Asking The Question Slightly Differently

Dave · June 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I get that a lot of people think the idea of trading Michael Pineda away is crazy. It’s just not something you see teams do – in almost every case, they keep their best young players around and hope for the best. But, let me turn the tables and present the question in a slightly different manner.

Let’s say that the team was in exactly the same position in the standings that they are right now at 39-42, 4 games out of first place. However, instead of Jack Cust struggling at DH, they had 24-year-old Yonder Alonso, a left-handed hitting line drive guy with some upside. Instead of Adam Kennedy and Chone Figgins platooning at third base, they had 25-year-old Todd Frazier adding some right-handed power to the line-up. The rotation featured a 24-year-old lefty in Travis Wood who had racked up +3.2 WAR in 196 innings at the big league level and was a perfect fit for Safeco Field. And, down on the farm, the best prospect in the system was a 22-year-old switch-hitting catcher with patience and power, the fruit of the team’s high selection in the first round a year ago.

Would anyone here really be suggesting that the Mariners trade three guys off their Major League roster and their best prospect remaining in the minors – one of the very best catching prospects in the game, by the way – for a starting pitcher? Anyone?

I’ll suggest that the answer is no, and as evidence, I’ll point to the discussions we were all having at this time last summer. The Mariners were going to trade Cliff Lee and everyone knew it, so the month of July was essentially non-stop speculation about what kinds of players the Mariners should target. The public opinion was nearly unanimous – the package of players coming back should be centered around the best hitter the team could get. The general reaction to a rumored package from Minnesota that might include Scott Baker was “no thanks, we want bats!”

That’s why the focus the last few weeks was on the teams who could offer up a top hitting prospect in return – the Yankees dangled Jesus Montero before the Rangers finally caved on Justin Smoak, but this was the kind of guy the Mariners were after when trading Lee, and the kind of guy that nearly everyone in the fan base wanted to see the team get in return. There just wasn’t any kind of push to use Lee to get a young pitcher in return, even though the rotation was mediocre and in need of some serious help.

Last year, no one wanted to build around pitching when making a trade that would almost certainly bring back an elite young talent. Now, all of the sudden, a premium young pitcher is a more valuable commodity to the team than a position player despite the rest of the rotation getting even better and the team using the #2 overall pick in the draft on a premium pitching prospect?

I get that watching Michael Pineda is exciting, and dreaming of what he could be is one of the most fun things about being a Mariner fan right now. However, if the tables were flipped and Pineda was already in Cincinnati, and the Mariners had Grandal, Alonso, Frazier, and Wood in the organization, I just don’t think we’d be seeing massive support for trading them all away to acquire Pineda and build an uber-rotation. I think the reaction to that suggestion would be something along the lines of “the pitching is already very good, why create huge holes on the roster to upgrade the strength of the team?”

I’m just saying that if you wouldn’t make the trade if the tables were turned, then maybe it’s not such a crazy idea after all.

Comments

102 Responses to “Asking The Question Slightly Differently”

  1. gag harbor on June 30th, 2011 9:17 pm

    Ah, the psychology of fandom

  2. okinawadave on June 30th, 2011 9:21 pm

    Dave, I think that M’s fans have a perpetual fear of losing our homegrown stars to big-money markets. We’ve managed to overcome that with Felix (somehow), but I still think many are wary of our ability to repeat that. So when we have someone of Pineda’s caliber whom we control for the next six years (cheaply!), trading him away is a big idea to swallow.
    I didn’t see it in your posts, but it would be helpful to include how long each of those players we’d get in return would also be under cheap, team control before the big-market teams sign them away from us.
    An extreme comparison is the TX end of the Lee-Smoak deal. We got many years of Smoak and that appears like it’s going to turn out well for us. They traded away their big prospect for a short-term return. What I want to know in your suggested deal is how ‘short-term’ those players are.

  3. Rick L on June 30th, 2011 9:29 pm

    Maybe we could throw in Chone Figgins. The only team that could afford him is probably the Yankees. What would the package of Figgins and Pineda bring?

  4. xsacred24x on June 30th, 2011 9:41 pm

    I know this would never happen but i would think about trading Felix before Pineda because Felix is about to become alot more exspensive Pineda is going to be cost effective for the next 4 years.

  5. flutieflakes on June 30th, 2011 9:51 pm

    I don’t think the notion of trading from a position of strength is wrong. And Pineda is probably the most obvious one to deal. He’s really good, but he also is probably pitching a little bit above his head right now. His change up still needs work, and he’s quickly approaching his innings limit for the season. However, based on his productivity thus far, he’s being considered around baseball as a “made man”.

    My only qualm with your previous article was the return- Grandal is good, but I’m not convinced he’s the top catching prospect in the Reds organization. And I’m also not particularly high on Alonso (lacks power and defensive ability), and Wood and Frazier are improvements, but not significantly so. I question Frazier’s approach at the plate.

  6. IwearMsHats on June 30th, 2011 9:52 pm

    So you’re saying that Cinci wouldn’t make that trade! That sucks, I kind of liked that idea. :(

  7. jordan on June 30th, 2011 10:02 pm

    He’s not saying that, Cincinnati needs pitching and has an abundance of hitting which is why a deal like this would work.

    I agree with the idea that moving Pineda for some top of the line prospects is a great idea, I am not a fan of the players Dave suggests.

  8. Gibbo on June 30th, 2011 10:02 pm

    I like many didn’t like the initial thought of this….. But it is very true why not deal from your strength. I would wait until the off season though. It means we could still add a low cost bat and see where we can get too. I don’t think we actually need to add 2 or 3 bats now. If some of our guys like Gutierrez and Figgins regress to the norm we have added two bats at 0 cost. Personally I think we go get Ludwick or someone like that and then see where we can get to. Do you really believe Jack Z would trade Pineda? Because now I could get very excited about how good we could be and quickly.

  9. Westside guy on June 30th, 2011 10:06 pm

    Maybe we could throw in Chone Figgins. The only team that could afford him is probably the Yankees. What would the package of Figgins and Pineda bring?

    I’m guessing… nothing. As Jona Keri pointed out on Brock and Salk a couple days ago, the Yankees may have this perceived reputation for throwing huge amounts of money around at the deadline – but that hasn’t actually been what’s happened.

    Do you really think they’re going to eat 9 million a year for the next few years, AND send us some talent back, just to get Pineda? They have money, but they’re not dumb – Papa Steinbrenner is dead, remember.

  10. nickwest1976 on June 30th, 2011 10:25 pm

    I actually really like this idea Dave and it’s out of the box thinking here and I like that.

    Another point of evidence here is the Bedard deal. At the time, the M’s were getting what we thought was a proven ace in Bedard and a lot of people thought it was fine to deal Adam Jones, Tillman and the rest of the crew we sent away. I do recall Dave and USSM were very much against the Bedard deal too.

    But I do agree, that starting pitchers are a lot more risky than hitters and given how deep our rotation is, and given how much pitching talent we have in the minors, I think getting a package like that for Pineda does make a lot of sense.

    I would try and put Figgins in to the deal at all costs even if we have to eat some of his money.

    Also, to those that would deal Felix instead of Pineda, I don’t agree. Felix is past the growing pains stage that almost every starting pitcher experiences and he is past the early stage of development where a lot of guys get hurt. Pineda has a ways to go before he moves past that stage. Plus, Pineda’s inexpensive deal might net us more than Felix would right now, especially to a smaller to mid-market team like Cincy.

    I don’t think we trade Pineda just to trade him, but if a team will overpay with 3-4 good position players who can help form the core of this team with Smoak/Ackley for years, we have to look at it.

