Don’t Be Surprised if the M’s are Buyers

Dave · July 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The trade deadline is tomorrow, and the Mariners are widely expected to trade off several veteran players to contending teams today or tomorrow. Brandon League, Kevin Millwood, Jason Vargas, and Oliver Perez all could hold some value to teams looking for second half pitching depth at a low cost, and while I don’t think the organization will trade all four, I’d expect at least two of those guys to be in another uniform on Wednesday. In that regard, the Mariners are clearly sellers.

However, don’t be surprised if the team is also an unconventional buyer. No, Jack won’t be bidding for the usual hired guns who are acquired a few months before they hit free agency, but after trading Ichiro to New York last week, the team is suddenly in need of an outfielder, or at the very least, someone who can fake it out there for a while. With Franklin Gutierrez on the shelf, the team is essentially running a Carlos Peguero/Trayvon Robinson platoon at one OF spot, which is perhaps the worst combination of players to share a job in the history of baseball. That might be hyperbole, but neither of them are Major League players, and the reality is that the team can’t count on Gutierrez to stay healthy enough to hold down an everyday job. Even when he comes off the DL, they’ll need to have a guy on the roster who they can feel comfortable writing into the line-up.

This afternoon, I noted on Twitter that I’d been told by a friend in the game (not with the Mariners) that the M’s were trying hard to get Brandon Belt from the Giants. While they may not have the pieces that SF would want for a guy like Belt, this is the type of guy I fully expect Jack to acquire within the next 48 hours – a left-handed 1B/OF type who has some offensive potential, is under team control for several years, and could be acquired without giving up one of the big name prospects on the farm.

Belt’s more of a first baseman than an outfielder, but he’s played 32 games in the OF for San Francisco this year, and he could handle a few months out there if the team wanted to keep taking a look at Mike Carp as a first baseman. He’d also give the organization some flexibility and some depth at both positions for 2013, and while he hasn’t hit as expected in the Majors just yet, he’s a patient 24-year-old left-handed bat with some power who has never really been given a regular opportunity for consistent playing time. I have no idea if the M’s are going to be able to land Belt, but he’s the kind of player that the organization could desperately use right now. They have a few hundred at-bats to hand to a young player who needs a good run of playing time, and right now, they’re wasting those on the Peguero/Robinson Platoon of Suck.

Other potential (though lesser) options for a player in this category would be guys like Lucas Duda (Mets), Tyler Moore and Corey Brown (Nationals), Daniel Nava (Red Sox), or Nate Schierholtz (Giants), each of whom represent different kinds of players but all are in that kind of kinda-interesting-worth-a-flyer type of player. Belt has the most potential of the bunch, but he’s also probably the most expensive and hardest to acquire, and these guys would probably be easier to get in a trade if the team couldn’t find common ground on a deal for Belt.

I’ve also heard rumblings that the Mets have talked to the Mariners about Adam Loewen, who is currently playing first base for Triple-A Buffalo. Loewen is a Vancouver kid who was selected #4 overall in the 2002 draft as a pitcher, but arm injuries have forced him to give up a career on the mound and try his luck as a hitter instead. He made the switch back in 2009 at age 25, and now 28, he’s hitting fairly well in the International League. His lack of early experience as a hitter means he’ll probably never turn into more than a raw platoon guy (he can’t lefties at all), but there’s a chance that he could be the new Rick Ankiel, providing some power and serving as a useful outfielder for a couple of years. My guess is that the organization doesn’t see him as an upgrade over Peguero, who is younger, toolsier, and also has good Triple-A numbers, but he’s a local kid and he’d probably be next-to-free, so it’s something to at least keep in mind.

I’m sure the organization has about 20 other guys they’re looking at besides the names I’ve listed here, and I’m not saying the team is going to deal for any one of these guys specifically, but I do think you’ll see the Mariners acquire a player of this type at some point in the next 48 hours. They’re going to be sellers on pitching, but they’re also trying to buy a young 1B/OF type who deserves a few hundred at-bats to show what he can do.

