Trade Value Of The Guys That Might Get Sold

Dave · July 13, 2011 at 8:13 am · Filed Under Mariners 

After the belly flop the team pulled in Anaheim – corresponding with winning streaks from the Rangers and Angels – the team will be sellers rather than buyers at the deadline. However, in looking at what the M’s have to offer contenders looking to bolster their rosters, it’s not like we’re going to see a bunch of blockbuster deals that reload the farm system here. The M’s have some pieces with a bit of value, but they’re going to have to position themselves as the Wal-Mart of the trade deadline – it might not be the highest quality stuff around, but at least it doesn’t cost much.

Here’s who the M’s will likely be taking phone calls for over the next few weeks:

Brandon League, RHP.

Good-but-not-great reliever with limited track record as a ninth inning guy. He’s got value, especially because his salary is relatively cheap and he’s under team control for 2012, but you’re not going to get the kind of guy that can turn a franchise around for him, and of course trading League depletes an already weak bullpen that doesn’t have a lot of good options going forward. In fact, given that the M’s will control League for next year and the state of the rest of the arms in the bullpen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jack Zduriencik just decided to keep League for himself. They’d likely move him if a team overpays, but with guys like Francisco Rodriguez getting dumped for salary reasons and Heath Bell available, I don’t know how much demand for League there will really be.

Erik Bedard, LHP.

We all know the deal here – even though his current injury isn’t arm related, the fact that he’s on the DL isn’t doing his trade value any good. He hasn’t pitched a game in September since 2007. He’s pitched four innings in October during his entire career. Is any contender going to look at Bedard and believe that they can count on him to pitch well not only for the final two months of the regular season, but also be able to take the ball in the playoffs as well? They might be willing to gamble on him, but they’re not going to be willing to surrender a premium young player for the right to hope that this is the year that Bedard stays healthy all season.

Adam Kennedy, 2B.

After a nice start to the season, he’s turned back into the guy who signed a non-roster invite to spring training a few months ago. He’s been a nice player for the M’s, but on a contender, he’s a bench guy. The M’s will be able to move him for a prospect with warts who is years from the Majors or a low-ceiling guy who could be a role player if everything goes right, but don’t get your hopes up that you’re going to be able to get anything significant in return here.

Jack Wilson, 2B/SS.

Look around baseball at some of the players that are starting at shortstop for contending teams – Yuniesky Betancourt, Brandon Crawford, Ronny Cedeno. Jack Wilson has been available for months, and none of these teams have called and said “yeah, he’s better than what we have.” The M’s will be able to trade Wilson if they pick up most of the rest of his contract, but they’re not getting anything back for him. The M’s don’t want Jack Wilson anymore, and neither does anyone else.

So you’ve got one guy who might be able to bring a solid-but-not-spectacular prospect in return, one guy who could bring some unknown thing in return, and two guys the team can give away if they want. That’s not exactly dealing from a position of strength.

While it’s nice to dream about what the M’s can get if they packaged all these guys together, the reality is that the only guys on the M’s roster who would really generate excited phone calls from other GMs are Felix, Pineda, and Ackley, and I’m pretty sure that none of those guys are getting moved in the next few weeks. League and Bedard might bring you an interesting young player or two, but the M’s aren’t going to be able to reload at the deadline this year. Maybe Jack has a trick or two up his sleeve, but overall, I think we’re probably in for a more boring trade deadline than you might expect.

Comments

61 Responses to “Trade Value Of The Guys That Might Get Sold”

  1. robbbbbb on July 13th, 2011 8:20 am

    Pretty much what I thought. Had Bedard stayed healthy he might have gotten us an interesting player back in return.

    Sigh. Of course, Jack might turn around and deal Michael Pineda to a contender for a boatload of young talent. That would provoke an interesting reaction from Mariner fans everywhere.

  2. Dennisss on July 13th, 2011 8:41 am

    If we can’t get much for Bedard, can we keep him? Why not take a chance on the guy and try to sign him for a couple of years? The M’s might get a little extra consideration for employing him when he was recovering from injuries.

    If it works, they could keep a 1-2-3 rotation that would make up for a lot of other weaknesses.

  3. thedude1987 on July 13th, 2011 8:42 am

    I don’t know what Z would want in return, but maybe a package of League and Bedard to the Yankees. The Yankees have been quoted that they are looking for a rental left handed starting pitcher and with injuries to Rivera and Soriano they could use some bullpen help.

    a maybe starter + okay reliever = 1 B level prospect(under/over?)

  4. spokane mariner on July 13th, 2011 8:43 am

    Michael Pineda to a contender for a boatload of young talent is possible but not likely. Since he is a rookie, innings pitched are a huge factor and shutting him down would not help any contender.