    We have the best rotation in baseball and are 39-42. The great M’s teams of the mid 90′s and early 2000′s had big time offenses. Sure they had good pitching, but go back and look at the hitting with guys like Griffey, Edgar, Buhner, Tino, Ichiro, Boone (2001), Olerud and you will see offenses that were some of the best in baseball. The Phillies the last several years as well as the Yankees have been built on powerhouse offenses and have won championships.

    Pitching is vital but position players help you more because they influence the game on offense and defense, play everyday and are less risky. We have the luxury of having a top 5 ace in Felix, and a potential top ace in Pineda right now. If we trade from a strength and fill big time needs, I would think Jack Z has to look at that.

  11. Auggeydog on June 30th, 2011 10:29 pm

    The idea of trading Pinedea is not an absolute no. The idea of trading him right now is though. I am going to soften my earlier stance on this. I do not think this team even woth improvements beats the Rangers. They are a better team and will improve before the deadline. What I would rather do is wait and see if jack can get any of the Guti type trades with the lesser prospects. he is Trader Jack and holds his own in the trade market. If we could like I said in the other post get guys that are blocked on their teams we might get a better deal. If he can’t make this team a contender then yes it might be a good idea to get a bunch of starters or guys close enough to do it. My thing is wait and see what the off season holds.

  12. nickwest1976 on June 30th, 2011 10:31 pm

    I would agree that we should definitely explore other deals first to upgrade the offense, but I do agree that the idea of moving Pineda if the return is enormous is something the M’s should consider. Someone needs to overpay plain and simple and if they are willing to do that, look at it.

  13. Typical Idiot Fan on June 30th, 2011 10:33 pm

    He’s not saying that, Cincinnati needs pitching and has an abundance of hitting which is why a deal like this would work.

    Actually he kinda is. Since he’s turning the tables on us, would we trade those prospects for a really good pitcher? Do we think getting a Pineda is worth that? If we have to put ourselves in their shoes, the first thing that pops up to me is “OVERPAY!”. Like, beyond what we paid for Bedard overpay.

    Would I want that deal, as a Mariner fan trading Pineda away? Fuck yes I would. But if I were Cincinnati fan? I’d probably be rather squeamish.

    And yes, I know Pineda is awesome and worth quite a bit, especially in cost controlled goodness.

  14. Steve Nelson on June 30th, 2011 10:55 pm

    The idea of trading Pinedea is not an absolute no. The idea of trading him right now is though.

    If the idea of trading Pineda is not an absolute “no”, would you not want to trade him now, when his value is almost certainly higher than it would be next winter??

    Pineda has more value now than he does this winter because: 1) a contender acquiring him now would reap the benefit of having him in their rotation for a playoff push; and 2) they get an extra half-season of production of him while under their control.

    And the idea of trading him now is not solely to try to improve the team to catch the rangers. The goal is to give some improvement now, while at the same time filling holes that absolutely need to be filled sometime between now and Spring next year if the Mariners hope to contend in 2012.

    There are holes that need to be filled, both now and in the future. If the team can leverage this point to extract maximum value from Pineda to fill those holes, it makes sense to do so. Otherwise you just make the offseason work that much harder.

    There’s no sense in deliberately making your offseason more difficult than it has to be.

  15. JH on June 30th, 2011 11:20 pm

    The idea of trading Pinedea is not an absolute no. The idea of trading him right now is though. I am going to soften my earlier stance on this. I do not think this team even woth improvements beats the Rangers.

    The three hitters Dave mentioned have a combined MLB service time of 1 game. Only Wood has any significant service time. The hitters would all be under club control for 6 full seasons. This wouldn’t be a win-now move, it’d be a building for the future while improving the big-league club at two different positions move. And it’s not the kind of move you can make in the off-season. The whole point is to take advantage of scarcity at the deadline.

  16. stevemotivateir on June 30th, 2011 11:21 pm

    Two things… First, it amazes me how many people still don’t get what the whole point was, even after Dave explained it -again.
    Second, I’d love to see a ban put in place using our current third baseman’s name, which starts with an “F”. It’s like a broken record, only more annoying.

  17. hoiland on June 30th, 2011 11:25 pm

    The Mariners are trying to build a winning organization over the long-term.

    Currently, the Mariners have an obvious strength, that is their pitching. Their just, if not more, weakness is hitting.

    You have to sacrifice and balance the two out. If the deal is right and we get long-term / young kids in return, you absolutely pull the trigger. If not, you think about it for a week.

  18. bookbook on June 30th, 2011 11:37 pm

    The move is right, but it’s the kind of move that costs you your job if it backfires, isn’t it?

    Is Z that confident?

  19. tmac9311 on June 30th, 2011 11:42 pm

    another way you naysayers could think of it is, if we were to trade Pineda for a future C 3B and LF, we could take the money freed up from Bradley Jack Wilson Cust etc. and throw it all in one basket (say Prince Fielder) rather than divide it into 4 or 5 positions.

    And if we’re ever going to trade Pineda, it has to be now. Being a Twins fan, I know all too well what its like for a stud rookie to throw out his arm/ never return to that form. Not to say it will happen to Mike, but betting on a pitcher is always a crap shoot, even after a year in the majors. Even signing Felix to the deal we did has a huge risk.

    That said, I would still hate to lose the guy. He’s a blast to watch, but winning is better, and there’s not a player that could draw a bigger package than Pineda could right now.

  20. beastwarking on June 30th, 2011 11:43 pm

    *Shakes fist*
    Damn you and your logic!

    But you really do bring up a valid point: I probably wouldn’t make that deal because that would be overpaying.

    I guess if the package was good enough (A/B prospects), then I think it would be hard to turn it down.

    I guess it boils down to the attrition rate of the prospects received versus how risky you feel Pineda’s arm is.

  21. lamlor on June 30th, 2011 11:57 pm

    I agree with the premise, but not this example you used with Cinci. You would be trading Pineda because of his unknown future, either from injury or flame out perspective, but the return would actually be more of an unknown with all these minor leaguers. Clement was a line drive hitter. Carp has put up better numbers than all those guys combined this year. What have they accomplished to date? Notta. I know they are not the same players, but prospects are just players that have not made it. For every Ackley, there are 100 Clement’s.

    If you were saying a return of:
    Billy Butler
    Alex Gordon
    Mike Moustakas

    Now you are talking a return even if we had to include some Tui type players.

  22. PackBob on July 1st, 2011 12:09 am

    Seems there are several avenues the Mariners could travel and they are not sure which turn would be best to take.

    The one Dave mentions makes a lot of sense if the right return is offered. I doubt Z would reject an offer that improved the team. But a future with Felix-Michael 1-2 shouldn’t be let go of lightly. Just as there are questions regarding Pineda, a return of top prospects is no guarantee of success.

    Another option is that the Mariners can continue as they have, hoping their veterans find their strokes and one of the left field rookies steps forward. If not, this is a rebuilding year and a chance to evaluate the rookies. Salaries come off the books next year and the Mariners should have a very good idea of what they have (and don’t have) and need to shop for.

    Another option is to try to find a bat for left field and possibly 3rd base, either by expanding payroll or dealing prospects. Figgens could move into a super-sub and baserunner roll.

    No matter what they do, it is frustrating as a fan to see the great pitching go to waste night after night. Management appears to be in waiting mode to see if the current team can stick close and will base their decisions on what happens the next few weeks.

    I just wish they would stop putting Peguero in the lineup.

  23. groundzero55 on July 1st, 2011 12:50 am

    Cincy I think would be more likely to give up their blocked guys for Pineda. KC, not so much, as they would be giving up guys who are already on the ML roster. Besides, I’d rather NOT have Pineda in the same league as us.

    Cincinnati would be dumb not to pursue a trade like this. Blocked players are of no use to an organization unless they are traded…that’s the whole point of organizational depth. Teams don’t stockpile talent so their AAA team can win the minors championships year after year.

  24. greentunic on July 1st, 2011 1:13 am

    If only there were better/more FA position players this winter, then I’d be more “anti-trade.”