Comments

53 Responses to “Don’t Be Surprised if the M’s are Buyers”

  1. wilchiro on July 29th, 2012 10:23 pm

    Outside of Belt or Duda, I think I’d rather just give Robinson a shot at the right field gig in the mean time. I understand that his career K% is ridiculously high at 39%, but he cut that nearly in half at Tacoma and you could almost call him a rookie as he has just 160 PA’s at the major league level.

    When you said that there is the possibility that the M’s could be buyers, I thought you were going to talk about Willingham and Craig types, not older fringe prospects that are just now breaking in to the majors (albeit Craig was older when he came in but he is at least established now).

  2. Sports on a Schtick on July 29th, 2012 10:24 pm

    Belt might be the most expensive but Brian Sabean has done crazy stuff before like trade Zack Wheeler for a half season of Carlos Beltran. And the Giants are certainly in WIN NOW mode.

    Daniel Nava would be interesting.

  3. Dave on July 29th, 2012 10:28 pm

    Trayvon Robinson is awful. He might be worse than Carlos Peguero. Any team that plays either of them should be fined $1,000 a day. There isn’t a penalty harsh enough for a team that is rostering them both at the same time.

    They both belong in the PCL for the rest of their lives.

  4. Westside guy on July 29th, 2012 10:37 pm

    Fangraphs ran a series a few years ago – When Samples Become Reliable. Strikeout rate and contact rate usually stabilize very quickly (~100 plate appearances for contact rate, ~150 for strikeout rate). Trayvon is at the short end of the stick on both of those; and, as wilchiro noted, he’s at roughly 160 major league PAs already.

    It’s not like it’s impossible that he would be the guy that bucks the trend – but the house will happily let you make that bet every time.

  5. wilchiro on July 29th, 2012 10:40 pm

    I don’t understand why you say Robinson is terrible when you suggest an alternative in Lucas Duda who has amounted the 6th worst WAR in baseball this season right next to Justin Smoak. Duda’s approaching 800 MLB PA’s and has a negative career WAR to date.

    If anything, I’d take my chances on paying a little more and getting a guy like Peter Bourjos. Corey Brown, Adam Loewen, and Nate Schierholtz aren’t anything more than fourth outfielders in the major leagues.

  6. wilchiro on July 29th, 2012 10:44 pm

    And yes, I know I said above that I wouldn’t mind having Duda, but after seeing the stats I’m not so sure about that.

  7. Dave on July 29th, 2012 10:46 pm

    Duda’s WAR reflects his terrible OF defense. He’s a 1B/DH, not an outfielder, but he’s shown that he can kinda hit. The Mariners can afford to punt OF defense for a few months to take a look at a bat that could potentially play 1B/DH next year.

    Robinson doesn’t have a single Major League skill. It’s not just the lack of contact. It’s terrible contact without power in a guy who doesn’t have good instincts and can’t throw. He’s not even a good Triple-A player – he was a below average hitter in the PCL before he got called up. You shouldn’t care at all about Trayvon Robinson, and no one should ever want to see him in a big league game besides his mother.

  8. tmac9311 on July 29th, 2012 10:50 pm

    I like Robinson for no good reason, but I much prefer a team where I don’t have to worry about Peguero out there, consider me all in on Belt/others. I really love the young players on this team right now, I realize they aren’t leading to much success, but I have enjoyed these post Ichiro M’s this far, a guy like Belt would make it that much more enjoyable.

  9. wilchiro on July 29th, 2012 11:05 pm

    The more and more I think about it, the more I want to keep Vargas and deal the others. Vargas has more value to the M’s than he does in a trade. I know this team isn’t in a playoff race, but if Vargas got traded, you’d be looking at a rotation of Hernandez-Millwood-Iwakuma-Beavan-Ramirez. Millwood was a minor league signing heading into the year and Beavan doesn’t even deserve a spot in the rotation.

    I know Vargas is no star but unless they get a controllable hitter for him, I’m not sure I pull the trigger.

  10. The_Waco_Kid on July 29th, 2012 11:16 pm

    “It’s not like it’s impossible that he would be the guy that bucks the trend – but the house will happily let you make that bet every time.”