  5. BillH on July 13th, 2011 9:11 am

    I wish you could trade for draft picks. I could see Bedard fetching a 1st rounder from a playoff-bound (i.e. low 1st round) team. Especially from somebody who could use a lefty starter and don’t necessarily value draft picks as high as, say, the Rays (*cough* Yankees).

  6. stevie_j13 on July 13th, 2011 9:19 am

    What about Vargas or Fister? If I were the Cardinals/Diamondbacks/Indians/Tigers/Pirates/Yankees, I would be interested in both guys.

  7. cnote on July 13th, 2011 9:25 am

    Dave, for the same reason you suggest Jack might keep League don’t you think we should keep Bedard? It all depends on what’s on the table I guess…

    Like stevie_i13 I’m curious about Vargas or Fister. Seems like we can sell high on both. Though cheap, decent arms that work well in your home park are kinda tough to come by.

  8. robbbbbb on July 13th, 2011 9:33 am

    Bedard isn’t under contract for next year. League is. Since Bedard will be a free agent, the M’s best option is to move him for what he’ll fetch in return.

  9. kenshabby on July 13th, 2011 9:47 am

    This trade deadline is certain to be the most boring one for the M’s since the 2010 trade deadline.

  10. eponymous coward on July 13th, 2011 9:50 am

    I’d add Jason Vargas to that list. He strikes me as being somewhat similar to League (good player, not elite talent, under team control for 2012), with a possibility of fetching a bit more since starters fetch more than relievers. You’re not going to get elite talent back for that… but if we could get someone who would be a reasonable answer for LF/3B in 2012, I have to think you make that deal. The Mariners have a reasonable amount of depth in the rotation in the minors (Beavan, other kids), and a park that will help out some (and inflates Vargas’s value some as well). They have nothing in the OF or 3B that’s clearly on the horizon for 2012.

    a maybe starter + okay reliever = 1 B level prospect(under/over?)

    Why make that deal unless you’re in “burn the place down and completely rebuild for several years, go cheap” mode? The Mariners don’t have a lot of bullpen depth, as mentioned. Do you think they won’t need a bullpen in 2012? If said B prospect won’t significantly contribute in 2012 (which is not likely, if you’re saying “B prospect”), you’ve kneecapped the 2012 team a WAR or so that they need to replace, in order to save on League’s salary in 2012- and that’s the only context it makes sense, “trade everyone for kids and spend $30 million in salary for the 2012 team like the Marlins do every year”. In that case, why bother having Felix making 20 million next year? He’d fetch completely killer prospects.

  11. Jordan on July 13th, 2011 9:52 am

    Bedard to Detroit for Robles and French.

    As Stevie suggests I think you see what dangling Fister/Vargas will fetch, but I’d add Saunders and force the team to take Wilson.

    Could a package of Fister/Vargas + Saunders + Wilson get anything reasonable back or does Wilson’s salary just subtract value?

    I still think we should pry a Pineda/Upton swap and throw in as much AAAA fodder-types (i.e. Tui, French) as it takes. Losing a potential frontline starter would hurt, but you have to give to get, and I’m tired of watching Fister lose 1-0 on 3-ball walks.

  12. Jordan on July 13th, 2011 9:59 am

    Francisco Rodriguez getting dumped for salary reasons

    Traded to the Brewers. League’s value may have increased ever so slightly.

  13. eponymous coward on July 13th, 2011 10:05 am

    Though cheap, decent arms that work well in your home park are kinda tough to come by.

    In Safeco, one of the best pitcher’s parks in the universe?

    Vargas is basically the new Jarrod Washburn, with less stupid contract (keep in mind Washburn pitched in an era with more run-scoring, and even then was a pretty decent midlevel starter, just not worth close to the guaranteed money Bavasi paid him). So in actuality Safeco probably inflates his perceived value.

    As Stevie suggests I think you see what dangling Fister/Vargas will fetch, but I’d add Saunders and force the team to take Wilson.

    Wilson’s contract is gone at the end of the year anyway (and he essentially has no trade value), and the Mariners don’t need salary space to add expensive players for a stretch run because they’re selling.

    The only way I see Wilson being part of a deal making any sense is we’re picking up someone who has a large contract in 2011-2012 and we want the salaries to balance out in 2011 (since we’re hard up and can’t take more salary space), but have space in 2012 for the contract. In that case, a deal with Vargas, Saunders and Wilson to (hypothetical team moving hypothetical expensive OF under contract for 2012) makes sense: the M’s would have space for the acquired contract (especially given that Vargas will get a nice raise in 2012), the other team gets a reasonably priced midlevel SP and a busted prospect they can potentially fix to play LF cheap, they probably saves a few bucks off of 2012 without really making the team worse, if they trade a 2-3 WAR SLF for a 2-3 WAR SP.