    But unless we get Prince Fielder or Zeus willing, Phat Albert, our offense will not improve significantly anytime soon without trading.

    My problem is that I do not believe the trade return would realize the value of the multiple years of control. When a Lee rental (0.4 years) gets a Smoak, would a Lee 4-year contract get ten times the value of Smoak? I think not. Can you say “diminishing returns?” It is for this reason that I agree, a major OVERPAYED return is a must.

    Like Heyward + something, or Stanton + something or, Posey + something real nice or Harper + something real nice, or Trout + something real nice… I like nice things.

  25. NBarnes on July 1st, 2011 1:18 am

    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect. Pineda is significantly more likely than a position player to turn into a pumpkin tomorrow. Trading him for a package like the one Cincinnati can put together ought to be a no-brainer.

  26. The_Waco_Kid on July 1st, 2011 1:25 am

    You would be trading Pineda because of his unknown future, either from injury or flame out perspective, but the return would actually be more of an unknown with all these minor leaguers.

    Exactly. Hence, it would be risky. There’s a status quo bias, and maybe that’s problematic, but it’s more comforting to have a known quantity. If it could help us this year, I’d be open to it. But if this a “give up and go for it later” move, I’d say no. I like Fister and Vargas and our bullpen, but there’s a decent chance they’re all peaking this year. Maybe Hultzen will be ready next year, but our pitching may well decline significantly next year and Bedard may be gone too, so I’m nervous about either assuming we have surplus pitching next year or risking a long wait for more minor leaguers to develop.

    Your idea’s not crazy, Dave, but it’s really risky.

  27. Breadbaker on July 1st, 2011 1:31 am

    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect. Pineda

    is not a pitching prospect. He’s a major league pitcher. (That has nothing to do with Dave’s point, which, if you read my comment in the other thread, I pretty much said in different words, but the TINSTAAP meme has nothing to do with Michael Pineda.)

  28. rth1986 on July 1st, 2011 1:33 am

    Trading Pineda is an interesting idea, but I’m not crazy about this proposed return.

    I love Grandal and like Travis Wood, but that’s all. Frazier hasn’t performed much better than guys like Liddi or even Tuiasosopo offensively. Yonder Alonzo is interesting, but he still hasn’t really reached his potential. Is he a better hitter than Carp? Is he a better left fielder?

    Could we try to work a deal around Bedard, Vargas, or Fister and Grandal? That seems more appealing.

  29. johnfree63 on July 1st, 2011 2:21 am

    I’m surprised no one jumped on this (or maybe I missed it) but Dave’s scenario is wrong, isn’t it? Trading Pineda for 3 Prospects that are blocked for the most part and a back end starter, is not the same as trading 3 Starters and one prospect for Pineda.

    The valuation would be completely different wouldn’t it?

    I get the part of position players being valued higher but I guess I’m just confused how this is the same thing flipped around.

  30. johnfree63 on July 1st, 2011 2:29 am

    What I’m trying to say is if this was flipped around and the M’s were the good team with all the blocked prospects, I would do that trade in a heart beat.

  31. Pine Tar on July 1st, 2011 5:36 am

    Until the offense improves Jack Z should make it a standard practice to trade away starting pitching for young bats. We have a lot of pitching depth in the organization to fall back. A couple points that haven’t been made:

    1. Safeco Field with a strong D inflates the perceived value of our pitching. We’ve seen guys like Fister, Vargas, and Washburn have success here with so-so stuff. Jack Z needs to leverage this phenomenon.

    2. Pineda’s skill set does not age well. He is a two pitch pitcher who relies on a 98 mph fastball. Will he master a change up before his velocity tales off?

    Sell high! Buy Low! I am tired of losing 0-1.

  32. Jordan on July 1st, 2011 6:03 am

    Blocked players are of no use to an organization unless they are traded…that’s the whole point of organizational depth.

    Choo, Cabrera, Varitek, Ortiz (insert other painful memory) etc. all agree with you.

  33. Jordan on July 1st, 2011 6:18 am

    Obviously, a trade like this stings, and anchoring a rotation with Felix and Pineda is a blessing most teams don’t get to experience. But, if the return forces you to make it, then why not? The casual fan will get over it when we start winning again.

    For me the return needs to start w/ a pipe dream and ridiculous overpayment; the kind of trade that could only happen in a video game:

    Something like 2 everyday position players fitting the uninjured Buster Posey or Mike Stanton mold + 2 B-level marginal types. + all are cost-controlled for at least 4 yrs.

  34. Jordan on July 1st, 2011 6:23 am

    For example, since points are heavily skewed toward pitching in my fantasy league, I traded Chase Utley and Joe Mauer for Tommy Hanson. I doubt any GM would even consider this, but this is the type of return it should take (assuming the players are cost-controlled) for the Mariners.

  35. The Ancient Mariner on July 1st, 2011 7:00 am

    Choo and Varitek weren’t blocked, they were considered failed prospects, and Ortiz (who was then known as David Arias) was in A-ball (low-A, iirc). For Choo, Cabrera and Varitek, the problem isn’t that we dealt them, it’s that they were misvalued in the deals.

    Frazier hasn’t performed much better than guys like Liddi or even Tuiasosopo offensively.

    That’s not exactly the point. If Frazier is better than those guys with the bat while also playing 3B well — and I have no idea if he’s good at the hot corner or not, so this is an “if” — then he would be a huge upgrade over them. The problem with Liddi and Tuiasosopo isn’t that they don’t hit well enough to play 3B, it’s that they don’t hit well enough to play 1B and don’t field well enough to stay at 3B. (There are some folks who think that might change with Liddi, but at the moment, that’s the deal.)

  36. xsacred24x on July 1st, 2011 7:15 am

    another way you naysayers could think of it is, if we were to trade Pineda for a future C 3B and LF, we could take the money freed up from Bradley Jack Wilson Cust etc. and throw it all in one basket (say Prince Fielder) rather than divide it into 4 or 5 positions.

    And if we’re ever going to trade Pineda, it has to be now. Being a Twins fan, I know all too well what its like for a stud rookie to throw out his arm/ never return to that form. Not to say it will happen to Mike, but betting on a pitcher is always a crap shoot, even after a year in the majors. Even signing Felix to the deal we did has a huge risk.

    That said, I would still hate to lose the guy. He’s a blast to watch, but winning is better, and there’s not a player that could draw a bigger package than Pineda could right now.

    I hate the injury argument only because at any point Felix could throw his arm out and that 80 Mil was a sunk cost.

  37. monkey on July 1st, 2011 7:28 am

    I certainly agree with the premise of trading from your strengths, and I personally have no problem with trading ANYONE on htis team, as long as the return is worth what we’re giving up…My only question is, why not instead trade one or more of our many pitching PROSPECTS?

    Again, you trade from strength, and right now our strength is not just the starting pitching in the majors, but it’s also the depth of talent at pitching in the minors.

    Why trade a guy who has proven what he can do, is cheap and under team control, when you can trade a few pitching prospects instead, and get roughly the same kind of return?

    I know people just LOVE their prospects, adn people seem to react adversely to ANY discussion of trading away what they consider to be “the future”, but isn’t Pineda, not only “the future”, but a much more PROVEN piece of “the future”?
    Whereas the prospects we have, who other teams would certainly want, haven’t proven to be ANYTHING but prospects yet.

    I get the idea of trading Pineda, and would absolutely NOT be opposed to the idea, so long as the return was spectacular, but I think they should explore the idea of trading prospects first. We have a bunch, we all know who they are, and if done correctly, just one of them could command perhaps just a little less return on the market than trading Pineda.
    And if you tradied two of them, you could easily get a deal that would roughly rival what we could get for Pineda.

    That way it wouldn’t be taking one step forward on offense, and one step back on pitching next season, when we will probably not have the services of Bedard.