    Well said, Westy. But at this point it’s not a costly bet. Sure, if we get Brandon Belt or someone in a great trade, that’s awesome, but I don’t see getting a new OF as a huge priority. I don’t think it’ll kill the team to give Trayvon a bit of a chance. Granted, I wouldn’t bet against Dave’s predictions.

    I’m more concerned about getting Guti ABs when he returns, unless it’s time to give up on him ever playing every day. In that case, a new OF is a high priority.

  11. Westside guy on July 29th, 2012 11:22 pm

    We won’t get a guy like Belt for League – if such a trade were to happen, the M’s will have to add additional value to the trade. And it might be someone we don’t want to see leave…

  12. heychuck01 on July 29th, 2012 11:28 pm

    Wouldn’t Ford do the same thing as a few of the names mentioned? I understand Ford is nothing special either, and he isn’t on the roster, but do the M’s really need to trade anything when he is sitting there?

  13. The_Waco_Kid on July 29th, 2012 11:28 pm

    How about Furbush? Is he a good sell-high candidate? Seems like a good balance between League (little value) and Wilhelmson (worth keeping).

  14. PinedaExpress on July 29th, 2012 11:38 pm

    There’s a lot to like about Duda, assuming you don’t put him in the OF. He’s playing out of position in NY because they’ve got Ike Davis at first. I don’t think you want to put him out there against tough lefties, but against RHP’s he’s a solid option.

    On Robinson, he might be a worse defender than Peguero and that’s saying a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as terrible of a throw from LF as what he uncorked today.

  15. The_Waco_Kid on July 29th, 2012 11:48 pm

    You’re probably right, but I saw Triunfel throw it in the seats twice in a row. Just sayin’.

    BTW I was there for most of the game, what inning was this?

  16. PinedaExpress on July 29th, 2012 11:55 pm

    “BTW I was there for most of the game, what inning was this?”

    Bottom of eight. There’s been worse throws, I was being a bit dramatic, but on a charging throw from short left field, he missed his target by a good 10-12 feet, up the line. It was very Johnny Damon without any accuracy looking.

  17. The_Waco_Kid on July 30th, 2012 12:00 am

    Oh yeah, I kind of remember. Sorry, the crapiness of the 8th all blurs together in my memory.

  18. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2012 12:01 am

    Numerous rumors are picking up steam regarding some kind of package of League for Brandon Belt… Most notably coming from San Fran beat writers. I’d assume we’d be sending more in the trade?

    I’m still surprised folks aren’t all over Wilhelmsen… He’s got a nasty couple of pitches that scream CLOSER, and we don’t really need a closer currently. I’d hope we’d say “no” to anything, but just surprised there aren’t teams after him.

  19. StatBoy on July 30th, 2012 12:12 am

    Dave, I don’t understand where the vitriol towards Trayvon Robinson is coming from.

    Why not just say hes not MLB caliber right now and leave it at that?

  20. NRFully on July 30th, 2012 12:18 am

    I hope you’re right, and I’m sure you probably are. Jack has made some trades/acquisitions that totally blindsided everyone.. As long as we get legit Major League proven/available hitters now! rather than…ahem..a dare not say this word in the company of my fellow M’s fans…”prospect.” Yes, we’re pretty bad, at the moment, offensively but I honestly think we are 1 or 2 decent hitters in the lineup away from being a competitive team (as long as the main youngsters, for the most part, keep improving)

  21. stevemotivateir on July 30th, 2012 12:22 am

    Speaking for myself, the point, is that Trayvon will never be MLB caliber. Giving him PA’s, is a waste of PA’s. Saying he isn’t ready right now, implies hope. There’s no hope! I was really shocked to see him called up. He cut down his K’s, but he still can’t hit, and his defense is a serious liability. The team really lacks outfield depth.