    That being said, yeah, Wilson doesn’t add value to any deal on the other team’s side- he’s dead salary.

  14. Carson on July 13th, 2011 10:21 am

    Dave, for the same reason you suggest Jack might keep League don’t you think we should keep Bedard?

    Jack can’t decide to keep Bedard beyond this season, as he’ll be a free agent. League has another year of arbitration ahead.

  15. bat guano on July 13th, 2011 10:28 am

    I think packaging League and a starter (probably Bedard, but perhaps Vargas) to try to get something useful would make sense. Supposedly the Cardinals might make Rasmus available in the right deal. So maybe they’d get interested if we added a couple of worthwhile prospects (e.g, Paxson, Chavez) to a package headed by League and a starter. Jack has pulled off surprises before…….

  16. SoulofaCitizen on July 13th, 2011 10:31 am

    What if Z traded Bedard for a player to be named later, with quality of the player contingent on how many starts he makes?

    Dave’s explored the obvious dilemma in trading Bedard: As the pitcher he’s been the first half, pre-injury, he would have been worth a lot even as a rental, probably more than any other M’s pitcher except Felix & Pineda. He could still put a team over the top as Cliff Lee did. But with only two starts to decide, teams are going to bid a whole lot less. Would it make any sense to have the return be conducted as player to be named later, but with which player contingent on how many starts Bedard makes in the first part of the second half when the teams that got him would presumably be in contention (if you did total starts, they could bench him if they fell out of contention). Maybe it could be a list of A players and B players. That way if Bedard’s healthy they pay more, and if he isn’t, then they pay less. I know that usually ptbnl’s are pretty minor, but this could be a fair way for both teams to get fair value.

  17. nickwest1976 on July 13th, 2011 10:54 am

    Move Figgins for Jason Bay or Adam Dunn. Bay could solve LF and Dunn would solve DH. Dunn has no doubt been horrible but I see him bouncing back. Mets are looking to off load money and a Figgins/Bay deal would save them some cash. For the M’s they actually would get a player that could hit in the middle of the order and help them if Bay continues to show he is turning things around.

  18. n8tron3030 on July 13th, 2011 10:59 am

    I agree with Dave’s assessment. As further evidence, if you look at the MLB Trade Rumors’ rundown of players who might be sold off, they barely even mention one Mariner. We’re in a stalemate with a bunch of these guys. I would like to see us hang onto League & Bedard, and if some team will take on most of the remaining ~$2 million of Jack Wilson’s contract, then that’s about all I am hoping for.

  19. puppyfoot on July 13th, 2011 11:21 am

    Trade Saunders for something? Do you mean the Michael Saunders who put up a .168/.223/.248 for an OPS of .471 with the M’s and is hitting .241 with no power and lots of K’s for the Rainiers? Who is so desperate that they would want Michael Saunders on their team?

  20. nickwest1976 on July 13th, 2011 11:23 am

    Figgins/Saunders for Bay and cash from the Mets to help even out the money a bit more. Saunders’ stock is certainly low but in that deal the Mets might take him on and hope that he can develop in to something since the kid has talent.

  21. Jordan on July 13th, 2011 11:50 am

    Who is so desperate that they would want Michael Saunders on their team?

    A team that thinks they can fix his swing. All of the cited evidence is exactly why he’s an add-on to a deal centered around a SP. Any team giving up an outfielder could also want one back, assuming it is a salary dump like Eponymous suggests. A year ago no one would’ve suggested we trade Saunders, now he almost certainly has no future with this organization. This organization has far too many AAAA types, so why not package them with actual trade pieces and get better value back?

  22. eponymous coward on July 13th, 2011 11:53 am

    Who is so desperate that they would want Michael Saunders on their team?

    A number of organizations may be willing to take a busted prospect like Saunders as part of a deal and see if they can fix the prospect. Happens all the time- this is what happened to Clement a couple of years ago, for instance. The guy’s 24. Nobody is suggesting he has significant value, or that he is a lock to turn into a good player, but he could still pan out.

    That being said, if someone said “We’ll take Peguero as part of (insert hypothetical proposed deal here), but not Saunders, he sucks”… take the deal. Peguero is three months younger than Saunders, and hasn’t shown he belongs in MLB any more than Saunders has.

