The Counter-Blockbuster: Why the Mariners Would Do It

640px-blockbuster_birkenhead_5-e1404751685642== Six for two, really? ==

Really.

  • Because this is the year to make a strong move forward.  The first half could have collapsed at various times, but fortunately it didn’t.  But the second half can’t rely on good fortune alone.
  • Because the A’s added two very good pitchers to give themselves a very good playoff rotation.  Seattle could add a great pitcher to give themselves a great playoff rotation.
  • Because the Mariners very much need an outfielder who can contribute from the right side of the plate.  There aren’t a lot of choices, but Desmond Jennings fits the bill.
  • Because the Mariners have a “maldistribution” of resources.  It doesn’t do them any good to have a multitude of right-handed relievers or emerging shortstops.  They need to convert their surpluses into resources that plug their deficits.

The first three are pretty self-explanatory, but the fourth requires some discussion:

Rotation

Roenis Elias has been a life-saver, and he’s very good.  But do you trust him in your playoff rotation?  Is he better than Taijuan Walker and James Paxton?  Walker is good enough that I would protect him from even a blockbuster deal.  But not Elias.

Right-handed Relievers

The bullpen was already first-rate.  But Brandon Maurer “finding” his high-90s stuff with effective secondary pitches provides even more surplus.

But not just that.  There are three pitchers at Tacoma who are probably just as good as the guys in the majors: Stephen Pryor (when healthy), Carson Smith, and Stephen Kohlscheen.

Too many relievers to ever use at one time.

Emerging Middle Infielders

Second base is, obviously, not going to be vacant for a long time.  And maybe not shortstop either.  But here’s Nick Franklin with excellent power from the left side, and no place to show it (.190 Tacoma ISO).  And Chris Taylor has hit better than anyone expected.  Plus 20-year-old Ketel Marte has learned to hit some, and is known as a glove wizard.  And farther down there are yet more interesting middle-infield types.

Taylor will probably latch on with the Big Club as a RH-hitting alternative to the lefty-dominated infield, but there won’t be room for the others.

Rising RH hitters

D.J. Peterson leads the pack, but, even with splashy Jabari Blash on suspension, there are a host of others coming up.  Austin Wilson and Tyler O’Neill are already making a mark, and teenagers Alex Jackson and Gareth Morgan could move up fast (particularly Jackson).  That means guys like Patrick KivlehanJabari Henry, Dan Paolini and Gabriel Guerrero are going to get squeezed down the pecking order.

If one of them can be used to make a deal, then let’s do it.

Center Fielders

Abe Almonte got Penciled in during April, before losing the job to James Jones.  But it just as easily could have been Xavier Avery.  And not that long ago, Leon Landry was considered better than any of them.

Almonte is surplus at this point, and his strong June may give him some trade value.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Counter-Blockbuster: Why the Mariners Would Do It

  1. I am pretty sure I would do this trade, but it sure brings back memories about the last time Seattle traded for a pitcher (Bedard), giving up 5 prospects. The whole blogosphere seemed incensed due to the “number” or prospects/players we gave up (not necessarily the “quality”). Would hate to see that erupt again (I know, GMZ is not Bavasi, thank goodness).

    • I was Ok with the trade until I saw Sherrill included, because if you are putting the chips in to win now, you don’t include players who you need now, and Sherrill was our lefty bullpen guy. Turned out, we needed him pretty bad as Putz was hurting and Sherrill was not only closing for Baltimore but shutting us down in that role as well. Then Bedard went down. It was a risky trade due to Bedard’s history of injury, but mostly due to the way it depleted our talent base. This year is different in the latter regard. Any pitcher is a risk, however.

      Price is pretty darn sturdy, however. But Jennings is the swing vote in my mind. Love to have him. But…even as a rental, it seems the M’s may not want to commit to Price’s salary. Sure wish I knew what those guys upstairs were thinking, and working on.

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