Arrivederci, Alex Liddi
About an hour after belatedly posting about trading international bonus pool slots, the Mariners decided to give us all an object lesson. Recently DFA’d 3B Alex Liddi’s been traded to Baltimore along with the M’s 3rd bonus pool slot in exchange for the Orioles’ 2nd slot. This bumps up the total bonus pool for the M’s, theoretically allowing them to grab a better prospect.
On the face of it, this is a poor return for the Italian. I know, I know, I overrated Liddi in part, so I *would* say that, wouldn’t I? But Eric Thames had similar contact issues and played worse defense at a position lower on the defensive spectrum, and he was DFA’d at the time of his trade to the exact same Orioles club – and he returned a very good org player in Ty Kelly. Kelly’s not exactly Nick Castellanos, but that seemed like a fair deal for both sides. In this case, Alex Liddi appears to have been traded for just shy of $75,000 dollars to spend on a Venezuelan 16 year old. We’re a few days past the anniversary of Felix Hernandez’s signing with the M’s, so it’s not like I’m categorically against signing Venezuelan 16 year olds, but c’mon. People always talk about trading someone for a bag of baseballs, but this return is crying out to be translated into bags of baseball terms.
The O’s are trying to collect the set of failed Mariner prospects, having picked up Trayvon Robinson in spring training (for Robert Andino), then grabbing Eric Thames a week or two ago (for Ty Kelly), and now Liddi (50 bags of 100 baseballs @ $15/ball). The AL East has been a popular destination for M’s cast-offs, with Shawn Kelley of the Yankees striking out nearly as many as Steve Delabar for Toronto, while Mike Carp enjoys a breakout season in Boston.
See you later, Alex Liddi. I know it was tough being a 3B in this org behind Kyle Seager, but, uh, you see who Baltimore’s got at 3B, right? Here’s hoping Machado moves back to SS when JJ Hardy’s contract is up and Liddi gets a chance to at least back up at 3B. The O’s could actually use more IF depth with Ryan Flaherty/Danny Valencia the current back-ups. And here’s hoping the M’s made this move with a particular prospect in mind, and that this is part of a calculated effort to sign someone they think is worth it. Given the minimal impact of this move on their bonus pool, I’d tend to doubt this interpretation, but who knows.