    Figgins/Saunders for Bay and cash from the Mets to help even out the money a bit more

    I’m tired of garbage for garbage deals. It didn’t work out for Milton Bradley, Ian Snell and Jack Wilson… and so on, and so on. At some point, the Mariners need to quit trying to patch their persistent roster problems with other teams’ garbage and whatever kid they rush up to the majors who shows any modicum of talent (and proceeds to fall flat on their face when it turns out they were rushed). In the past few years, it’s been Peguero, Bradley, Saunders, Hall, Balentien, Wilkerson…

    Stop with the goddamn fail show, Z. Stop alternating between Large Item Pickup Day of whatever crap veteran you can find on the scrap heap, and foisting guys who need more AAA time on us. Just put someone in the position who is a proven MLB regular. That’s all we want.

    So to sum up: I don’t like the idea of picking up a Mets reject.

  23. xsacred24x on July 13th, 2011 12:26 pm

    So your saying we can’t get a Wilson Ramos type player back for League? Id pull the trigger on that right away if such an offer came about. Really stinks if it won’t though because unless we sign League to a long term extension i don’t see the point we won’t contend for atleast 2 years.

  24. groundzero55 on July 13th, 2011 12:27 pm

    Selling off League would be a bad idea. We would be left with Aardsma as the closer and nobody really knows if he will be the same guy after he comes back. League is younger, cheaper and part of the youth movement. Just because he has the most value doesn’t mean there is some rush to move him – we aren’t going to make the playoffs either way.

    The offseason will be much more interesting than the trade deadline. Does anyone have figures on how much salary will be freed up after this season?

  25. Chris_From_Bothell on July 13th, 2011 12:29 pm

    Stop alternating between Large Item Pickup Day of whatever crap veteran you can find on the scrap heap, and foisting guys who need more AAA time on us.

    As an aside: I don’t remember whether the term Large Item Pickup Day was coined here, LL, Fangraphs, etc. But apart from terms for actual in-game action, LIPD has to be one of the most evocative and useful terms related to baseball I’ve ever read.

    It’s so much more complete than simply “bad contract swap” or “salary dump”. It really gets at the feeling one has when one has tolerated a specific player on their team for a while.

  26. joser on July 13th, 2011 12:36 pm

    Jason Bay got paid based on a 36 HR year in Boston he’s never going to repeat. He’s owed $16M a year through 2013, which is $5M a year more than Figgins. That’s $5M that might find better uses in 2012 and 2013; even if Bay recovers from his post-concussive issues (or whatever his problem is) and gets back to the .320 wOBA ZIPS projects, you’re still talking about a guy who hits a bit better than Smoak for a lot more money. And a right-hander in Safeco, in case you’ve forgotten Jose Lopez.

    But it’s quite possible that the .302 wOBA guy Bay is right now is more or less the guy he’s going to be going forward… for $16M. You know who else is a .302 wOBA guy? Mark Kotsay, and the Brewers would probably trade him for not much. Mark Kotsay’s salary is $800K

    Just put someone in the position who is a proven MLB regular. That’s all we want.

    “Proven MLB regular” = expensive, and very probably old. The “proven” players that are still cheap generally don’t get traded; most of the acquirable “proven” players have reached free agency, which is why they’re acquirable. And even then they don’t work out: Chone Figgins fit every definition of a proven MLB regular.

    How do you get reasonably priced “proven MLB regulars”? You grow them. Unfortunately that’s slow, it’s agonizing, and it defies our visceral demand for immediate satisfaction. But, barring more miracle trades from Z, that’s what we’re facing — both at the trade deadline and beyond.

  27. joser on July 13th, 2011 12:39 pm

    “Large Item Pickup Day” was coined by Dave right here last year.

  28. just a fan on July 13th, 2011 12:49 pm

    I would dangle League and see if anybody won’t offer up a Wilson Ramos-type deal. Dave is right that the bullpen is thin (how much do you trust Jamey Wright?) so we have a use for League next year. But a potential starter at C/3B/LF (CF too?) would be worth another scrap-heap scramble for the closer role.

  29. just a fan on July 13th, 2011 12:50 pm

    Chone Figgins fit every definition of a proven MLB regular.

    Chone Figgins is a CIA-trained saboteur from Los Angeles of Anaheim. He shouldn’t count.

  30. rightwingrick on July 13th, 2011 12:56 pm

    Your analysis is exactly why the M’s might still surprise and be buyers, not sellers. They don’t have much to sell (at major league level) that would result in a top prospect.

    On the other hand, they might become buyers of someone else’s mid-level player on offense, say left fielder, who could hit better than what we have. And in return we’d send them some of our mid-level minor league prospects: Mike Carp, Tuiasasopo, Saunders, Josh Fields, Peguero, Mike Wilson, and any starter not named Tiajuan Walker, Blake Beavan, or James Paxton.