  22. NRFully on July 30th, 2012 12:25 am

    I am also confused and wondering if I missed something (and I doubt I have since I follow every game) about Robinson. At this stage you can’t really put him in the same category as Peguero.. He’s only started in 2 games since coming up from AAA and hasn’t done anything worth saying he’s terrible. If anything I see he’s done quite well in the games so far and can tell he’s grown since last year. He’s right now 3 for 7 with 1 run…

  23. The_Waco_Kid on July 30th, 2012 12:28 am

    NRFully, duck, you’re about to be bombed with “small sample size” comments.

  24. Thirteen on July 30th, 2012 12:31 am

    Small sample size re: Trayvon. I’m not terribly optimistic about him, but I’d rather see him in there than Peguero since at least he can actually get to a ball in the field despite his awful arm.

    Dave, what about Darren Ford? He’s only 26, younger than Casper, with great speed and defense (despite being a bad baserunner) and a .836 OPS in AAA (limited sample size applies, of course). Would you rather see him than Peguero/Robinson?

  25. Rainiers_fan on July 30th, 2012 5:37 am

    I too was surprised when they called up Robinson. Thirteen, I also wondered if they would consider Ford, and ultimately was glad they didn’t. He isn’t much of a prospect although quite frankly neither are Robinson and Pegeuro. I think Ford is destined to be a good AAA player, much like Mike Wilson, who is fun to watch at Tacoma but ultimately doesn’t succeed at the highest level. Like thirteen said Fords OPS isn’t bad. This year his slugging is better than you would think, higher than Jimenez for example. Unfortunately he doesn’t walk much and I think that is a big negative for his player type. He has cut down on his strikeouts this year but that has been a problem in the past. Also as thirteen alluded to, Ford does make some “interesting” decisions on the base paths which is unfortunate because with his speed he gives pitchers fits. Lightning might strike with any one of Ford, Peguero, or Robinson, but it doesn’t look promising at this point. After seeing Ford, Peguero, and Robinson play in most of their home games this season and looking at their stats, if I were a betting man I would guess another OF is coming to Seattle in the next two days.

  26. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 7:04 am

    Just over a year ago, the commentary was:

    I’m terrible with player comps, but I could see his best-case scenario being something like a lesser, switch-hitting Mike Cameron. Robinson probably wouldn’t be regarded as an elite prospect, but he’s still very talented and could compete for a spot opening next season.

    Now it’s gone to:

    Robinson doesn’t have a single Major League skill. It’s not just the lack of contact. It’s terrible contact without power in a guy who doesn’t have good instincts and can’t throw. He’s not even a good Triple-A player – he was a below average hitter in the PCL before he got called up. You shouldn’t care at all about Trayvon Robinson, and no one should ever want to see him in a big league game besides his mother.

    I think we might have been better off with the backup catcher. Oh well, Bedard was still a rental.

  27. Ichirolling51 on July 30th, 2012 7:19 am

    Dave, what do you think of the chances of landing an Allen Craig? I’ve heard some rumblings that the Cardinals may be open to trading him especially with Berkman returning, and that the M’s are interested. I fear he may cost us one of the big 3 pitching prospects though.

  28. ripperlv on July 30th, 2012 7:28 am

    Dave, I don’t understand where the vitriol towards Trayvon Robinson is coming from.

    – Because he’s trying to make a point that he won’t have to repeat 25 times. Fluff, fluff, roll in candy, ah, that’s better.

    – Robinson is already on the 40 man making a call from the minors, the matter of a simple phone call. Ford would require the M’s to find a spot on the 40 man. Something the M’s don’t really want to do before the trade deadline.

  29. nwade on July 30th, 2012 7:47 am

    RE: Trayvon

    Boy, when Dave decides to have an opinion about someone, he really commits to it! Now I see why he’s getting air-time on TV and Radio Sports Shows (which are known for their timid personalities and deferential opinions, of course)…

  30. Mike Snow on July 30th, 2012 8:49 am

    While I can see the point of pursuing players like this, I guess I don’t quite see how that would make the M’s “buyers” in the way that term is normally used. We’re talking about a bunch of guys who are in a similar position in their careers to Casper Wells a year ago, and picking up Wells in the Fister deal didn’t make them buyers last year.

