replacement value guys, all as likely to have the random Elmer Dessens/Ryan Franklin “breakout” year as to be horrible.

  145. eponymous coward on December 23rd, 2009 2:24 pm

    And, while I am at it, I’d give Snell and RRS slight improvements on being > replacement value… but not big ones.

  146. KaminaAyato on December 23rd, 2009 2:26 pm

    The M’s right now have Snell, RRS, Vargas, French, Olson and Fister competing for 3 spots in the rotation.

    *sighs*… I give up. IMO – Barring injury, RRS isn’t competing for a spot – he has one. I think he can be a good 3 and is a great 4. He lasted at least 7 innings in 8 of his 15 starts (small sample size I know). But he’s willing to go deep into games, and pitches to contact which is perfect with this defense.

    RRS shouldn’t be grouped in with the other pitchers competing. There’s a parking spot in the rotation with his name on it.

  147. Alex on December 23rd, 2009 2:27 pm

    This post makes me think that someone needs to create a Mariners based choose your own adventure novel.

    Hiring Bill Bavasi could lead to page where you are taken over by evil alien Brain Spiders, while hiring Jack Zduriencik sets you on the course to win the World Series.

  148. Alex on December 23rd, 2009 2:40 pm

    IMO – Barring injury, RRS isn’t competing for a spot – he has one

    Yes, RRS is actually quite good, and is definitely ahead of the group of replacement to just-above replacement level 5th starters we have. (Snell/Vargas/Fister/Olson/etc).

    Felix/Lee/RRS followed by whatever 2 of those perform best in spring training is a reasonable picthing lineup, and is cheap as well. If we upgrade one of those back end spots with a trade or free agent signing before the year starts thats good, but its not a requirement at this point.

  149. downwarddog on December 23rd, 2009 2:41 pm

    If this is #3 what would be the harm in presenting this transaction as part of the 3 team deal?

  150. diderot on December 23rd, 2009 2:58 pm

    So, after reading Baker’s account of the conference call, in which Z said this was a ‘complete, separate’ transaction, it seems like we’re left with only two options:
    a- agreeing that the original conspiracy theory (#3) was dead wrong; or,
    b- calling Jack a liar.

    Which do we like?

  151. argh on December 23rd, 2009 2:59 pm

    Baker was on a call with Z and says that in essence, it was #1 — a little bit that Morrow was not valued as highly around the league as around here and the League was valued a little more highly by the internal Ms guys than around here. So, we will see.

  152. eponymous coward on December 23rd, 2009 3:00 pm

    RRS shouldn’t be grouped in with the other pitchers competing. There’s a parking spot in the rotation with his name on it.

    He’s also shown zero ability to get to the 180 IP level before getting shut down to to injury, and he’s coming into his age 27 year. Jarrod Washburn had even managed THAT one.

    I’m not saying he sucks, but I want to see him pitch 180+ average-ish or better innings before figuring him for more than a 4th-5th starter.

  153. Gibbo on December 23rd, 2009 3:06 pm

    I think a lot of us overvalued Morrow. League really does solidify the BP and gives us flexibility to trade a RP if needed. I would of liked a better prospect back, but obviously this was the best we could get and have to trust GMZ on this one. I he could of gotten better he would of.

    Felix/Lee/Snell/RRS/PTBNL

    I like that and can see us getting a guy like Bedard, Wang or Escobar to come in during the year. With a dominant pen, just got to get a good bat.

  154. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 3:06 pm

    I’m pretty sure if Snell stunk the joint up to the point where there were three better starters, they’d do to him what they did to Batista or Silva- stick him into garbage relief or send him to the DL with acute suckitis.

    Yes, but in terms of starting the season, it’s hard to believe that two months and spring training are going to change their assessment of Snell. If he’s bad to begin the regular season, I could see that in June or July.

    I’m not saying [Rowland-Smith] sucks, but I want to see him pitch 180+ average-ish or better innings before figuring him for more than a 4th-5th starter.

    Yes, but he will be a starter to begin the season. If he can’t make it to 180 innings, that’s an in-season issue — similar to Snell potentially sucking.

    Morrow was unlikely to begin the year in the rotation, he had to be traded.

  155. damariners on December 23rd, 2009 3:10 pm

    If it is number 3, then Jacky Z is a real stand up guy. He could have walked away after the first part of the deal was done. This would only be good for M’s fans as he is a trust worth trade partner…someone teams will talk to.

