Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The long, cold winter....

The Mariners intra-division rival, the Oakland A's, today completed a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for CF Milton Bradley and INF Antonio Perez, for a minor-league CF.

Remember the name Antonio Perez? If you don't, that's ok, it's been a while since he was on many people's radar. Antonio Perez was a Reds prospect who was one of the big pieces in the Ken Griffey Jr. trade. At the time he was 18 and everyone was sure that he was going to be Seattle's next A-rod. Of course that didn't happen. He was later traded to Tampa Bay, along with Manager Lou Pinella, in one of baseball's odder trades in recent years. LA got him from Tampa, and now he's made his was back to the AL West, with the Athletics.

Milton Bradley? He hit .290 last year with 13 HR in 75 games. He has excellent offensive skills and decent defense to go with it.

Why is any of this important? Mostly because Mariners fans keep reading articles about two things: Bill Bavasi telling reporters that he was REALLY close to a BUNCH of amazing deals which fell through at the last minute, and that Bavasi is close to signing everyone's favorite nice guy, Carl Everett.

Read: Bill Bavasi hasn't done ANYTHING this offseason, and isn't going to do anything. Yes, he has signed Kenji Jojima and Jamie Moyer. Moyer was representing himself, and said that he would have played somewhere else had the Mariners not signed him. Yeah right. And Jojima was a good move (hopefully), but it's not like he was going to sign elsewhere; he came to the US expecting to sign with the Mariners.

Bavasi has missed out on A.J. Burnett and Matt Morris, both of whom were very high on the off-season-priorities list in October. He's also indicated that he is not interested in signing Kevin Millwood or Jarod Washburn to the deals they're looking for.

What does all of this mean? Maybe they'll get lucky enough to bring back Paul Abbott before the season starts (they gave Aaron Sele a shot last year). While I refuse to write off next season, the A's have improved, the Angels haven't lost talent, and the Rangers aren't probably going to be a huge factor, which means that as of right now, things will probably shake out very similar to last year in the AL West unless Bavasi tries to get something done.


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