Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jones for Bedard finalized....

So the most postponed trade in MLB history finally went down today.

First of all, the Mariners paid too much for Bedard; let's just get that out of the way. The Mariners sent:
  • Adam Jones - RF
  • George Sherrill - LHP
  • Chris Tillman - RHP
  • Tony Butler - LHP
  • Kam Mickolio - RHP
5 players, two of which are major leaguers now, three of which are highly rated within the organization, is a lot for anybody. If the trade package was the same for Albert Pujols, then I might think that it was ok, but even for Johan Santana this would have been a lot. As I have pointed out before, Minnesota received less for Santana.

Being that we have that out of the way, let's get something else cleared up, this is not a terrible trade. Right now, we don't know that Tillman, Butler, or Mickolio will turn out to be decent major leaguers. I think that at least one of them will, but nobody knows for sure. We do know that George Sherrill is a very good bullpen arm, and we do know that Adam Jones plays the outfield very well. But we also know that Bedard is very good. The guy is a strikeout machine, puts up wins, and doesn't give up a ton of runs.

To be perfectly honest, we do not know that Jones is going to be a good major league hitter. I think that he's going to be really good, but I haven't seen his numbers for 2008, 2009, or 2010 yet, so I can't be 100% sure about that. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and he'll pull a Ken Griffey Jr, and just never be healthy for the Orioles. As a fan of the Mariners, not the Orioles, that wouldn't hurt my feelings. Of course, being an Adam Jones fan, obviously that would suck if he got hurt.

I think that this trade doesn't have "bad" written all over it for one simple reason. These guys are prospects. The Mariners have been failing for the last 6 years to produce solid prospects, instead giving us a lot of hype and excuses (or if they do have good prospects, they can't get anything out of them). The Mariners have had a ton of over-hyped young players, mostly pitchers, and very few of them have panned out. To be able to trade guys who may be good for a guy who is good, you can't hate that. While the guys at USS Mariner have been screaming and yelling about how much they hate this trade and it sucks, keep in mind that they also hated the prospect of trading Jeremy Reed for Jon Papelbon, a view which I shared at the time. In hindsight, had the Mariners made that trade, we'd be going into this year with Papelbon as our #1, Felix our #2, Ichiro playing CF, Adam Jones in RF, and maybe a young arm like Morrow as our #5. While none of us are always right, sometimes you have to gamble to get ahead. Without risk, there's no reward.

On the Mariners website they have an article talking about how the "Mariners Batters Endorse Bedard." Sounds like a good enough title, but the problem is, the players they quote are The Ignitor and The Thief. The guy who hit .205 last year has a tough time hitting Bedard?! Really?!! I won't say anything about The Ignitor here, as he hit 35% better than Sexson, and more than that, at least he was trying. It's not his fault he's a AAAA player.

There's been a lot made of how the Mariners are going to fare next season. Some of the more projected-stats-oriented blogs are saying the Mariners are going to be worse than last year. While I can't say that I have some statistical model, that nobody has ever heard of, to back me up, I just can't see the Mariners being worse than last year. Getting Weaver out of the rotation really is probably 4 or 5 wins right there, whether the projection models say so or not. Those games were brutal, and it's hilarious that people have so quickly forgotten that. On top of that, getting HoRam out of the rotation should be good, though I won't say that Silva will do substantially better. I am bummed out by the Wilkerson signing, as I said before we have the talent to fill that hole as well as he can. I also dislike the Cairo signing, as I absolutely don't buy into the idea that his presence is going to push Lopez to hit better. I don't see Vidro hitting worse than last year, and the same goes for most of the rest of the team, except for Sexson. I think he's going to hit .203, the difference this year is that I'm hoping McLaren learned his lesson last year, and doesn't let Sexson stink up the ballpark all year long. If he sucks, put him on the bench. That'll be a real incentive to get better, being that this year is his contract year.

Being that as it may, I do think that the Mariners will be at least an 85 win team, barring any major injuries.

This Jones+ for Bedard trade is going to be interesting for a long time. I can't wait to see Bedard on Opening Day, and I hope that Jones does well as an Oriole. Much like when the Mariners moved Chris Snelling, I'm totally bummed that a young guy who came up through the system that I liked and hoped was going to rock as an M, is now gone. I know that I won't even have to search for how the guys we gave up do as Orioles, since the blogging community will have that covered for me, but for sure, this story isn't over yet.

Let's hope that this time we made the right move.

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