M’s Make Two Trades

Dave · July 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners have made the two obvious trades that we knew they were going to make before the deadline – they shipped out Brandon League (to LAD for two prospects) and acquired that young-ish left-handed hitting semi-interesting outfielder that we talked about earlier in Eric Thames (from Toronto for Steve Delabar).

Quick reaction on the Delabar/Thames move – it’s worth a try, but don’t get your hopes up. Thames is 25-years-old and has flashed some decent power at times, but he’s got some contact issues, doesn’t have a very good approach at the plate, and is not a good defender. He’s also had some problems against left-handers, so his upside is probably as a platoon outfielder, but he’s a kinda interesting bat against right-handers. He’s not a guy that is likely to turn into a regular on a good team, but he’s vastly better than Peguero/Robinson, and the M’s have a couple hundred at-bats to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle with him.

He’s probably a bench player long term, but the Mariners gave up a middle relief prospect to get him, so it’s not a trade they’re likely to regret. Delabar could find his slider and turn into a solid reliever, but the M’s have a lot of solid relief prospects, and they had a major shortage in the outfield. Most likely, this deal ends up as a footnote in history, but it’s a deal that allows the M’s to trade from a surplus to help fill a hole. Worth doing if just to not have to watch Peguero and Robinson play anymore.

Of course, that’s the minor deal of the two. Brandon League was considered the M’s best trade chip going into the season, and while his stock has dropped, they were still able to get a couple of prospects for him – outfielder Leon Landry and pitcher Logan Bawcom.

Landry’s a small, speedy outfielder with good contact skills who has gotten the Cal League Power Boost that fools people into thinking players are better hitting prospects than they really are, so ignore his raw stats from this year. He never walks and the power is questionable, so he’s gonna have to stick as a CF. The arm is fringy but the range is good enough to play there, so if he hits, he might turn into an okay center fielder in a few years. Probably more of a future fourth OF if he makes it.

Bawcom is a future bullpen arm, and potentially a good one. 90-95 on the fastball with a good slider, already in Double-A and missing a lot of bats. Could be in Seattle as early as next year. Probably more of a right-on-right reliever than a future closer, but if the command improves, could be more than that.

It might seem like an underwhelming return, but Brandon League is an underwhelming trade chip. You just weren’t going to get that much for a couple of months of a guy who can’t get lefties out. The Brandon League trade was one of Jack’s worst, and they got about what you’d expect to get for a middle reliever with some issues who is due for free agency at the end of the year. It’s just too bad that they overpaid so badly to get him in the first place.

Trading Delabar and League creates two open spots in the bullpen, and you’ll likely see Stephen Pryor rejoin the team to fill one of the two spots. You could potentially see also-throws-100-guy Carter Capps as the other, as he struck out three of the four batters he faced in his Triple-A debut tonight, and was absolutely destroying Double-A Jackson before his promotion. Pryor and Capps are two best bullpen arms in the organization, and both profile as potential future closers. Getting a look at them for two months could be a nice way to see how close they are to helping setup Tom Wilhelmsen next year.

Oh, and Thames will take Carlos Peguero‘s spot on the roster. He was seen shaking hands with his teammates after the game – at least, when he was able to make contact with their hands.

Comments

35 Responses to “M’s Make Two Trades”

  1. sjudy on July 30th, 2012 10:33 pm

    I’m a fan of Thames and think that there may be a chance that Safeco could be a better environment than Toronto for him. At least he’ll bring some cool sideburns to the team.

  2. beastwarking on July 30th, 2012 10:34 pm

    Well that was weaker than expected. Granted, better than nothing and it’s nice to have it put in perspective but ugh, that Morrow trade looks worse every day

  3. wilchiro on July 30th, 2012 10:49 pm

    Dave, do you think this is it for the M’s deadline moves or could they make a couple more? I’d be surprised if both Vargas and Millwood are Seattle Mariners in the next 24 hours.

    Jason A. Churchill thinks the M’s should make a run at Justin Morneau. If they can get him for a couple of prospects not named Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Franklin/Zunino/Miller, do you pull the trigger?

  4. Kyle Miller on July 30th, 2012 10:50 pm

    Please catch lightning in a bottle, please catch lightning in a bottle, please catch lightning in a bottle………

  5. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 11:01 pm

    Deadline is 1pm tomorrow – probably most of these front office types won’t be getting a lot of sleep tonight.

  6. Dave on July 30th, 2012 11:08 pm

    I wouldn’t claim Morneau on waivers. Due about $5 million for remainder of 2012 and $14 million in 2013, concussion issues, performance not what it used to be. Pass.

  7. Breadbaker on July 30th, 2012 11:09 pm

    Really a tale of two trades. Mariners investment in Delabar was zero and they got a piece that works as an upgrade for him. The less said about the League trade the better.

