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Trade Assets and Ideas: Part 1

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on May 16, 2006

Contray to the skeptical beliefs of many, including those at the Lord Byron levels, the Seattle Mariners have the necessary assets to make impact trades.

But there's a catch. Two in fact.

One is money. Depending on who the bait is, there may have to be a little cash leaving PO Box 4100 with the player in question in order to even out the deal. Or the M's may need to be willing to take on a contract that may otherwise seem a bit unreasonable.

The other catch is that the M's would have to maximize the value of their assets from now until the trades are to be made, and then be willing to part with them when the time comes.

There's only one untouchable, and that's Felix Hernandez.

Another kid is close to that status – Jose Lopez, the team's best player right now.

As I believe I have stated before somewhere, everyone else can be had.

We all know Ichiro is NOT going to be dealt, so discussing that idea is moot. And Kenji Johjima, for similar reasons, is not headed out of town.

Jarrod Washburn isn't going anywhere, not with that price tag.

Adrian Beltre is close to un-tradable – but not quite 100% immovable.

Jamie Moyer has a full no-trade clause as a 10-5 guy, or shall I say a 20-10 guy. Does that mean he should get to pick the team he gets traded to regardless of whether the other club even wants him?

Richie Sexson would be somewhat tough to deal from both ends. He's making a lot of money and isn't hitting these days, but he's also a key in the immediate future of the club. The likely return on the firstbaseman – and his contract – wouldn't likely be sufficient.
For whatever reason, Raul Ibanez appears to be the favorite son of the Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln's of the world, so barring a no-brainer offer, he's not going anywhere, either.

What's that you say? Nobody else on the club has any value?

That's not true. It's just not true at all.

Joel Pineiro has some value. Gil Meche has some value. Yuniesky Betancourt has good value and a cheap contract. Eddie Guardado (remember the catches mentioned above)

Matt Lawton is making beans and can help a contender as a major bat off the bench. Backup catcher Rene Rivera is redundant in this organization because he'll always be a backup here with Johjima and two quality catching prospects around, but there are clubs who think he can turn into a decent starter, particularly for a young club.

And there is some pieces in the minors that can polish off a trade.

What the M's should be looking for:

1. Power – Left-handed, right-handed, whatever. Legit 30+ home run power.

2. Starting pitching – Preferably those whose clocks have either just begun this season, or have yet to be set off.

3. Many other areas such as veteran middle infield reserve, left-handed reliever, right-handed bench bat… but those are a dime a dozen – almost literally.

Tomorrow, the ideas flow in.


19 Responses to “Trade Assets and Ideas: Part 1”

  1. Willmore said

    I hope they don’t trade Betancourt. I understand that Asdrubal is knocking on the door, but I just don’t want us to pass up on an Omar Vizquel at shortstop for the next dozen years.

  2. StandinPat said

    “Starting pitching – Preferably those whose clocks have either just begun this season, or have yet to be set off.”

    Any ideas so far? I have no doubt the M’s could add this type of player, but who exactly is out there that fits this criteria? I’d love to have at least 3 Brewers pitchers, but they aint goin anywhere. Seems like good young pitchers on good young teams arent going to be parted with, so it’d have to be a AAA pitcher on a veteran club.

  3. I have ideas. Some risk to them, but there always is. But they are cheap risks.

    Capuano is going nowhere, Sheets just re-upped but Davis is no sure thing to return, though he wants to.

    And I'm not looking for aces. Just middle of the rotation types. I already plan on having Felix and Daisuke lead my staff.

    I'll have that list up tomorrow.

    But here's a hint — Chris Young, the right-hander SD got from Texas for Adam Eaton is the type I'm talking about.  Ready to ripen, progress has been made and 2007 could be the year he gets things going.  And even though his clock has started, he's still a few years from being expensive.

    Of course, Young isn't really available now, he's just the example. 

    Anywhere from year one to year three.  Age isn't a concern.

  4. Willmore said

    I’ve got three names for targets at SP:

    Dave Bush. Yuo might have mentioned him somewhere, or someone else did, I don’t remeber but he is a guy I wouldn’t mind fior the Meche relacement.

    Chien-Ming Wang. Though the Yankees need pitching, and will not give him up, he’s a guy that I like a lot.

    Sean Marshall. A rookie, just 23 and is showing decent enough numbers. He was a peretty studdly pitcher in the minors by the look of it, so not sure how we can get him, but I would like him very much.

    None of them will light my pants on fire but as the #4-5 starter next year, they would be amazing. All young, yearly in career with very good upside.

    Oh, if only GMs were hand puppets and under our full control. Hmmm … and idea. Let’s take Walt Jocketty hostage and force him to trade Adrian Beltre, Gil Meche and Richie Sexson for Mark Mulder, Albert Pujols and Anthony Reyes. Then turn around and trade peanuts for Johan Santana … then peanuts for A-Rod … and Miguel Cabrera … and Jake Peavy … and we’ll be the Champions of the World.

    Well … now I need to take my meds and go to sleepy town.

  5. Jerry said

    If I were the M’s, I would be open to taking on a contract in the right situation. There are a lot of players out there that have albatross contracts, and would seem like insane players to go after. However, if the M’s were also moving a bad contract or two, and/or the other team picked up some of the bill, those moves could work.

    I see the M’s mainly as sellers at the trade deadline. If the M’s are going to be moving guys like Meche, Pineiro, and Guardado, that will clear a lot of money. Thus, they could afford to take on a contract this year.

    Here are some examples. I know that you guys will say “WHAT!?!” at a few, but hear me out.