    My sense is it is number 1, and M’s fans over valued Morrow on potential, in part from the Yankee start, and the flashes of dominance we would see from time to time. I also remember a little bit of control issues.

    I’ll grade Jack after the winter.

  156. just a fan on December 23rd, 2009 3:14 pm

    Rowland-Smith is the only starter besides Cliff Lee (Cliff Lee!) and Felix that, the day after a 14-inning bullpen buster, Wak could hand the ball to and tell him “throw strikes and get me 8 innings.” Snell, Morrow and the Five Fives don’t qualify for that.

  157. Dave S. on December 23rd, 2009 3:18 pm

    I don’t think that’s a fair characterization.

    RRS didn’t break in to the rotation until 2008, and landed on the DL after his first start in 2009.

    After returning from the DL, he started the remainder of the season and performed well.

    I fully expect the M’s to acquire a #3 pitcher to fill out the rotation with Felix, Lee, ?, RRS, and Snell.

  158. Gibbo on December 23rd, 2009 3:32 pm

    Yes I think they will too but will be a cheaper low risk high reward type SP or maybe even Washburn.

    Having three guys that take pressure off the BP will suffice. So if RRS, Felix and Lee give us plenty of innings then having Snell and one other that get through 5-6 innings a start will probaby be OK.

  159. low on December 23rd, 2009 3:45 pm

    The reason Morrow’s value on this trade is so “low” is that he’s 25 and he hasn’t done anything yet.

    Bbbbut… he threw an 8 inning no hitter against the yankees! He pitches in the mid-90s! If only we hadn’t jerked him around for the past three years he’d be good!

    Maybe I need to step away from these threads but it seems like most people are vastly overrating Brandon Morrow and his potential to be a solid starter.

    League is a good reliever! Chavez has potential! What I’m hearing from a lot of people is ‘Morrow may be a mess but he’s our mess.’

    I think the organization did the right thing in moving on and giving Morrow a fresh chance with a new ballclub. I only wish the fanbase around here would do the same.

  160. brawlyjunk on December 23rd, 2009 3:53 pm

    I agree, low.

    As it stands, our bullpen is looking pretty decent. I don’t think Morrow staying would make much of any impact, and a guy like League can really shine and contribute in the bullpen.

  161. djw on December 23rd, 2009 4:33 pm

    If it is number 3, then Jacky Z is a real stand up guy. He could have walked away after the first part of the deal was done. This would only be good for M’s fans as he is a trust worth trade partner
    I imagine the costs to GMs who do this are probably pretty sizeable. There’s a universe of roughly 30 actors here, and they talk to each other quite a bit, I’d imagine. They also have a strong collective incentive for informally punishing the untrustworthy.

  162. Kazinski on December 23rd, 2009 5:24 pm

    If this is #3 what would be the harm in presenting this transaction as part of the 3 team deal?

    Because it would be against MLB trade rules. If it was part of the 3 team deal it would basically be a Player(s) To Be Named Later deal. According to Wikipedia:

    The deal must close within six months of the conclusion of the rest of the trade, and the player must change leagues.

    Apologies in advance for quoting Wikipedia as an authoritative source.

  163. mwinkel on December 23rd, 2009 5:36 pm

    Am I really the only Mariner fan that actually likes this deal. First of all, there is an old saying that people always over value items in their own possession, and I think this is exactly the case of which most M’s fans are troubled with. Yes…I saw the couple of games where Morrow seemed unhittable. I also saw the games where he was overthrowing one fastball after another and walked himself into trouble all the while opponents were sitting on fastball since they knew he wasn’t going to throw anything else. I had high hopes for Morrow as much as the next guy, but the fact is he continues to be a 25 year old prospect who still cannot manage to get consistent secondary pitches or control. In return we get a very undervalued set-up man who can provide a great amount of consistency to a young bullpen as we get in better shape everyday for a strong playoff run. I agree that this is not another Jack Z highway robbery like the rest of his trades, but this is a good trade that helps our team. Keep it going Z