    Liddi and Catricala and Franklin and Pimental are probably off limits, too, as they represent the best of the hitters we have with promise.

  31. xsacred24x on July 13th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Selling off League would be a bad idea. We would be left with Aardsma as the closer and nobody really knows if he will be the same guy after he comes back. League is younger, cheaper and part of the youth movement. Just because he has the most value doesn’t mean there is some rush to move him – we aren’t going to make the playoffs either way.

    The offseason will be much more interesting than the trade deadline. Does anyone have figures on how much salary will be freed up after this season?

    Disagree if we can get a young bat for League you do it bullpen arms are flukey anyways very few are consistent besides we are not contending like you say.

  32. eponymous coward on July 13th, 2011 1:22 pm

    How do you get reasonably priced “proven MLB regulars”? You grow them. Unfortunately that’s slow, it’s agonizing, and it defies our visceral demand for immediate satisfaction. But, barring more miracle trades from Z, that’s what we’re facing — both at the trade deadline and beyond.

    Then, basically, you’re saying that the Mariners are going to go with an OF in 2012 of:

    - a guy who will be 38, coming off of (potentially) his worst year in MLB, who’s up for a new contract in 2013 (and will probably retire or go on a victory tour in Japan if his 2012 is as bad his 2011 might be- I can’t see Ichiro playing the string like Griffey)
    - a guy with chronic injury issues who can’t outhit Willie Bloomquist or Chone Figgins right now
    - and an assortment of players who don’t really belong in MLB playing everyday.

    If you’re not going to bother with a roster change for 1/3rd of your starting lineup, outside of “let’s hope Ichiro forgets he’s 38, Guti forgets about his tummy, and one of the kids decides it’s time to be good, even though there’s no real evidence they’re that good”, after a year where the entire OF is a giant collective flop and a major black hole, what is the bloody point of an 85 million dollar payroll, or trying to field a competitive team? Hope is not a plan. And finding a MLB regular is not rocket science. It just seems like it when it comes to Mariner GMs and LF. So GMZ, you’re supposedly the smartest guy in the room- fix the problem, don’t wimp out with “we have to wait for the kids”.

    A MLB starting OFer, who’s not a superstar, but is a solid, contributing player, in trade for someone like Jason Vargas isn’t completely unreasonable, incidentally. Vargas has been a 2-3 WAR player the last two years, so trading a guy who’s a 2-3 WAR player for a 2-3 WAR player, a one year deal, not a big problem, esepcially since Vargas is going to be a FA after 2012 anyways- you’d trade for someone comparable, so if you strike out, oh well, try again in 2013. This would be a “we have a lot of pitchers, you need pitchers, we need outfielders, you have outfielders” kind of deal, not a “we’ll take Jason Bay off your hands because he hit dingers in Boston” kind of deal.

  33. SonOfZavaras on July 13th, 2011 1:39 pm

    And in return we’d send them some of our mid-level minor league prospects: Mike Carp, Tuiasasopo, Saunders, Josh Fields, Peguero, Mike Wilson, and any starter not named Taijuan Walker, Blake Beavan, or James Paxton.

    Just a brief aside, but to all who mention trading Paxton as a chip: A.) Not an idea I like and B.) Can’t be done immediately, as per MLB rules. They have to have been in our org for a year before they can be dealt. That can be kind of circumvented if they get agreed upon as a “PTBNL”- but IIRC, Paxton signed in January of this year. Long time to wait.

    (And don’t worry, rightwingrick, I know you weren’t advocating trading Paxton.)

    And I’m of the mind that Zduriencik will make a move… but it’ll be one of those lateral-holy-crap ones that no one sees coming.

    In Player X for Player X terms, we probably aren’t first choice, even for League. Which means a GM will have to get creative.

    But we have a guy calling shots who can do just that. In Z I’m Trusting.

  34. groundzero55 on July 13th, 2011 1:43 pm

    you’re still talking about a guy who hits a bit better than Smoak for a lot more money. And a right-hander in Safeco, in case you’ve forgotten Jose Lopez.

    There’s really nothing wrong with having right-handed batters at Safeco. If the hitter is actually GOOD then Safeco will be a minor inconvenience, not a complete killer. Lopez got what, 25ish home runs out, and he’s LOPEZ. Having a lineup of all lefties would be inherently worse than mixing it up.

    Disagree if we can get a young bat for League you do it bullpen arms are flukey anyways very few are consistent besides we are not contending like you say.

