Arrivederci, Alex Liddi

marc w · July 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


19 Responses to “Arrivederci, Alex Liddi”

  1. _Hutch_ on July 6th, 2013 1:44 pm

    The contact issues have been frustrating, but with that power this guy just smells like the type of M’s prospect that could take an unexpected step forward and turn into a nice player. Good move, O’s.

  2. bfgboy on July 6th, 2013 2:11 pm

    I hope that Alex does hit a ton, not just because he was a class guy. This seems like the ultimate slap in the face. “We traded you for the right to spend money on somebody else.” It’s not even that they sold him outright like Carp. In the end, they will literally pay $75,000 to get rid of him. Somebody please convince me that this is not another bonehead trade.

  3. smb on July 6th, 2013 2:51 pm

    Yeah you nailed it, marc…bag o’ balls. And shouldn’t we be more wary of the O’s by now? They are winning with ex-Mariners who were traded for rapidly depreciating or replacement-level assets to begin with, and who are no longer with the team. I know he’s Liddi and to an extent we know what he is, so I guess I’ll try to convince myself there’s a guy they love who they can now get with the extra cash that they feel they couldn’t sign without it. I sure hope so, anyway.

  4. paracorto on July 6th, 2013 3:07 pm

    Addio, Seattle

  5. roosevelt on July 6th, 2013 3:10 pm

    I make this bold prediction:

    Within two years Liddi will be hitting the ball out of Baltimore Stadium like Chris Davis.

  6. scraps on July 6th, 2013 4:16 pm

    That’s a pretty bold prediction, yeah; I wonder how long the odds are for Alex Liddi in two years becoming the best home run hitter in baseball.

  7. Bodhizefa on July 6th, 2013 4:17 pm

    Liddi is nothing like Davis, roosevelt. Liddi’s strikeout rates were some of the worst I’ve ever seen in the minors and he doesn’t have 80 rated power like Davis (even when Davis was a prospect, he was given an 80 grade in power by many scouts). I know you’re never supposed to say never when it comes to prospect development, but there is just no way Liddi ever turns into anything like Chris Davis.

  8. Westside guy on July 6th, 2013 7:05 pm

    Hopefully the Orioles are sane enough to never run Liddi out into left field.

  9. djw on July 6th, 2013 8:43 pm

    You’re still overrating Liddi. Chances of him making a modest positive contribution to a ML team remain extremely slim.

  10. GLS on July 6th, 2013 8:55 pm

    The 75K might mean more than we know. All of the teams are dealing with the constraints of the new system and so the market is probably sorting itself out. There was a piece a few days ago on mlbtr about how the Cubs were ~13% over their alloted bonus pool, which would cost them a 100% tax on the overage and would keep them from signing a player next year for more than $500K. It could be that the Mariners have a similar scenario in mind with a player they would like to sign, and that the 75K keeps them just under that same threshold. Or, they could have some sort of deal pending with the Cubs or another team that needs the cap space.

  11. dnc on July 6th, 2013 10:14 pm

    ” I know, I know, I overrated Liddi in part”

    In part? Pretty sure those last two words are unnecessary. 😉

  12. henryv on July 6th, 2013 10:32 pm

    Just FYI, that works out to about 4400 new baseballs, for the ones they use for games. (Before the value added by rubbing them in mud, of course.)

  13. Woodcutta on July 7th, 2013 4:46 am

    Anyone know what international players the M’s were looking at? There are two OF (Eloy Jimenez and Leonardo Molina) in the top five that are currently unsigned. Jimenez is supposed to already be a good hitter.

  14. bfgboy on July 7th, 2013 8:38 am

    Jimenez signed with the Cubs, and I believe I read that Molina signed with the Yankees. If you saw BA’s list, I think there are only three of the top 25 unsigned.

  15. bfgboy on July 7th, 2013 8:45 am

    The two left on the BA list are:
    #4 Luis Encarnacion (3B)
    #23 Jen-Ho Tseng (RHP)

  16. jeffs98119 on July 7th, 2013 5:57 pm

    No way MLB pays $15 a ball–more like $5 a ball, so that’s 150 bags. Pretty good!

  17. Woodcutta on July 7th, 2013 6:16 pm

    There is no news on Molina on BA as far as I can tell. Jimenez is rumored to have signed with the Cubs but nothing has officially been announced.

  18. henryv on July 8th, 2013 12:11 am

    Here it is at Amazon…

    Rawlins Official MLB Ball

    And they actually don’t come in bags, but rather dozens in boxes.

  19. MKT on July 8th, 2013 5:52 pm

    That’s the retail price. I’d be floored if MLB teams pay that much when they buy baseballs.

    I had a nephew who, simply by working as an intern at General Electric for a summer, got something like a 40% discount on buying GE appliances. Insiders pay a whole lot less than retail.

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