    A trade like this might mean giving up a prospect, since I don’t think Kevin Millwood is going to bring one of these hitters straight up. Not a Hultzen/Walker/Paxton/Franklin, more somebody like Steve Proscia or Marcus Littlewood, maybe. But trading those guys isn’t really enough to warrant talking about the team as a buyer.

  31. make_dave_proud on July 30th, 2012 9:59 am

    I find it completely unfortunate that trading from the middle of a position of strength (pitching) to attempt to shore up a weakness (hitting) amounts to being a “buyer”. On other teams, I believe that’s called “trading”.

    Until we start conversations involving one of Hultzen/Walker/Paxton in some package, I wouldn’t call this team a buyer.

  32. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2012 10:19 am

    Fun “Baseball is Hard” Reality Check of the Day:

    Raise your had if you had the Phillies with a worse record than the Mariners at the end of July 2012! (Anyone?)

    How ’bout the Nationals with the most wins in all of baseball? (No one?)

  33. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 11:22 am

    I find it completely unfortunate that trading from the middle of a position of strength (pitching) to attempt to shore up a weakness (hitting) amounts to being a “buyer”. On other teams, I believe that’s called “trading”.

    This team is not particularly strong in pitching, unless you expect them to be playing KC and Tampa the rest of the season. They’ve got Felix, some decent backend starters who could be useful eating innnings in Vargas and Millwood, and a good bullpen. If they trade both of them, that makes the rotation outside of Felix pretty horrible. At best, it’s relative strength compared to an offense that’s just terrible. Given that Vargas and Millwood are arguably not as valuable as Bedard and Fister (Millwood is a worse pitcher, and Vargas isn’t under contract for cheap as long as Fister was), I don’t think we can expect a lot (especially as it’s looking more and more like the net takeaway our earlier trades is going to be Wells+Furbush for Fister, and arguably this team might have been better off just keeping Fister).

  34. roosevelt on July 30th, 2012 11:30 am

    I agree with Dave about Trayvon Robinson. I have never seen a weaker more inaccurate arm in a major league outfield.
    Surely, Jack Z. knew about this when trading for him???? Hence, I sure hope that the M’s have hired a neutral outside consultant when considering any future player trades.

  35. Bremerton guy on July 30th, 2012 11:32 am

    “I think Ford is destined to be a good AAA player, much like Mike Wilson, who is fun to watch at Tacoma but ultimately doesn’t succeed at the highest level.”

    How do we know that? Mike Wilson has never really been given a chance to succeed at the highest level. They brought him up for a while last year, and while he got 28 at bats, he was lucky if he got to play once a week. I’d like to see both him and Luis Jiminez given a legitimate opportunity in the big leagues. I know this would require some shuffling of the 40-man, but no one thought Bucky Jacobsen could play in the bigs either, and while he didn’t last long, he sure was fun to watch.

  36. Mariners35 on July 30th, 2012 11:40 am

    Ford and Wilson are emergency injury-replacement depth, nothing more.

    And Dave is spot-on about Peguero and Trayvon. I had the slightest glimmer of hope that Carlos had learned something over the last few months, but he’s at his free-swinging ways more than ever in his brief time up here this year. He needs to complete the Wily Mo Pena career arc, pack up to Japan, and go away.

    Kind of sad that the organization overall is so shallow for outfielders. Guti’s inability to stay healthy is really hamstringing this team. I’ll be really curious to see if the M’s can buy or trade for an impact outfielder this winter, as I don’t think anyone significant will come in the next couple days (except for possibly the kind of low-cost stopgaps Dave mentions in his post).

  37. Rick L on July 30th, 2012 12:16 pm

    If you were Kansas City with its stock of .280 plus hitters and a pitching staff that can’t get anyone out, wouldn’t you trade one of them for Vargas and, say Saunders?

  38. SeattleDan on July 30th, 2012 12:52 pm

    I heard from a reliable source that there were Pirate scouts at Sunday’s game, watching Felix. While I doubt that a deal between the clubs over Felix would ever pan out, there were Pirate scouts there nonetheless. Looking for what though?