    Say we make a splash in the offseason. I’d rather not play the who’s-gonna-close game in a season where we have a real chance to contend. We had back luck this year in that our two real trade chips (Aardsma and Bedard) both ended up getting hurt. It sucks. But there’s no reason to make a move just for the sake of making a move. We simply will not get a young promising bat for League. We would get a middling guy or a washup, someone no better than league average and we don’t need that.

  35. just a fan on July 13th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Vargas is going to be a FA after 2012 anyways

    I believe he will not be a free agent until after 2013. Baseball-reference has him at 2 years, 114 days as of January 2010.

  36. Snuffleupagus on July 13th, 2011 2:12 pm

    There’s really nothing wrong with having right-handed batters at Safeco. If the hitter is actually GOOD then Safeco will be a minor inconvenience, not a complete killer.

    Adrian Beltre.

    Not saying we should have all lefties. Just saying that even good hitters can lose serious value in Safeco.

  37. eponymous coward on July 13th, 2011 2:32 pm

    I believe he will not be a free agent until after 2013. Baseball-reference has him at 2 years, 114 days as of January 2010.

    Whoops, had him mixed up with Aardsma. Good to know. Also means he has more trade value, potentially.

  38. groundzero55 on July 13th, 2011 3:09 pm

    Adrian Beltre.

    Not saying we should have all lefties. Just saying that even good hitters can lose serious value in Safeco.

    Beltre hits well in a park that suits his batting style and when he is surrounded by a good lineup (Boston, Texas). He pulls roughly 70% of his hits instead of spraying them around the field. For a somewhat pure pull RH hitter with average power, Safeco is gonna suck. For a guy that can hit the gaps and go the other way, Safeco is just another park.

    I’m not saying we should get Bay, btw. I just don’t think he would be able to hack it.

  39. r-gordon-7 on July 13th, 2011 3:18 pm

    What about trading pitching for hitting without actually moving bodies? It can’t be done at the trading deadline, but it can be done in the off-season, by moving the fences & making Safeco a less hitter-unfriendly park. Any chance of Z going in that direction or will Safeco forever remain a place where quality hitters just don’t seem to want to play their home games?

  40. shortbus on July 13th, 2011 3:23 pm

    About

    moving the fences & making Safeco a less hitter-unfriendly park

    I think a good plan would be to leave left field alone, and move in the left-center power alley. Leave the fence from the foul pole to the bullpen door alone so the dead-pull distance is still the same. Safeco doesn’t seem to kill balls that way too bad. What it does to balls hit to the alley is devastating. Move the fences there in ten or fifteen feet and it would play more fair.

  41. joser on July 13th, 2011 3:33 pm

    Look, I like Jason Bay. (Heck, I’ve been to Trail BC; I still have relatives there). But… Sixteen. Million. Dollars.
    Repeat that for two years.

    And forget I said anything about Lopez; you’re right, they aren’t really comparable. Bay doesn’t exactly spray his hits all over the field, or at least not when he’s hitting for power: of the 36 HR he hit in 2009, all but four were to LF or LCF. (Though, interestingly, he hit more away from Fenway than at home). However, virtually all those would’ve been out even in Safeco (I’m sure that’s what the Mets figured when they signed him to play in Citi, where he now has 5 in two years).

    But that was 2009, a year like he’d never seen before and is highly unlikely to ever see again. He’s two years, and a concussion, removed from that. He’s now 32 and looks to be one of those hitters who declines precipitously.

    In fact… early 30s, right-handed, huge contract, in decline. This sounds familiar. Eerily, terrifyingly, familiar.

  42. just a fan on July 13th, 2011 3:34 pm

    Move the fences there in ten or fifteen feet and it would play more fair.

    Do we want it to play more fair, or do we want to have a unique home-field advantage?

    Does fashioning a team to one’s own ballpark have an adverse effect on the road? Does it balance itself out on the road, while giving us a few extra home wins?

  43. firecap81 on July 13th, 2011 3:57 pm

    Adrian Beltre

    Not saying we should have all lefties. Just saying that even good hitters can lose serious value in Safeco.

    Edgar Martinez

  44. joser on July 13th, 2011 3:59 pm

    Dave has argued that Safeco in particular makes it difficult to construct a team to have an advantage.

    I don’t have time to go into it here (and I’m still investigating it anyway) but I think a better solution for Safeco may lie in reconfiguring the stadium to reduce the deadening airflow in LF (even when the wind is blowing from the south, currents in the stadium along the left foul line are directed back towards the plate). Bringing in the fences would probably be cheaper and easier, but I don’t know if they’d seriously consider that either.