  8. terryoftacoma on July 30th, 2012 11:10 pm

    Lightning in a bottle.. heard that phrase somewhere before.

    Westy.. most of the blog writers won’t either.

  9. Breadbaker on July 30th, 2012 11:11 pm

    And to clarify, what I meant by the “League trade” was the Brandon for Brandon deal, not this one. This one is as Dave described it, as much as you could get for a guy who isn’t worth much anymore.

  10. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 11:12 pm

    Jason A. Churchill thinks the M’s should make a run at Justin Morneau. If they can get him for a couple of prospects not named Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Franklin/Zunino/Miller, do you pull the trigger?

    I’m not Dave, but I LOL’ed at this one.

    14 million next year for a guy who can’t stay healthy (hasn’t played 150 games since 2008, has already missed 20+ games this year), isn’t hitting like he was when he was healthy, and is on the wrong side of 30, going to a team that’s not really one player away from being good?

    Pass.

  11. just a fan on July 30th, 2012 11:13 pm

    Peguero wasn’t that bad. He only struck out in 52.4% of his plate appearances.

  12. eponymous coward on July 30th, 2012 11:15 pm

    The Brandon League trade was one of Jack’s worst

    “One of”? Interesting implication here. I wonder- is there a future “Zduriencik evaluated in year 4″ piece in the blog pipeline?

  13. BillyJive on July 30th, 2012 11:15 pm

    I was at the game tonight. Watching Peguero was painful. Don’t bother sending him down…just release him. 5 in a row!! Woo Hoo!

  14. taylor.mariner on July 30th, 2012 11:20 pm

    That was a cold Peguero joke to slip in there… But it made me laugh :)

  15. jephdood on July 30th, 2012 11:26 pm

    What kind of ‘chips’ are Figgins and Olivo? Cow?

  16. henryv on July 30th, 2012 11:39 pm

    I snorted at the Peguero line there at the end, Dave. Great stuff.

    At a quick glance, Thames seems to be a bad defensive outfielder, without a great arm.

    Is he likely to end up in left, with Wells moving to right?

  17. raul_podzednick on July 30th, 2012 11:42 pm

    Does Iwakuma all of the sudden have trade value?

    He’s on a one year deal and just struck out 13 Blue Jays.

  18. nwade on July 31st, 2012 12:26 am

    raul – You think teams will want to talk Iwakuma when Vargas (and other SPs around the league) are still available? At the risk of sounding like Dave (when I don’t have the cred to come off as brash as him): You might want to check your forehead for a fever.

  19. Marinerman1979 on July 31st, 2012 1:25 am

    Thames? Ugh. I wanted Snider, bad. How fucking lame.

  20. Marinerman1979 on July 31st, 2012 1:33 am

    And that Brandon Belt thing….wow would I love to have him. LOVE<— Not holding my breath though.

  21. SonOfZavaras on July 31st, 2012 3:25 am

    Oh, and Thames will take Carlos Peguero‘s spot on the roster. He was seen shaking hands with his teammates after the game – at least, when he was able to make contact with their hands.

    Ohhhhhhh, SNAP. Cold blooded! (My hat’s off to you on that one, Dave. If only it didn’t ring so true…)

  22. vetted_coach on July 31st, 2012 7:14 am

    Hard to understand all the bad-mouthing of Robinson. But where oh where will our genius manager find a lefty to play RF?

  23. G-Man on July 31st, 2012 7:41 am

    I am pleasantly surprised that they got that much for League.

    The Peguero line is gold!

  24. MrZDevotee on July 31st, 2012 8:39 am

    Unfortunately, handshaking stabilizes pretty quickly as a stat, and if he hasn’t figured out how to improve his handshaking contact rate at this point, it’s just not likely to happen. Watching him go up there 5 times a night and just flat flail at hands that weren’t even being offered to him has gotten unbearable to watch.

    (And even don’t get me started on Trayvon, he can’t even regularly hit the cutoff hand… Fundamentals, please. *sigh*)

    ***Sorry, but pre-coffee the Peguero joke totally cracked me up, Dave. Priceless! I had to run with it…***

  25. Jordan on July 31st, 2012 9:07 am

    Run with it? Now there’s something Olivo can do! Who needs a basestealer?

  26. Jay R. on July 31st, 2012 9:38 am

    Are you implying that all the bases stolen when Olivo is catching are an inside job, and that he is part of the conspiracy? That would explain so much…

    Great line about Peguero. Mocha in my nose. Not holding out too much hope for any of the returns, but I guess I like to see GMZ trying. Sad that even that is a positive these days.

  27. henryv on July 31st, 2012 9:50 am

    Hard to understand all the bad-mouthing of Robinson. But where oh where will our genius manager find a lefty to play RF?