    Eric Milton, Reds. Sure, he has one of the worst contracts out there. But here is why I think that he could be good: 1) as a flyball pitcher, he is currently in the worst situation possible for him in Cincinnati; 2) related to the first point, he would be well-suited to Safeco; 3) the Reds would love to ditch is contract, which includes 10 million in 2007; 4) that contract is a lot more pallatable if the Reds chip in a few million.

    This could also be made into a blockbuster: Sexson, Ibanez, and Pineiro to the Reds for Adam Dunn and Eric Milton.

    Carl Pavano: this could work if the Yankees eat a HUGE chunk of his contract. Pavano’s stock cannot really get any lower. The Yankees could also be interested in Meche, Pineiro, Guardado and/or Ibanez. This could also be turned into a blockbuster: Pavano, OF Jose Tabata, OF Melky Cabrera, and 3B Eric Duncan for Ibanez, Guardado, and Pineiro. The Yanks would kick in a lot of $$$ for Pavano in 2007 and 2008.

    A lot of times, picking up big-paycheck players can really work out well. Look at how the Jim Thome trade has played out for the ChiSox. The M’s should be looking to sell off veterans, get younger, and add talent to the organization. But if the right deal comes along, they shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk on a veteran in a bad situation. Those types of trades can turn into absolute steals.

  6. How much money did Philly send with Thome? I can’t recall. I believe he was the only 10M$+ per year guy dealt last offseason?

  7. Andren said

    Everett is a necessary trade commodity IMO. He’s put together a respectable start to the season and can help somebody at the deadline.

    I’d like to see us move Everett, Guardado, Ibanez, Meche and I guess Pineiro (his contract situation). That’s a lot of contract space.

    We need power coming from LF and DH and solid starting pitching, unfortunately I don’t think any of these guys are going to get it done. At some point I guess we should consider Cabrera (who I really like and don’t want to trade) or a Rob Johnson.

    It’s nice to see us beginning to develop some depth in the minors, but that does us no good if we won’t be able to move them up and we have such gaping holes at the major league level.

  8. slim said

    How about Pineiro and Guardado (plus cash) to the Mets for Heilman and another B prospect?

    Carl Everett and Joel Pineiro to the Yankees for Pavano (plus cash) and a pitching prospect?

    Pineiro and Lawton to Atlanta for Kyle Davies?

    Beltre (plus cash) and Meche to the Giants for Feliz and Lowry?

  9. slim, you tend to know so I'll reask…how many 10M$ per year players were dealt this last offseason? What went both ways in those deals?

    here's the player, remaining contract, and percent paid by team sending for 2000 to 2005

    Sosa, 1yr 16.5M$, 59% paidBrown, 3 yrs 15.7M$, 29% paid

    Vazquez, 3 yrs 11.8M$, 14% paid

    A-Rod, 7 yrs 25M$, 38% paid

    Johnson, 1 yr 16M$, 75% paid

    Schilling, 1 yr 12M$, 9% paid

    Hampton, 6 year 13.5M$, 66% paid total

    Nomar, 1yr 11.5M$, 100% paid

    Chan Ho, 2 yr 15M$, 56% paid

    Kendall, 3 yr 10.6M$, 43% paid

    Green, 1 yr 16M$, 50% paid

    Walker, 2 yr 12.5M$, 30% paid

    Hidalgo, 1 yr 12.5M$, 29% paid

    Vazquez to CWS, 2 ys 11.25M$, 28%

    Thome, 3yrs 14.17M$, 52%

    Delgado, 3 yrs 13M$, 18%

    In these 16 deals of the highest priced players the team sending them sends cash or takes back poor performing but not quite as highly paid players at 43.5% of remaining salary.

    Perspective on that is that if the Mariners deal Beltre to someone they should expect to include cash or underperforming contracts valuing 16.7M$ give or take a few million.

  10. johnb said

    I don’t know why people keep on bringing up Pavanno at this point. He is expensive, and has really underperformed for the lat year and a half in NY. We dodged a bullet on that one….I’m not buying that the problem is the environment rather than the player.

  11. StandinPat said

    Milton was a mid to high 4 ERA guy even in his best days in the AL. I dotn really see him being much better than that in an M’s uni, which isnt all that better than Meche right now, maybe good for an extra inning or two a game, and prob a step back from Piniero. The only way I’d take on Milton is if it got me something else of value from the Reds for taking their dregs. Dunn would be sweet, as would Encarnacion or even kearns for that matter.

  12. StandinPat said

    Along the CIncy lines…what about Harang? He’s a K machine will pretty good control, and is young enough that he is still getting better.

  13. johnb said

    Pitching isn’t our problem.

  14. But it will be when Moyer is done and Meche and/or Pineiro are gone. Can’t ignore it because it’s not problem TODAY.

    If you do, TOMORROW is gonna suck.

  15. Tommorrow needs at least two pitchers.

    Today and tommorrow both need at least one MOTO hitter.

  16. Re: Harang

    How ya gonna snatch him from a pitching starved organization?

  17. Bob Irish said

    For the 2006 season, pitching has not been the problem(Eddie excluded). It is a team-wide hitting slump. Right now there is only one spot in the lineup that can be improved(due to contract $, politics, or youth commitments). That is centerfield. Jeremy Reed will never be anything more than a 4th outfielder/late inning defensive replacement. M’s management is trying to force this guy into being a starter due to their poor trade of Garcia for basically nothing. He will never be a Crisp or Damon no matter how many AB’s the M’s invest in this guy. They should have given Lawton or Borchard a real shot at CF. But going forward, today, they need a left-handed OF with pop; But M’s management continue to play Reed ala Cirillo, Guardado, Ayala etc.

  18. Not true, Irish.

    LF can be upgraded.

  19. Mike said

    Why don`t the M`s trade Sexson if pitching is the problem trade him to the Giants or Yankees where you could get Pavano or on the Giants where you could get young pitching prospects

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