  39. Jopa on July 30th, 2012 1:03 pm

    It’s crazy to think that the M’s don’t have three quality OF’s in the majors and AAA combined. I’m wondering if either one or both of Brad Miller and Stefen Romero could be moved to the OF to be ready by 2014.

  40. Thirteen on July 30th, 2012 1:16 pm

    Gutierrez, Saunders, Wells. That’s three. If you don’t count Guti, I guess Carp is next on the list.

  41. Jopa on July 30th, 2012 1:21 pm

    I wasn’t counting Carp, because I see him at best as an emergency OF in a LF/1B/DH role. I wasn’t counting Guti because he’s hardly played in two seasons and can’t seem to stay healthy. I like Wells and Saunders. Those were the two I was thinking of, and even Wells may be a 4th OF or platoon OF.

    Seems like you have to go down to Julio Morban and James Jones in High Desert and numbers are always inflated down there. And that skips everyone in AA. Dunigan, maybe?

  42. cougs129 on July 30th, 2012 1:59 pm

    I have heard some rumors that teams are asking about Jacoby Ellsbury.. What do you think the Mariners would have to give up to acquire him? Of course acquiring him with the understanding that he would re-sign due to his Northwest roots.

  43. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 2:12 pm

    I think Denny Almonte would be considered a much better (and younger) AA OF prospect than Joe Dunigan, but he is still very much a strikeout machine.

    Martinez has been playing in CF for Jackson, lately. I best remember him as the’3B of the future’ from last years Doug Fister trade, but I shall adapt accordingly. He can’t hit, but there isn’t a positon to move him to that will fix that at the present time. He is only 21 years old, though.

    Brad Miller is rumored to be a possible OF candidate if he eventually cannot stick at SS, but that is probably not news to anyone hanging around these parts.

    Slim pickins all around the OF. Very slim pickins.

    If you were to combine the best attributes of Peguero and Robinson into one player, you would still have 1/2 of a player. If I had to pick one over the other – I would prefer to watch Robinson even if it required me to do so with one eye covered. Hopefully the team can find a more suitable replacement and I can watch with both eyes open.

  44. make_dave_proud on July 30th, 2012 2:19 pm

    > At best, it’s relative strength compared to an offense that’s just terrible.

    Yep, spot on — exactly where I was coming from. I’m also including relative strength to include where our long-term better prospects are in the farm system (pitching v. hitting).

    But yes, Millwood and Vargas won’t catch us much. Netting a difference maker on the offense this year with these as the trade chips will likely get us bupkus.

    Labeling the Mariners as “buyers” seems a bit pre-mature at this point.

  45. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2012 2:35 pm

    MsFan–
    As some folks say about “faces”, Peguero and Robinson are “fielders” perfect for radio.

    Although, in a vaguely ironic twist– owing to Dave’s honesty about Trayvon and Peggy– the iconic picture I had in my mind (and the voice I imagined) took a huge hit first time I saw and heard Dave Cameron talk baseball live (and same with John Clayton on football)… And that’s not meant as an insult– just honest first impressions. They’re still BOTH my favorite guys to hear talk about their respective sports, easily. Just neither have to fear becoming fashion models or voiceover talent anytime soon. And again, not an insult, just an observation– I’m right there with them in both categories, AND I’m not even smart enough on any topic to make up for my shortcoming (no pun intended, Mr. Clayton).

  46. Bremerton guy on July 30th, 2012 2:41 pm

    Mr.Z:

    I kind of agree about first impressions, but according to Wikipedia Dave Cameron was a pretty fair high school ballplayer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Cameron_(baseball_analyst)

  47. msfanmike on July 30th, 2012 3:15 pm

    I have no idea how my comment about combining Peguero and Robinson still netting .5 of an actual player could be turn into a comment about “faces” or the athletic exploits of a person attending a private high school with an annual graduating class of approx 25 students … but okay.

    Whatever caused it, I would like to take it back. I am requesting an electronic “mulligan” – if you will.