    Next year, because of regression and the likely loss of Bedard, I really doubt our pitching will be this good anyway. Keep as much pitching as you can, trade the prospects who haven’t proven themselves to be anything more than just pprospects.

  38. cliffjohnson on July 1st, 2011 7:38 am

    As a Reds fan — no way on that deal. Team needs insurance against Votto leaving. Mesoraco or Grandal can move off C to give lineup another good young bat somewhere. Maybe 3B after Rolen leaves or LF, which is a weakness. Giant downside to give all that away for a marginal upgrade in the rotation that could disappear if Pineda got hurt.

  39. HighBrie on July 1st, 2011 7:47 am

    I like the proposed trade. I think teams a) overvalue prospects and b) judge pitchers to be volatile commodities, and for that reason I think this deal doesn’t pass muster with the Reds FO. Would you still do this trade if Grandal or Alonso is not in the package?

  40. Badbadger on July 1st, 2011 8:01 am

    I don’t know, those guys mostly sound like the kind of people you could pick up without trading a budding star for them. It’s not just a question of whether making the trade improves the team, it’s also a question of how to improve the team at the lowest cost.

  41. tdillon on July 1st, 2011 8:04 am

    If you are asking me if I would trade Randy Johnson for Freddie Garcia, John Halama, and Carlos Guillen, that answer is still yes.

    If I only have to give up 3 of my best prospects to get an elite level pitcher to help me get into the playoffs, I pull the trigger. My team is set, the iron is hot, pull the trigger.

    In the abstract, the Mariner’s are a .500 club. Yes, there are under-performing players, but there are below replacement-level players on the team and not much coming down the pipe. Turning 1 5 WAR pitcher into 2-3 2.5 WAR position players should be a no-brainer. Because the list of “could’ve been great pitchers” is awfully long.

  42. xsacred24x on July 1st, 2011 8:14 am

    As a Reds fan — no way on that deal. Team needs insurance against Votto leaving. Mesoraco or Grandal can move off C to give lineup another good young bat somewhere. Maybe 3B after Rolen leaves or LF, which is a weakness. Giant downside to give all that away for a marginal upgrade in the rotation that could disappear if Pineda got hurt.

    Or he could be an ace and win a few CY Youngs and the prospects we get could turn into nothing. Again i don’t like the logic that we should trade a pitcher because we fear injury because one pitch could land any pitcher on the DL no matter who they are its not a natural throwing motion for anybody.

  43. Klatz on July 1st, 2011 8:50 am

    A negative reaction was a lot more likely for several reasons.

    1) Pineda’s under control for several years while Cliff Lee was almost certainly going to leave. In this case a trade is a foregone conclusion.

    2) There was a consensus that Cliff Lee was the best option out there. The case isn’t so clearcut with Pineda. There’s a lot more uncertainty to the value we’d get in return. You suggest that the Reds would give up four good propsects. I think many are not sure that’s entirely realistic.

    3) There’s the unfortunate recent history of bad trades (mostly Bavasi)so people are more gun-shy. That attitude needs to work it’s way out.

    I think if the return package is good enough then any player should be available. And we’re (at the moment) pitching rich and position poor so it makes sense.

  44. eternal on July 1st, 2011 9:15 am

    ya gotta wonder how the team feels about adam moore these days

  45. make_dave_proud on July 1st, 2011 9:35 am

    Great piece, Dave. I will go one step further and suggest that the Mariners *should* look at moving Pineda. This is caveated with bringing a strong haul of position players who can hit in return.

    While there has been the mention of LF-DH-3B as holes to fill, I would posit that the list is actually 6 field positions + DH. The only positions I’m comfortable with for the foreseeable future are CF (Guti), 2B (Ackley) and 1B (Smoak.) Play out 2-3 years, and one can potentially pencil in SS (Franklin). I’m open to hearing arguments about our minor leaguers, but for now I don’t foresee any big callups within the organization.

    That leaves 5-6 field positions and DH we need to fill. While strategies of grabbing a little value with an Adam Kennedy here and there can strengthen a bench, it’s insufficient when that’s you’re go-to option as the strength of your lineup.

    We are pitching rich and offensively poor, but it’s not equal. We lack offense much more than we have a richness in pitching. We need to stock the shelves, and scrap-heap combing will only get us so far.

  46. Steve Nelson on July 1st, 2011 9:36 am

    Another variant. As Dave suggested a couple of weeks ago on Brock and Salk, find out if Bedard is interested in negotiating a a 2-year + option extension at a reasonable price.

    If he is, that provides a bit more flexibility to deal Pineda, as the team then has same cover against losing two top starters going into the 2012 season.

    But if a deal can’t get done with Bedard, then Pineda’s value to the Mariners goes up.

  47. Snuffleupagus on July 1st, 2011 9:41 am

    The biggest problem with this idea that no one has mentioned:

    Pineda is a rookie who will need to be shut down this season in order to prevent increases that injury risk everyone is talking about.

    Therefore, he does not help a team in contention make a World Series run this year.

    I would think this fact would dramatically lower his value at the deadline.

  48. The Ancient Mariner on July 1st, 2011 9:53 am

    Pineda is a rookie who will need to be shut down this season in order to prevent increases that injury risk everyone is talking about.

    Therefore, he does not help a team in contention make a World Series run this year.

    Since that isn’t a baseball rule, you can’t call it a “fact.” You can say that some contenders might look at Pineda this way and thus value him less — but then again, some might not. Unless you have ears in various FOs, there’s really no way to know.

  49. davepaisley on July 1st, 2011 9:55 am

    In the history of the Mariners the only times we got totally rooked were Bavasi’s crazy 2006 (Cabrera, Choo and Soriano for scrapheap rejects) and Woodward’s disaster (Lowe & Varitek for Slocumb). I guess you could add Mike Hampton for Eric Anthony, but long term that was no loss.

    There’s no way Z would get rooked like that. The failure was always due to: a) perceived panic at needing something and b) a complete inability to realistically evaluate what we got in return.

    You could argue signing Figgins was an example of b), but who saw that train wreck coming?

    But as far as trades go, Z has pulled off some minor miracles (both Cliff Lee trades) as well as some meh ones (Brandon swap).

    Given the Cliff Lee deal experience, I’m sure he’d be willing to consider a blockbuster deal for Pineda, even if the initial outcry would be off the charts crazy.

  50. The Ancient Mariner on July 1st, 2011 10:14 am

    davepaisley, you forgot the other half of Woodward’s ’97 disaster: Jose Cruz Jr., our top prospect who’d hit the majors with a bang, for relievers Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric. By fWAR — and sure, you can quibble over UZR, but for his career I think it pegs Cruz about right — we gave up ~19 wins over the rest of Cruz’ career, and got back 2.5 . . . I’d call that a straight-up rooking, even without factoring in that those 19 wins represent a disappointment; most people would have expected Cruz to produce quite a bit more than he actually did.

  51. MarinerFanMike03 on July 1st, 2011 10:43 am

    Its hard to trade away an awesome 1-2 combo like the M’s have right now.

    But ultimately its a business and a business decision needs to be made about the glaring holes we have at DH, 3B, LF.

  52. jryoung222 on July 1st, 2011 10:49 am

    Reality check: Why would Cincy trade away three very good to outstanding hitting prospects, at least two of which can play in the majors tomorrow, and a decent major league starter, for a rookie who’s been in the majors for all of three months? If Cincy would do it, then yes, definitely, let’s do it, but I don’t think Cincy would. I’m not sure how Dave came up with these trade pieces, but it doesn’t seem realistic. If I’m Cincy’s GM, I want more in return, like another pitching prospect. Otherwise, no way. As Dave said:

    Pitchers get hurt. They lose their fastballs, or they wake up one day and can’t throw strikes anymore. The guys who make it are the exceptions, not the rule.

