Flipping Nick Franklin for an OF ++++
We’ve been saying this was necessary since — what? — February?
OK, it was March 12.
Franklin is very good, and, as we detailed, is having a great year at AAA (which he should be). But he had slipped behind both Brad Miller and Chris Taylor with Seattle, and all that was left for the Mariners was to cash him in for something needed.
Like an everyday starting outfielder, preferably hitting from the right side.
Keeping Taijuan Walker ++++
Sure, maybe a tad of Walker’s Chuck-Norris-invincibility veneer has been chipped away (who started that stuff anyway?), but you can, if you wish, check out the track record of pitchers who reach AAA by age 21 and hold their own. It’s pretty much a given that they’ll get Cy Young votes eventually.
Walker, of course, is more raw than Roenis Elias … why wouldn’t he be? But everything is still there.
If Jack Zduriencik drew the line at both Walker and Franklin for David Price, then that was the right line to draw.
Salvaging a solid result out of the Price negotiations +++
The Rays have outfielders, and a couple more on the way, and Seattle has infielders …. so credit Zduriencik for capitalizing on the situation and salvaging a positive result with the Rays.
For Z to lose Price and just end up with Chris Denorfia would have spawned some ugliness for sure.
Austin Jackson is a solid consolation prize.
No “impact” player – – –
Of course, you can’t trade for an impact player if there’s no impact player to trade for.
But there certainly was good reason to aim for an offensive player who would apply jumper cables to the stalled-out offense.
That didn’t happen. At the same time, no one else got a player of that nature unless you count the Red Sox getting Yoenis Cespedes (but that wasn’t really the same thing).
Jackson and Denorfia will have to be incremental progress.
And maybe the offense isn’t as bad as it’s looked. Maybe. We’ll get to that issue in this space soon.
Loss of Abe Almonte –
We like Abe, but he’d already fallen behind James Jones, and maybe Xavier Avery too … and that was before Austin Jackson arrived.
So he was “surplus.”
Loss of Stephen Kohlscheen – –
Kohlscheen was a “plateau leap” guy who was putting up very strong numbers on his way up the ladder.
But the ladder he was on (right-handed reliever) had a bunch of guys clogging the top (and even more guys coming up from below).
That’s why you have a “pipeline” — so you always have more guys coming up than you need.
Kohlscheen made himself into something of value (as a 45th-round draft pick!), but in a world in which Carson Smith is still sitting at Tacoma, he had a hard road just to get to the door, let alone break through it.
Maybe he’ll make it as a Padre, which would be cool.
At the end, more pluses than minuses in my book.