  45. lalo on July 13th, 2011 4:03 pm

    Maybe we can trade for Casey McGehee; Wilson and Kennedy for him?? He could be a good and cheap addition for 2012…

    They need a SS and a utility player so the trade could be possible

  46. Dustbust on July 13th, 2011 4:37 pm

    Why would we trade League?? Wouldn’t you say he’s part of our youth movement? Our bullpen, lately, has come down to earth and proven to be pretty mediocre, and League has been the only one who’s gotten better as the season has progressed. He’s finally showing the promise we had hoped when Z traded for him. If we lose League, who’s our closer? Aardsma? Give me a break!

    Also, I remember commenting a few weeks back that we needed to move Bedard ASAP while his stock had peaked. Maybe for a Montero type, since his numbers were down. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back – just wondering – did it seem obvious to anyone else that we needed to trade Mr. Glass promptly? Now he broke.

    I also really buy into the garbage for garbage philosophy; how many times has a change of scenery helped struggling players. I still feel Figgy is a great player, but I sense he has some issues with this org somewhere down the line. That being said, the Dunn idea really excited me. Make it happen, Z.

  47. tmac9311 on July 13th, 2011 4:49 pm

    How many AAAA players does it cost for a decent (say 1.5 and above WAR) MLB player? That seems like our only area of strength.

  48. puppyfoot on July 13th, 2011 5:13 pm

    Consider that the current Mariners (not counting Ackley, Seager, Bard, or Halman because of small sample sizes) do not have a single 1.5 WAR position player on the team. In fact they only have two 1.0 WAR players in Kennedy and Ryan. In other words, the M’s are already playing 7 or 8 AAAA players assuming you consider negative WAR players to be AAAA players. Where would the M’s get these AAAA players to trade. An example of this complete paucity of talent is that a number of commenters are calling for Langerhans to take over in left field. When you remember that Langerhans cleared waivers without a taker on his way to Tacoma, it tells you a lot about how other teams perceive the “talent” the M’s have to trade. Aside from pitching, Ackley, and possibly Smoak, this team has nothing to trade.

  49. shortbus on July 13th, 2011 5:26 pm

    Joser,

    I read up on the air flow issues and I just think they are too complicated to fix. I think bringing the fences in is the best short-term solution.

    The reason it matters to this discussion is I think we won’t get any great right-handed hitting guys in here until we do something about how Safeco abuses them. It doesn’t have to be Fenway, but right now the left-center power alley is just too punishing. FA’s won’t come here for anything less than a gold mine. Our own prospects will develop a complex trying to change their swing to play there.

    It will hurt the pitchers some, no doubt, especially guys like Vargas and Fister who get more contact. But the plan to build a team tailored to the park just isn’t working on the hitting side of the game.

  50. Steve Nelson on July 13th, 2011 5:56 pm

    Safeco is ok (well, less painful) for the right kind of right handed hitters. It punishes right handed pull hitters, particularly those who get under the ball. Pull hitters who hit more line drives are less affected (hello, Jose Lopez), as many of line drives will drop for doubles and line drives hit right down the line don’t seem to be as affected. If the guy has speed as well some of those gappers will be going to the deepest part of the park.

    Right handed hitters who use the whole field will also do OK, and if they have opposite field power they will actually thrive (cf., Bret Boone).

    So when the team is out looking at right handed hitters, the type of hitter will play a big role.

  51. djtizzo on July 13th, 2011 7:00 pm

    On Bedard,

    They might be willing to gamble on him, but they’re not going to be willing to surrender a premium young player ….

    Yes they will! Especially a team who has a lot of good young guys in thier system!

  52. G-Man on July 13th, 2011 7:01 pm

    How many AAAA players does it cost for a decent (say 1.5 and above WAR) MLB player? That seems like our only area of strength.

    That’s exactly what so many of the proposals in this thread are – throwing a bunch of AAAA players (though I would call it “depth” not “strength”) into a deal. No one will give us anything of value for the lot of them, not even if you include Kennedy.

    I am dreaming here myself, but to make mine come true, first Wedge must run Jack Wilson out at SS a time or two a week so that people can see that he hasn’t forgotten how to play the position. My dream is then that a contender that values defense suddenly comes up with an injured SS. Then I think we MIGHT get a B prospect if we ate practically all of his salary, as Dave said.

    Jack Z should keep working the phones, though – every once in awhile, you get a GM like Bill Bavasi or Woody Woodward on the other end of the line, and he gets desperate.