    Robinson is a slap hitter with little to no power and a strikeout problem that is nearly as bad as Peguero’s. Not kidding/exaggerating, either. His strike out rate was 43% last year, while Peguero’s was only 37%.

    It seems unwise to have all 3 starting OF positions be left-handed. Robinson is a switch hitter, so he is “good enough” for that duty. But given that Wells is better against righties than most of the team is against everyone, I think Wells should just stick in right field, except for a few days off.

  28. henryv on July 31st, 2012 9:56 am

    Wow, Jesus Montero should never be able to face righties. I knew his splits were bad, but come on, Jesus.

  29. NRFully on July 31st, 2012 10:00 am

    THANK GOD Peguero got sent down! I literally can’t watch when he comes up. I can even feel Dave Cameron cringing every time he steps into the box. Bottom line losing Delabar for a guy who’s an obvious upgrade (Thames) from Peguero is a win in my book. But Dave, I still disagree with you about T. Robinson. His sample size isn’t large enough nor bad enough for your comments on how bad you think he is……

  30. henryv on July 31st, 2012 10:28 am

    Miguel Olivo’s contact rate is 68.2% career.
    Treyvon Robinson’s is 67.1%.
    League average sits at about 80%.

    While his sample size for at bats might be low, his fundamentals that have higher sample sizes (as well as all that time in AAA) are pretty darn bad, too.

    Now hopefully he can develop a little bit better plate discipline and improve his contact rate inside the strike zone, in which case he might become a poor man’s (2012) Ichiro, without the arm.

  31. eponymous coward on July 31st, 2012 10:50 am

    His sample size isn’t large enough nor bad enough for your comments on how bad you think he is…

    His minor league stats aren’t all that. Lifetime OPS of .786 (well below Carp’s, FYI, and he’s only two years younger at 24, so it’s not like he’s some kid who is young for the league they are in), and the only places he’s hit for real power are the Cal League and Albuquerque in AAA, which basically proves nothing (read: bandbox parks where even guys like Willie Bloomquist have produced “impressive” stats).

    raul – You think teams will want to talk Iwakuma when Vargas (and other SPs around the league) are still available? At the risk of sounding like Dave (when I don’t have the cred to come off as brash as him): You might want to check your forehead for a fever.

    I won’t be surprised if Vargas and Millwood are still on the roster at the end of the day. This year’s M’s rotation is quite clearly worse than last year’s, and taking out the veteran innings eaters when you just traded out some bullpen depth is asking for another late-season beatdown, where the roster gets the joy of the prospect of a 90+-loss season. There is some value in letting a team try and finish out the season respectably, so that you’re only trying to take a 75 win team up 10+ wins (the Oakland scenario for most years), not a 70 win team 15+ wins (typically what Seattle and KC are looking at). This team doesn’t have a good rotation at the moment- it looks OK only because Safeco is masking things.

    Sure, if someone wants to overpay, take the talent and run, but right now, the rotation is not a strength of this team, and wouldn’t be going into 2013, even if you assume that someone from the minors can come up and contribute, and robbing Peter on pitching to pay Paul on offense is just rearranging deck chairs, it’s not righting the ship.

  32. MrZDevotee on July 31st, 2012 11:10 am

    I REALLY liked Trayvon when he first showed up via trade, but first time I saw him go back on a ball by twisting his body one way, then turning back round the other way, only to need to run back around to the direction he started, only to NOT make the catch… (sigh) that raised gigantic, hard swallow, spit take, red flags.

    “Well, HE’s not the answer in left.” (although I think he was playing center at the time)

    Pretty sure Peguero let out a sigh of relief at the same time.

    Great kid, great story– career minor leaguer as a future, most likely. Although once the position players are stocked in the minors he probably won’t last at AAA either, and no reason to move him backwards.

    His best future might be trying to learn 2nd base, and working to become a “utility guy”.

  33. Johnny Slick on July 31st, 2012 11:20 am

    The deal with Tray on is that last year he showed he might have turned a corner regarding power. I can definitely see the 2011 model looking like Cammy without the D. Unfortunately he took asstep backwards. It happens.

  34. eponymous coward on July 31st, 2012 11:41 am

    The deal with Tray on is that last year he showed he might have turned a corner regarding power.

    Go look at the Isotope team stats last year. A .900 OPS was nothing special on that team.

    When I see stats like that, at a time where the average MLB OPS is well under .750, there are two possibilities:

    - this is a very talented minor league team with a lot of special hitters, or
    - this is a joke of a league/ballpark.

    Given a team record of 69-75 and a pitching staff that allowed 6 runs a game, I’m going to pick option 2.

  35. Johnny Slick on July 31st, 2012 3:27 pm

    I agree, EC; nevertheless, he did show a little power that, park effects or no, went away.

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