    Obviously, Cincy know this reality as well, so, again, why would they make this trade? Throw in another pitching prospect, and I could see them entertaining the idea, but just Pineda? I don’t see it.

  53. cougarcountry on July 1st, 2011 11:02 am

    I think Lalo, and others, have said it best- those guys underwhelm me. I support the concept, but the example given doesn’t cut it.

    Pineda is playing at an all star level and he’s likely not finished developed. Those guys are decent but not great players. One isn’t even the best C prospect in the Reds org. None of them are top 50 prospects.

    I’d trade Pineda for a top 10 prospect. His talent, achievement in The Show, and contract warrant it. If you don’t get that, pass.

    We can get that level of talent elsewhere without trading a rare commodity.

    Good idea, great concept and conversation, but I would need to get more- quality over quantity.

  54. Steve Nelson on July 1st, 2011 11:06 am

    Reality check: Why would Cincy trade away three very good to outstanding hitting prospects, at least two of which can play in the majors tomorrow, and a decent major league starter, for a rookie who’s been in the majors for all of three months? If Cincy would do it, then yes, definitely, let’s do it, but I don’t think Cincy would. I’m not sure how Dave came up with these trade pieces, but it doesn’t seem realistic. If I’m Cincy’s GM, I want more in return, like another pitching prospect.

    Maybe one of the key points here just wooshed over your head.

    Cincy – or another team – is more motivated to do the deal now because they are in a pennant race. That situation increases the short term value and makes assuming the risk of a future injury more tolerable.

    And that’s the point – right now a contending value will give up more to get Pineda than they would in the off-season.

  55. Puffy on July 1st, 2011 11:13 am

    1) I think you’re all dreaming to think that Cincy would trade that package for Pineda.

    2) Pineda’s delivery/mechanics look like an injury waiting to happen.

  56. danelboones on July 1st, 2011 11:16 am

    Still the wrong question.

    Felix is the one you trade. Felix may be young, but he’s got a ton of miles on him. The twenty million owed to Felix buy’s a couple of bats come the off season plus the players traded to aquire him.
    Violent delivery, innings logged, expense, can’t locate his pitches, fresh off the Cy, deep pitching depth, it’s a no brainer.

  57. shortbus on July 1st, 2011 11:49 am

    Jose Cruz Jr., our top prospect who’d hit the majors with a bang, for relievers Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric. By fWAR — and sure, you can quibble over UZR, but for his career I think it pegs Cruz about right — we gave up ~19 wins over the rest of Cruz’ career, and got back 2.5 . . . I’d call that a straight-up rooking, even without factoring in that those 19 wins represent a disappointment; most people would have expected Cruz to produce quite a bit more than he actually did.

    I would do that deal again. The M’s had Jr., Edgar, Buhner, A-Rod, Randy, Moyer and other good role players on that team. That’s a championship lineup that led the league in runs with 925 (Ok, I need to go have a good cry now).

    It was not unreasonable to think the only thing between them and a World Series was a bullpen. The underlying philosophy behind the moves in ’97 was correct. The Slocumb deal was a cluster, but the Cruz deal made some sense in a world where ERA was still the way pitchers got evaluated. Fact is both Spoljaric and Timlin pitched ok with FIPs of 3.42 and 4.01 respectively for .7 WAR. And you can’t count Cruz’ career WAR…only the first six years he was under team control, amounting to about 11 WAR.

    But that’s the cost of “going for it.” The point of watching baseball is to watch your team win a championship. I wish to hell the M’s had traded MORE prospects for MORE help in ’97 because we might be sitting on at least one AL pennant if not a WS title right now. That was the best lineup of position players we’re likely ever to field, with two first ballot hall of famers and one maybe hall of famer plus one more first ballot hall of famer pitching. That opportunity may never come around again.

  58. JMHawkins on July 1st, 2011 12:05 pm

    Just as there are questions regarding Pineda, a return of top prospects is no guarantee of success.

    I think this gets to the heart of why so many M’s fans are against the idea. Our collective memory is of a procession of failed position player prospects. Ben Davis, Jeremy Reed, Mike Morse, Doyle, Jeff Clement, RoJo, The Double Play Twins, Wlad Balentien, Tui, Adam Moore, and now apparently add Michael Saunders to the list. Our fan-base has been smacked on the nose with busts in the field a lot over the last decade. Smoak’s struggles last year probably triggered the same alarm bells too.

    Now, poor drafting and bad trades are responsible for most of the failures, or at least most of the bad average. If Bavasi hadn’t thrown Choo and Cabrerra away for a DH platoon and traded Adam Jones for a “proven” (but fragile) arm, we might have better memories. Obviously something was badly wrong with player development for most of the Aught’s as well (WTF happened with Reed, Yuni and Lopez?). I know that occasionally there have been rumors on USSM about internal concerns about this – someday I’d love to hear more – but again if the org could’ve kept one or two of those guys on track, it would be a much different story.

    I think the trade, or at least the general concept Dave laid out, is sound and I’m 110% behind the idea of trading Pineda for quality MLB ready position prospects. But I understand why it causes many M’s fans to get the same feeling in the pit of their stomach that seeing Bobby Ayala warming up with a 1-run lead caused.

  59. wetzelcoatl on July 1st, 2011 12:06 pm

    I don’t have any problem with the basic idea of trading Pineda for the right offer, but would any team really be willing to give up that much for a guy in his first year? I mean we have already been talking about the possible dangers of letting Pineda pitch 200 innings this season, would any team actually be confident enough in his ability to pitch deep into October to give up this kind of package?

  60. Boy9988 on July 1st, 2011 12:13 pm

    I was sitting in my car listening to the 710′s talking heads argue about this post all day yesterday and I was screaming how bad an idea this was. It was terrible. But now after reading Dave’s post myself, and the subsequent reverse psychology post, I kinda like the idea of trading for that package. But I must point out that it would be for THAT package. It would have to fill all the wholes the team has, 3B, DH/LF, and C. I’m also not convinced Cinnci would give up that package for just Pineda. So it still is a matter of what part of the future you have to sacrifice to get what you need. But I do like the idea of trading some of this excess pitching for a few bats.

  61. davepaisley on July 1st, 2011 12:25 pm

    @AncientMariner

    The Cruz trade is certainly on the fringes, but it was, to me, more like @shortbus describes.

    The reality is Cruz Jr. wasn’t the superstar in waiting that most Mariners fans at the time thought he was. The outcry was far greater than ultimately warranted.

    Strangely, the Cabrera and Choo trades went by without a whimper form the vast majority. Choo hadn’t done much in a handful of at bats with the Ms (.285 OPS in 33 AB) – it was almost, “get rid of the bum”. Yeah, a bum who went on to post a .846 OPS with Cleveland the rest of the year…

    Cabrera was only 20, most fans hadn’t even heard of him and he was blocked in the middle infield by (let’s all let out a mighty sob) Betancourt and Lopez.

    So those two went out with a big “Meh”

    Soriano was portrayed as a slacker by the team (even though the USSM crowd especially pointed out the appalling way his injuries were managed) so most casual fans (thanks to the radio who bought the company line) were glad to see him go.

    But the worst of all of that is we got absolute crap in return. A bag of flaming dog poop would have been an improvement in all cases.

  62. Hopmacker on July 1st, 2011 12:32 pm

    A few of thoughts:

    It appears that many posters are significantly overvaluing some of our pitching (Fister, Vargas). They are solid pieces, but will some other club give up top/MLB ready prospects in a one/one or two/one trade? I don’t think so.

    Many posters have said they couold “get behind a trade” if it involved the right and enough pieces. Would Z trade Pineda for less than what he thought was an adequate haul? Again, I don’t think so.