  53. puppyfoot on July 13th, 2011 7:36 pm

    The only way Jack Wilson would have any value is if every SS in MLB went on the 60 day DL at the same time. The worst SS in MLB is Ian Desmond of the Nats with a triple slash of .223/.264/.308 for a .570 OPS. Jack Wilson’s is .226/.252/.250 for a .502 OPS. Jack Wilson has an OPS+ of 45, for god’s sake. He is worthless and could be DFA’d (along with a number of others) and not get a nibble.

  54. groundzero55 on July 13th, 2011 9:46 pm

    Maybe we can trade for Casey McGehee; Wilson and Kennedy for him?? He could be a good and cheap addition for 2012…

    They want to get rid of McGehee because he isn’t doing anything. You want him here?

    How many AAAA players does it cost for a decent (say 1.5 and above WAR) MLB player? That seems like our only area of strength.

    I read on Twitter that the going rate for an average journeyman-type batter is one good, nearly-MLB ready prospect or multiple high-A “ace” prospects. Which just isn’t worth it. Everyone know it’s a seller’s market this year, big time.

  55. Steve Nelson on July 13th, 2011 9:56 pm

    How many AAAA players does it cost for a decent (say 1.5 and above WAR) MLB player? That seems like our only area of strength.

    That’s exactly what so many of the proposals in this thread are – throwing a bunch of AAAA players (though I would call it “depth” not “strength”) into a deal. No one will give us anything of value for the lot of them, not even if you include Kennedy.

    Every MLB club has plenty of AAAA players or can easily acquire such players. That’s a basic numbers game outcome of the talent pyramid. There is only one player that is the best in baseball. There are 25 players that are the 25 best. There are 1100 players that are the 1100 best (1100 being roughly the number of players that are on the combined 40-man rosters. Which means there are at least another 1000 players that can play at the tier just below that. So there’s is no shortage of players at the AAAA level; there are around 1000 of those guys around and only 30 clubs to employ them.

    Consequently, no matter how many AAAA players you put together you just can’t create a significant value package that is worth an average value MLB player.

    *******

    When you rosterbate and fantasize trade packages, you need to dispense with the notion that some quantity of replacement level talent adds up to a true MLB talent equivalent. It doesn’t.

    Acquiring average MLB talent requires surrendering either: 1) equivalent average MLB talent; or 2) prospect talent that has a realistic potential of being something more than average MLB talent.

  56. auldguy on July 13th, 2011 10:09 pm

    I note that Rasmus appears to be off the block in StL, how about putting together a package with League, Vargas, and a AAAA guy for Alex Gordon? KC is said to be considering moving him. No more foolish an idea than many already posted here.

  57. shortbus on July 13th, 2011 10:53 pm

    Isn’t “AAAA Player” a different term for “Replacement Player?” Why would anyone think replacement players were relevant in trade discussions.

    I think people think of players like commodities…like if I pile up enough coal, it will be worth one gold ingot. But it’s not like that. You can give me as many Herbert Shmerbilders as you like, I’m not giving you my Van Gogh.

  58. joser on July 13th, 2011 11:17 pm

    This team’s “only area of strength”, if it has one, is pitching. Is it becoming clearer why Dave was at least willing to think about trading Pineda?

    I think people think of players like commodities…like if I pile up enough coal, it will be worth one gold ingot. But it’s not like that. You can give me as many Herbert Shmerbilders as you like, I’m not giving you my Van Gogh.

    Yeah, and this is especially true because there are only 25 roster spots. Sure, six 1 WAR guys are worth more than one 4 WAR guy, but unless you have that many open roster spots, what good does it do you?

  59. Gibbo on July 14th, 2011 3:38 am

    Why is it our trade chips always seem to get injured…. In 2009 Beltre and now Bedard and Aardsma? When will our luck change?

  60. Paul B on July 14th, 2011 6:39 am

    The worst SS in MLB is Ian Desmond of the Nats with a triple slash of .223/.264/.308 for a .570 OPS. Jack Wilson’s is .226/.252/.250 for a .502 OPS.

    Jack Wilson’s value, such as it is, is in the field not at the plate.

    If my starting shortstop was, for example, Yuni, I would first punch myself in the face, but then would get someone like Jack as a defensive replacement.

  61. joser on July 14th, 2011 10:30 am

    Our luck will change when they stop playing atop that Duwamish burial ground. Once the team moves to a new stadium in –I don’t know, Bellevue — everything will start going their way. I predict this will happen sometime after Las Vegas wins its first World Series (which will be just after Portland wins its second).

    If my starting shortstop was, for example, Yuni, I would first punch myself in the face, but then would get someone like Jack as a defensive replacement.

    Well, somewhere in there you should leave Cleveland, as that is the sure cure to self-facepunching. And then you should consult the Yuni Matrix.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.