  48. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 3:27 pm

    If you were Kansas City with its stock of .280 plus hitters and a pitching staff that can’t get anyone out, wouldn’t you trade one of them for Vargas and, say Saunders?

    Sure, because Saunders is probably a .280 hitter in KC (his home/road splits are pretty ridiculous this year). Net gain: Vargas.

    But, since Bill Bavasi isn’t employed by the Mariners any more, it’s unlikely this trade gets made. The M’s are playing with two MLB OFer’s (Saunders and Wells). Trading away one of them isn’t fixing the problem.

  49. philosofool on July 30th, 2012 3:41 pm

    I really hope we don’t get Belt. I don’t see him every maturing into a successful MLB player.

    He looks to me like a guy who succeeded in minor league ball waiting for fastballs but who simply doesn’t have the abilities to handle more advanced pitching at anything above an average level. The power he’s shown in the minors must be taken with a grain of salt because it’s very much affected by the PCL. Was he on any prospect radars before his 2010 breakout in the minors?

    Anyway, it won’t be the end of the world, but I just don’t think the guy is really much more than .240/.340/.400 hitter without defensive skills. I want a 1B with at least an .820 OPS.

  50. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 4:11 pm

    I want a 1B with at least an .820 OPS.

    … and a pony?

    MLB splits for 1B, OPS: .770

    Right now, you have 9 teams with 1B OPS’s over .820 (Good luck getting one of those guys for the assorted players the M’s have to offer- you’re going to be giving up the farm for a top-flight 1B, that’s just the way it is these days). Granted, one of those guys isLaHair, a former Mariner who got given up on… sort of like what the Giants would be doing with Belt…

    Oh, and there’s a pretty long line of players, from Bilko to Easler to Phelps to Cust, who got the “AAAA player” label and turned out to be pretty good once they got a shot. It’s not like it’s going to kill our 2012 pennant chances to get the guy if he’s gettable at a reasonable price, and if he washes out, oh well, on to the next one.

  51. raul_podzednick on July 30th, 2012 4:45 pm

    I don’t think Smoak is done and I hate giving up on him.

  52. philosofool on August 1st, 2012 8:41 am

    I want a 1B with at least an .820 OPS.
    … and a pony?
    MLB splits for 1B, OPS: .770

    Yes, I’m so out of control. I want the sun, moon and stars in asking for a first baseman that is an above average offensive player at the position. I should be more interested settling for average players and stop my wild fantasies of having good players. That’s for irrational, unreasonable people.

    I get that, often, one makes trades for guys who look merely average in hopes that they breakout. My point is that Belt is a bad candidate to breakout and we should be looking for someone else. He’s got a AAAA skill set, no defensive value, and was not even a heralded prospect until he “broke out” in the PCL–a league known for it’s tendency to make average power look plus. There are more guys with the AAAA label who proved over and over that they couldn’t be MLB bats than there are Jack Custs or Bryan LaHairs.

  53. eponymous coward on August 1st, 2012 2:05 pm

    I want the sun, moon and stars in asking for a first baseman that is an above average offensive player at the position. I should be more interested settling for average players and stop my wild fantasies of having good players. That’s for irrational, unreasonable people.

    Right.

    My point is not that you can’t acquire those kinds of players in trade.

    It’s that even Bill Bavasi isn’t going to give you (hypothetically) Joey Votto for Brandon League and some busted prospects, plus the change under Howard Lincoln’s couch. You’re going to be sacrificing real talent in the deal.

    What did the M’s have in the way of real talent that’s proven at the MLB level? Felix. OK, so that’s not going to happen (though I imagine you could pry a good 1B loose if you did, but now there’s a huge hole in the pitching staff)- so let’s say that the our hypothetical Reds say “you get Votto, we get Montero, Noesi, Hultzen, Capps, Franklin”. You making that deal? If so, fine, but realize that the Mariners aren’t just chock full of good young players, so stocked that it’s time to be trading off surplus minor leaguers, and the MLB roster has plenty of holes- so trading for a superior player means draining the minor league system… for a team that is not remotely close to “one player away”.

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