    As far as trading Pineda. Let’s say that the guy is a prospective 5 WAR player. In the trade proposed with Cincy, do you think we could expect to get a total of 5 WAR from those pieces going forward? I think so.

    When the emotional aspect is taken out, I think trading Pineda makes a lot of sense as given in this scenario.

  63. Badbadger on July 1st, 2011 12:49 pm

    As far as trading Pineda. Let’s say that the guy is a prospective 5 WAR player. In the trade proposed with Cincy, do you think we could expect to get a total of 5 WAR from those pieces going forward? I think so.

    That’s not entirely the right question though, more properly you should compare how many WAR we would get out of those three players VS how many we would get out of Pineda and whoever we would end up playing instead. The M’s are going to have a bunch of cash freed up in the off season. Do we know that Yonder Alonso is going to be a better DH than Mike Carp? What if we trade Bedard for a good 3rd baseman and sign a good LFer in the off season?

  64. MrZDevotee on July 1st, 2011 12:53 pm

    I’m not against trading a pitcher– I’m against trading Pineda.

    I’d still rather trade Felix– he’s worth more, he’ll free up massive salary over the next few years, and he’s been worked hard.

    1) He’s worth more: folks know he can pitch into October, right away. The guy eats innings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pineda has never thrown a full season in the bigs.

    2) So far, Pineda and Felix are essentially the same guy in the rotation. The dollars alone make moving Felix a better move for a building team.

    3) Guys who throw lots and lots of innings break down. It’s not “if” it’s “when”. And for a young guy Felix has been overworked, even though they pretend to be really concerned about that (okay, “pretend” is a stretch, but the guys throws LOTS of pitches, as a speed/breaking ball guy… Lots of arm wear.

    Again, I’d rather keep them both… And I absolutely LOVE Felix, my favorite Mariner… But with a gun to my head, I sell on Felix… He’s a sexier choice for the big market teams, so he’ll garner us more in return, and even MORE when you factor in the salary savings between Felix and Pineda over the next few years.

    Bottomline, put the word out that Felix is available and the phones would ring non-stop for weeks, and teams KNOW they’d be competing to win his rights, so they’d have to offer the very best they have to offer…

    If we decide we can afford to move a pitcher– Pineda makes Felix, possibly the best pitcher in the league that teams openly discuss wanting, expendable… And the double benefit of that move, other than Ichiro and Chone, we’d have a very affordable roster, with MANY MANY $$$’s to spend this offseason. A regular Tampa team, in full bloom.

    I could deal with that.

  65. groundzero55 on July 1st, 2011 12:55 pm

    The biggest problem with this idea that no one has mentioned:

    Pineda is a rookie who will need to be shut down this season in order to prevent increases that injury risk everyone is talking about.

    The front office has already said there are no plans to “shut down” Pineda. They will watch him for signs of trouble, that’s it.

  66. The Ancient Mariner on July 1st, 2011 12:55 pm

    The Slocumb deal was a cluster, but the Cruz deal made some sense in a world where ERA was still the way pitchers got evaluated. Fact is both Spoljaric and Timlin pitched ok with FIPs of 3.42 and 4.01 respectively for .7 WAR. And you can’t count Cruz’ career WAR . . . only the first six years he was under team control, amounting to about 11 WAR.

    shortbus, by this argument, you can’t complain about the Slocumb deal either — he posted a 3.74 FIP and 0.4 WAR for us in ’97, both better than Timlin, and his ERA was better than Spoljaric’s.

    davepaisley: the fact that Cruz was a significant disappointment after being dealt could not have been known at the time, and I haven’t seen anything to indicate that Woody et al. had reason to expect that he would be. As such, that doesn’t make it any less a fleece job.

    You would both do well to remember that at the time those deals were made, Cruz’ value was very high, while Varitek and Lowe were tarnished prospects; iirc, most folks at the time were as “meh” on them as they would be later on Choo, and figured they’d never amount to much.

    And more than that: dealing serious prospects for middling relievers is getting rooked almost by definition. We talk about these deals, but they pale in comparison to Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen. Yes, going for it costs. Going for it stupidly costs a heck of a lot more, and that’s what Woody was guilty of doing.

    What if we trade Bedard for a good 3rd baseman

    Then some GM somewhere else in baseball will be lynched by his enraged fanbase, and Congress will declare that there must be collusion and hold Senate hearings.

    Ain’t happening. Bedard’s trade value just isn’t that high.

  67. Hopmacker on July 1st, 2011 1:29 pm

    Mr ZDevotee

    I am not sure that Felix is worth more. The only teams that can put together a deal for him are those that are going to be able to take on Felix’s salary for the next few eyars. That knocks it down to about 4, maybe 5 suitors. I think you would see a much better package for Pineda. A Felix trade would involve limited potential partners, and a Pineda trade would open it up to many more partners. Because of the limited trade partners, I feel that Pineda would bring mroe value back than Felix.

    As well, I think that Felix has shown much more durability than one would expect from a pitcher his age. The chances are always there that a pitcher will break down, but there have not been many pitchers that have had Felix’s workload to now and then not had several more top notch years.

    I would not be surprised if Felix had more WAR from this season on that Pineda.

  68. KDawg on July 1st, 2011 1:32 pm

    So, the argument here is that your dumb idea isn’t really dumb because no one is dumb enough to take you up on it?

    Of course, if we got 4 awesome prospects ready to start contributing, trade him. But the fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t get 4 awesome prospects. We would get 1 and 3 so-so prospects. The point is, we already have one awesome prospect. He is Michael Pineda. Why let him go to get your hypothetical prospects.

  69. shortbus on July 1st, 2011 2:11 pm

    shortbus, by this argument, you can’t complain about the Slocumb deal either — he posted a 3.74 FIP and 0.4 WAR for us in ‘97, both better than Timlin, and his ERA was better than Spoljaric’s.

    I was surprised by how non-bad he was. He got four losses, presumably blown saves, which made him look worse than he was. And he pitched at the Kingdome a lot which didn’t help. But rumor has it Boston only thought they were getting one of the two prospects for him until Woodward offered both. That’s what makes this an epically-bad trade. We should never have given up both of those players for a half-season of a closer. And by ERA he was a poor choice as his was 5.79 at the time. No way to make that one look good.

  70. zackr on July 1st, 2011 2:11 pm

    I think the word CONSIDER is the key. You have to be able to read and understand words to get the fact that in the Pineda post, Dave was saying they should THINK about trading him. That doesn’t say that they should execute any trade at all.

    Just as if the Yankees offered Cano and Montero for Felix, we should CONSIDER the trade.

  71. shortbus on July 1st, 2011 2:13 pm

    Of course, if we got 4 awesome prospects ready to start contributing, trade him. But the fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t get 4 awesome prospects. We would get 1 and 3 so-so prospects. The point is, we already have one awesome prospect. He is Michael Pineda. Why let him go to get your hypothetical prospects.

    First of all, nobody knows what we could actually get for Pineda. Secondly, the reason you do the deal is that both teams are trading from strength to shore up a weakness. The hypothetical deal Dave is talking about would do that for both teams.

  72. gwangung on July 1st, 2011 2:14 pm

    Of course, if we got 4 awesome prospects ready to start contributing, trade him. But the fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t get 4 awesome prospects. We would get 1 and 3 so-so prospects.

    Well, actually, that isn’t the fact of the matter. We don’t know what the package would be. Any judgement would depend on particulars. And even on the one Dave proposed, I don’t enough about them to say.

    Given that we don’t have even a glimmer in the farm system of above replacement players for certain positions, a trade would have to be examined carefully, because getting average to above average players is worth more to the Mariners than it would be to other teams, particularly since getting equivalent productive free agents will be vastly more expensive.