  164. ninjasintheoutfield on December 23rd, 2009 5:51 pm

    Not difficult to see how/why Brandon Morrow could have been overvalued in the eyes of mariner fans, but i agree that #1 seems rather unexpected given the rumored deals Morrow seemed to be a rather large part of in november.
    Also, I would completely agree with the sentiment that in a business community that includes so few players, a handshake would suffice as a precursor to a deal.. It would seem to me that any gains a business could make from pulling out of such a deal would be peanuts compared to the losses the business would be setting itself up for as their peers stop dealing with them. I would think that front office types (specifically GM’s) or any businessman competing in such an enclosed business environment would NOT be out out to swindle anyone, but would prefer to have the deal seen as a net positive for both sides. This leads me to #3. The return for Aumont, JC, Gillies was stunning… and we were all waiting for that other name to drop… Morrow, Triunfel, etc… Well, maybe this is it? Which then leads to the question….. and not to poo poo the absolute stud we just landed, but is one year of Cliff Lee and two top picks the best we could get for that package? Am i off base here?

  165. PackBob on December 23rd, 2009 6:41 pm

    The pitching would have been pretty good with or without Morrow. If League is a groundball pitcher, he may well be a better fit for this park and team.

    One thing that seems evident is that this is Jack Z’s team, and he is going to get the guys he wants out on the field, not whoever someone else happened to leave him with. This is one of those deals that could work out either way, good or bad for the Ms, and only playing the games will tell.

  166. Dave S. on December 23rd, 2009 7:31 pm

    On the Edwin Jackson front – isn’t the most likely explanation one of these:

    - The Mariners’ offer wasn’t good enough OR
    - The rumor wasn’t true?

    It’s possible that it may have been an attempt to inflate Morrow’s trade value.

  167. mln on December 23rd, 2009 7:44 pm

    There is a fourth possible conclusion to this trade.

    It was part of Jack Z’s brillant master plan to mess with the following Facebook group.

    Brandon Morrow: Insanity at 60 Feet, 6 Inches
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=192394835412

  168. Pete Livengood on December 23rd, 2009 7:54 pm

    Dave S. wrote:

    “On the Edwin Jackson front – isn’t the most likely explanation one of these:

    - The Mariners’ offer wasn’t good enough OR
    - The rumor wasn’t true?”

    I suppose it’s possible, but reports at the time were that the Mariners turned down the Tigers’ offer, not the other way around.

  169. diderot on December 23rd, 2009 8:36 pm

    Am I really the only Mariner fan that actually likes this deal.

    No, you’re not. Back when this thread began three years ago, I made the point that League is not only inarguably a better pitcher than Morrow, his numbers show he’s also better than Aardsma. No offense to either Aardsma or Morrow…but the numbers don’t lie. And if the goal is to win this year (which Lee proves) there simply isn’t a question that League projects to help more than Morrow.

    What has been conspicuously absent from this whole discussion is an analysis of what League’s season was like last year. He’s the part of this deal that no one seems to want to talk about.

  170. Dave S. on December 23rd, 2009 8:39 pm

    Assuming it was true, then, it was probably the insistence of including Morrow & Kelley (not that the organization is too high on Kelley, but losing two relief pitchers – one a potential starter – for a project starting pitcher seems like a steep price for a team looking to win now).

  171. Pete Livengood on December 23rd, 2009 9:16 pm

    I don’t think Edwin Jackson is a “project starting pitcher,” but I agree that losing a key member of a bullpen that (at least before this trade) goes into next year with health issues, plus a guy who is either an expected part of your rotation *OR* the fill for your bullpen issues, was a bit much to ask. The fact that this trade reached for bullpen help tells me that Jack was too nervous about the ‘pen to make that deal.

  172. frontstreetfan on December 24th, 2009 12:25 am

    Dave, Morrow in the last 3 yrs. of professional baseball minors and majors has pitched a grand total of 298 innings. I also don’t believe he has pitched in college or HS greater than 100 innings in a season. assuming a starter should go 6 and ideally 7 innings. Morrow would be slotted as a 4/5 starter for say 30 starts. So all of sudden he’s going to jump up to twice his previous workload?? Lets just say Morrow is no Javier Vazquez. Please this is ridiculous to label Morrow a solid big upside starter prospect. He’s not going to be able to handle the workload and the Mariners know that all too well. By the way, League and Chavez are a reasonable return for a talent with questions, potential doesn’t translate and three yrs good or bad is enough. Hardball times had Chavez as Toronto’s no. 1 prospect:

  173. DMZ on December 24th, 2009 12:45 am

    Link fixed. Please use the link button instead of posting long, naked URLs, so the IE6 people don’t all write us confused email about how the site layout’s broken.

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