  73. davepaisley on July 1st, 2011 2:45 pm

    davepaisley: the fact that Cruz was a significant disappointment after being dealt could not have been known at the time

    Potato potahto – Cruz looked very nice for half a season, but the fan base turned that into “superstar” in their heads, a final solution to the perennial LF problem. But it was only half a season and he wasn’t even the fourth best hitter on the team. If Woodward thought he was the next Griffey he wouldn’t have traded him. And based on the evidence up to that point he was right. Cruz looked like a solid, not spectacular player. The fact is Cruz’ career was a disappointment even relative to just being a nice solid outfielder, both in consistency and longevity.

    It was a classic overpay at the deadline, but that’s the game and every team has done it.

  74. The Ancient Mariner on July 1st, 2011 3:21 pm

    Potato potahto – Cruz looked very nice for half a season, but the fan base turned that into “superstar” in their heads, a final solution to the perennial LF problem. But it was only half a season and he wasn’t even the fourth best hitter on the team. If Woodward thought he was the next Griffey he wouldn’t have traded him. And based on the evidence up to that point he was right. Cruz looked like a solid, not spectacular player.

    Umm, no. Cruz was #23 on BA’s Top 100 list in 1996 and #12 in ’97 — Garciaparra and Konerko just above him, Rolen and Colon just below. He was supposed to be a star.

  75. Earl of Tacoma on July 1st, 2011 3:47 pm

    If God was on the team and we could make the team better by trading him/her, the only logical move would be to make the trade. The real question becomes, “What is the definition of “better”?

  76. Typical Idiot Fan on July 1st, 2011 3:49 pm

    Pineda is not God.

  77. jkcmason on July 1st, 2011 3:52 pm

    I don’t agree with the proposed package you are talking about because there is no top notch talent returning.

    What is the big difference between Yonder Alonso and Mike Carp? I don’t believe that we have given Carp enough of a chance to prove himself. He is only 24 years old and deserves a chance to actually play full time.

    Todd Frazier – Alex Liddi (understandable that Liddi’s fielding is pretty weak.)

    Yes the catcher sounds tempting, but so did Jeff Clement and Adam Moore not so long ago.

    The in pitching between Michael Pineda and Travis Wood would have to be less than the difference between Alonso and Carp/Cust and Frazier/Liddi. Frazier, Alonso and Wood are not good enough to tempt me away from a 22 year old that is throwing like an ace.

    I am not saying we shouldn’t listen, but I am saying that package is not something I would be excited about.

    I agree that the Yankees appear to be a better trade partner with a bat like Montero, but why couldn’t we just package Bedard or Vargas with a bullpen arm to get him and keep Pineda and the risk.

    There are also success stories like Verlander and Felix.

  78. JH on July 1st, 2011 3:57 pm

    2) Pineda’s delivery/mechanics look like an injury waiting to happen

    If you’ve found an accurate way to predict pitcher injuries based only off of casual observation, you should be making hundreds of thousands of dollars on an MLB team’s payroll, not commenting on ussm, because you’d be the only man alive who could do it.

    2) So far, Pineda and Felix are essentially the same guy in the rotation. The dollars alone make moving Felix a better move for a building team

    The dollars also give Pineda higher trade value than Felix, even though Felix has the much longer track record.. Right now, the list of mariners’ trade assets by value is probably 1) Ackley, 2) Pineda, 3) Smoak, 4) Felix.

  79. xsacred24x on July 1st, 2011 4:01 pm

    The dollars also give Pineda higher trade value than Felix, even though Felix has the much longer track record.. Right now, the list of mariners’ trade assets by value is probably 1) Ackley, 2) Pineda, 3) Smoak, 4) Felix.

    How is Pineda more valuable then Felix? Felix is a horse has 3-4 average pitches, Pineda is a work in progess and would not help in a penant race right now since he has to be shutdown eventually. Plus Felix has proven more, No way is anyone going to empty the farm for Pineda imo anyways.

  80. JH on July 1st, 2011 4:08 pm

    What is the big difference between Yonder Alonso and Mike Carp?

    Alonso’s got a much better eye and approach, is a far better athlete, and has put up his numbers in a far worse hitting environment.

    Todd Frazier – Alex Liddi (understandable that Liddi’s fielding is pretty weak.)

    I’m not a huge Frazier fan, but he’s significantly better than Liddi. For one, he can play the position. For two, the bat is significantly better. Comparing raw stat lines from guys in the PCL and guys in the IL is a pretty big mistake. Even more so now that it looks like we can add Cheney to the list of PCL band boxes. The IL is a tough place to hit, and Frazier is outhitting Liddi by a huge margin. Just about the only thing Liddi has going for him is youth, but for a player as flawed as him who’s only going to get less athletic, that does very little to close the talent gap between these two guys.

  81. JH on July 1st, 2011 4:17 pm

    How is Pineda more valuable then Felix? Felix is a horse has 3-4 average pitches, Pineda is a work in progess and would not help in a penant race right now since he has to be shutdown eventually.

    Players make salaries, and I said trade value, not in-game value. There’s a pretty huge difference between the ~$4 million Pineda will make in 2012-2014 and the $58 million Felix will make over that same time frame. Ad pineda will still be under control for 2 years after Felix hits FA.

    Felix is a better pitcher. Pineda has far more trade value. This should be a pretty easy concept to grasp. Alex Rodriguez has been a pretty damn good player,, but he’s had zero trade value the past several years because he already played for the only team in baseball that could afford his contract. Felix can only be traded to a team willing to commit to nearly 60 million. Obviously he’s worth that price, and he still has significant trade value, but 30 teams out of 30 would rather have Michael Pineda for the league minimum than Felix Hernandez for 60 million dollars if faced with the choice straight up.

  82. jryoung222 on July 1st, 2011 4:31 pm

    Maybe one of the key points here just wooshed over your head.

    No, it didn’t. Pineda’s got a limited amount of innings left in him. The Mariners are already talking about limiting his innings the rest of the season, and we’re at July 1st. He’s a also a rookie. That’s the kind of pitcher a team pursuing a division title into September is looking for? Really? Unless Bavasi has been promoted to GM at Cincy, I can’t see Cincy doing this, particularly considering the players being traded away. Guys like Cliff Lee or Felix? Yes, that would make sense. Pineda? No.

  83. xsacred24x on July 1st, 2011 4:35 pm

    Players make salaries, and I said trade value, not in-game value. There’s a pretty huge difference between the ~$4 million Pineda will make in 2012-2014 and the $58 million Felix will make over that same time frame. Ad pineda will still be under control for 2 years after Felix hits FA.

    Felix is a better pitcher. Pineda has far more trade value. This should be a pretty easy concept to grasp. Alex Rodriguez has been a pretty damn good player,, but he’s had zero trade value the past several years because he already played for the only team in baseball that could afford his contract. Felix can only be traded to a team willing to commit to nearly 60 million. Obviously he’s worth that price, and he still has significant trade value, but 30 teams out of 30 would rather have Michael Pineda for the league minimum than Felix Hernandez for 60 million dollars if faced with the choice straight up.

    Thats my point though Felix is a proven ace and while he is making 25Mil id rather have him over Pineda in a penant race. I doubt a GM is going to unload a farm with talented prospects for Pineda who has shown the ability to be an ace but Felix has done it consistently for 2 years now Pineda just started this year.

  84. jryoung222 on July 1st, 2011 4:36 pm

    If you’ve found an accurate way to predict pitcher injuries based only off of casual observation, you should be making hundreds of thousands of dollars on an MLB team’s payroll, not commenting on ussm, because you’d be the only man alive who could do it.

    Actually, there are ways. Read Tom House’s book. He’s not only an ex-pitcher and pitching coach, but he’s also got a Phd in Kinesiology. He’s pretty accurate on predicting pitcher injuries/durability. Based on how he assesses pitchers, I would agree with the poster you’re arguing with, that Pineda does have a delivery that at least raises questions about potential for injury (i.e., he doesn’t have the “T” posture at point of pre-delivery, but instead has a “W”, which oftentimes is a precursor to injury).

  85. G-Man on July 1st, 2011 4:37 pm

    I’m all for trying to deal Pineda for all the reasons Dave mentioned. Like many folks who’ve already commented, I worry about the value of what we get back. Do we get developing players who turn out to be Ackleys, or will they be Carps or perhaps Snellings?

    The hardest thing to do is to get players that the other team doesn’t need right now but you can get to the majors now of soon, other because of a hole on your roster or because the player was blocked in the other organization. It was outstanding that Jack Z got Smoak, and that’s the kind of guy we need.

  86. MrZDevotee on July 1st, 2011 5:06 pm

    re: Bedard as trade bait / More reasons not to trade starting pitching

    Pretty sure his trade value just went down, as he was placed on the IR for 15 days… (fingers crossed on this one)

  87. davepaisley on July 1st, 2011 5:13 pm

    @Ancient

    Just because a guy is in BA’s prospect list doesn’t mean he will be a star. In 1997 Ben Davis was 10th. Ruben Rivera was 3rd. Andruw Jones was #1 – is he a star, or just pretty good? The only stars in the top 30 were Jeter (arguably more because of who he plays for), Vlad Guerrero, Kerry Wood. A few nice players – Erstad, Colon, Wagner, Rolen, Abreu.

    So maybe a 1 in 10 chance of being a star and a 1 in 3 chance of being pretty good. Not great odds, actually.

    More likely than not you end up with Derrick Gibson (ranked #13 !!!).

  88. just a fan on July 1st, 2011 5:40 pm

    The club can’t be concerned about the injuries so much that they deal away every potential ace. We wouldn’t have Felix now, and we wouldn’t have had Randy in the mid-90s.

    The M’s should draft/sign as many potential aces, throw them all at the wall, and see who sticks. Trading Pineda because of the “greater risk of injury” is a logic that would permanently deprive us of top of the rotation dominance.

    The future rotation of Felix, Pineda, Hultzen, Walker and Paxton is likely fantasy — it’s very likely at least one will flame out or blow out. But are we going to trade away any one of Hultzen, Walker or Paxton if/when he pitches well in Seattle?

    (Although perhaps one of those small market clubs could try out the theory, get in their own little niche. Pittsburgh can deal Tallion and Allie after three months in the big leagues.)

  89. wetzelcoatl on July 1st, 2011 6:03 pm

    Thats my point though Felix is a proven ace and while he is making 25Mil id rather have him over Pineda in a penant race. I doubt a GM is going to unload a farm with talented prospects for Pineda who has shown the ability to be an ace but Felix has done it consistently for 2 years now Pineda just started this year.

    Of course you would rather have Felix, but, as Dave pointed out in his original post, there are several teams in contention right now who are maxed out on payroll. As an all-star quality rookie, Pineda is the ultimate combination of talent and value and that is what could possibly convince a team like the Reds to dump a boat load of prospects to get him, because if they don’t get him then there aren’t very many other upgrades they could afford.

  90. SODOMOJO360 on July 1st, 2011 6:18 pm

    We’ve lost A-Rod, Griffey, Randy Johnson. Pineda is not going anywhere. If he does though it better be for some young PROVEN talent, not a bunch of prospects. M’s have been on the wrong side of many trades in their history and I don’t want to see another future stud be wasted.

  91. bookbook on July 1st, 2011 6:34 pm

    @davepaisley borderline HOFer Andruw Jones? Well, he’s no Kerry Wood.

  92. JH on July 1st, 2011 6:40 pm

    Thats my point though Felix is a proven ace and while he is making 25Mil id rather have him over Pineda in a penant race.

    There’s exactly one team in baseball that can afford to take on a salary like Felix’s at mid-season. Sure, most teams would prefer Felix if money was no object. Unfortunately, money’s an object. Especially for contending teams in small markets.

  93. JH on July 1st, 2011 6:46 pm

    We’ve lost A-Rod, Griffey, Randy Johnson. Pineda is not going anywhere. If he does though it better be for some young PROVEN talent, not a bunch of prospects. M’s have been on the wrong side of many trades in their history and I don’t want to see another future stud be wasted.

    The 4 most lop-sided trades in the other team’s favor that I can think of were all trades in which they traded unproven talent for proven talent (Slocumb, Bedard, Choo, Cabrera). The three best involved shipping out either hall of fame or all star talent in return for far more unproven guys (Griffey, R.J., Langston).

  94. Jim_H on July 1st, 2011 7:36 pm

    I don’t care how you dress it up, a pig is still a pig.

    Trading Pineda is crazy.

  95. Auggeydog on July 1st, 2011 8:46 pm

    Why is someone that disagree’s with you or Dave a naysayer? Maybe we should go back to being the farm team for the major’s like we used to be. Trading away anythhing with a hint of talent. The idea of Felix, Pineda, Hultzen, Walker and Paxton might not ever happen because of injury or trade, but would be nice. It should be the target for the Org right now.

  96. KDawg on July 1st, 2011 10:36 pm

    So I want to know how presenting a fictional trade that you say would never be executed by the other team makes this a valid point. Why don’t you present a trade that the other team might actually make? Then, analyze it for its merits.

    You right now are making a hypothetical that will never happen. In my opinion, you do that a lot as a writer. Why don’t we talk about realistic proposal and then judge if you have any validity in your ‘trade pineda’ campaign?

  97. Marinerman1979 on July 2nd, 2011 2:19 am

    This is a great idea, and would love to see the M’s do it.

    The M’s will have no trouble filling their rotation going forward, would love to get some bats.

  98. goat on July 2nd, 2011 8:40 am

    I think if it’s an option this would be a pretty good deal. Though if dealing with Cincinnati, it might be better to trade for Heisey or Gomes instead of Yonder. They have both hit in the majors and can play OF. I’d rather replace Peguero than Cust.

  99. xsacred24x on July 2nd, 2011 9:10 am

    There’s exactly one team in baseball that can afford to take on a salary like Felix’s at mid-season. Sure, most teams would prefer Felix if money was no object. Unfortunately, money’s an object. Especially for contending teams in small markets.

    Theres more then one team the Yankees are not the only team with a huge amount of $$ to spend. Again why would a GM want to dump a farm for a guy with 1 + pitch which is his fastball his slider and changeup are still devoloping and he wouldn’t help in a race he has to be shutdown. Felix is wayy more valuable then Pineda.

  100. xsacred24x on July 2nd, 2011 9:21 am

    I mean seriously if Pineda was as big of a trade chip as some of you are making him out to be why don’t we hit up the Yankees and try to get 3 of there top guys.

  101. davepaisley on July 2nd, 2011 10:44 am

    @davepaisley borderline HOFer Andruw Jones?

    Andruw Jones of the 111 OPS+ and career season peak OPS of .922? The only reason he’s even in the HOF argument is he’s been around a long time. Lots of counting stats, but overall pretty meh.

  102. eponymous coward on July 2nd, 2011 12:23 pm

    Andruw Jones of the 111 OPS+ and career season peak OPS of .922?

    And the 7 seasons of 5+ WAR (and one season of 4.8).

    5 WAR is roughly “this guy belongs in the MVP conversation, even though he might not win it or be the best player in the league”.

    2 WAR is “average player”, 3 WAR is “borderline All-Star, above-average player”. Jones has 5 seasons where he’s +2.4 WAR on DEFENSE. Meaning he would have been a good player if he was hitting like Willie Bloomquist.

    Defense counts in assessing value. I’d say “borderline HOF” is about right, but the HOF isn’t kind to these types of players. Jones’ problem is he faded so terribly after 30, like Dale Murphy, that other Atlanta Braves CF. And guess who Jones comps to?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp_bat.cgi?I=jonesan01:Andruw%20Jones&st=career&compage=&age=

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