Seattle Mariners… Trade Bait
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on September 23, 2006
Untouchable – would not trade unless Albert Pujols is involved
1. Felix Hernandez – Okay, I’d deal him for Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Anibal Sanchez, too, but you get the point. Hernandez, despite the 4.65 ERA, has had a solid season. He’s still getting ground ball outs (2.40), can still pile up the missed bats (8.27/9) and posted a promising 4.25 ERA after the all-star break.
Furthermore, Hernandez posted a 3.92 FIP and though his line drive percentage raised to 18% (from 14% last year) and his G/F rate did dip by nearly one full point, all signs still point to Felix becoming the ace everyone thought he would.
Not Available – would only trade in a can’t-miss deal for major upgrades to offense or rotation, i.e. for Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy or Dontrelle Willis.
1. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS – Find me another 24-year-old first-year
Gold Platinum Glove shortstop who posted a .400+ slugging percentage while hitting .290 or better and I’ll trade Betancourt for him. Until then, I’ll keep my $350k Cuban, thank you.
2. J.J. Putz, Closer – Same with Betancourt, but Putz is likely to get a multi-year deal this winter that will cloud his economic value, but certainly not his value on the field. He’s about as good as there is in baseball and he’s peaking as a pitcher right now. *No need to trade arms like that, even when they start making a few million per year.
3. Jose Lopez, 2B – Even though he’s not Miguel Tejada at the plate, he’s going to be pretty good. He hasn’t homered since June 2, but he’s fought off frustration to climb to the .290 range. One day he’ll learn to draw a few walks, but since he doesn’t fan much, either, his power will more than make up for his lack in walkage.
4. Kenji Johjima, C – Don’t expect Johjima to hit .290/.340/.460 every year… but he might do it anyway. He’s exceeded most projections by 10 percent or more. Defensively, he’s getting there, but will never be the gold glover he was in Japan.
For the offensive value he brings to the table for $5.5 mil per year, he’s a keeper. Oh, and, he could be THE single most important factor in the Daisuke Matsuzaka situation, where the “posting process” is a joke and DM will play where he WANTS to play.
Available for upgrades to offense, rotation
1. Rafael Soriano, RHP – Still a candidate to return to the rotation at some point, Soriano has the right kind of value that should prompt the club to think about dealing him for a bat. He’s arbitration eligible and will approach the $1.5 million mark in an arby-driven one-year deal, but in a package deal could bring back a nice hitter.
I wouldn’t trade him just to trade him, but I’d be more than willing to part with the right-hander in the right trade.
2. George Sherrill, LHP – Sherrill isn’t someone that has the value Soriano has, so he’s got to be the second or third part of a bigger trade package, but could be the “make” portion of a pretty big deal. Everyone says lefty relievers fall off trees, well, not good ones that aren’t making any money.
Like Soriano, barring that big trade for the right bat, I keep Sherrill. But I’m not afraid to include him in talks.
SHOULD be Available, but won’t be…
1. Ichiro, CF – Ichiro, as a center fielder, has more value today than he has had since 2003. The club will never trade him, but they should listen to what they might be able to get. Just for kicks.
2. Raul Ibanez, OF/DH – Ibanez is nearly as untouchable as Ichiro, and for some of the same reasons. Ibanez is having a career year, and is unlikely to repeat them in 2007 and beyond. This is exactly why he SHOULD be dealt for pitching, but the club’s suits value his leadership, boyscout actions and the connection he has with the Latin community.
More than willing to trade, but not willing to include cash, must get decent return
1. Richie Sexson, 1B – I know he’s due $28 million over the next two years, but unless someone is willing to part with a legit pitching prospect or two, I’m really not interested. Money is not the M’s problem and saving payroll space only helps if you have someone besides Matsuzaka to spend it on.
If Detroit wants to part with Humberto Sanchez for Sexson and Reed… done. If Baltimore wants to send some of their minor league pitching out west, I’ll consider that. But I;m not including cash, and the Mariners shouldn’t even dream of doing so.
More than willing to trade, will include some cash
1. Jarrod Washburn, LHP – No team is going to touch Washburn unless the Mariners make him a market value attraction, and that’s asking too much. What’s Washburn worth? Five million a year, maybe six max? That would require the club to send off $9-12 million in cash, which isn’t realistic in any scenario.
Perhaps a team would be willing to take $6 mil in cash if the Mariners sent a prospect with him, but he’s nearly untradable.
2. Adrian Beltre, 3B – Again, there’s no way a ton of cash should leave Seattle in a deal for Beltre, and the return must make sense, especially after Beltre’s season.
Since June 1, Beltre is slugging .523, tops in the AL for third baseman. And you won’t find many third-sackers with a better glove. Still, if the M’s can get something for him without piling on a big giant check, they’d really have to consider that strongly, especially since he’s owed $11.75 mil per season through 2009.
Will trade for next to nothing
1. Jake Woods, LHP – Someone is going to come calling. He’s a lefthander who’s average. Teams will want that, for some reason.
2. Julio Mateo, RHP – Might be included in a backside deal, but there isn’t much value here, though he’smaking only 800 grand.
3. Willie Bloomquist, UT – With the right team, Bloomquist is a fine member of the 25-man roster. Since he’s got zero trade value, it’s probably better to just build a good team so Willie’s presence makes more sense. He doesn’t hit much, but he’s a sensational baserunner and can steal a meaningful base late in games.
Might add some value to a package deal, if healthy
1. Jeremy Reed, CF – His health is a concern, but since he’s making the minimum, Reed might interest an NL team in a package deal. Wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up in Cincinnati, Florida or Pittsburgh.
2. Chris Snelling, RF – Snelling isn’t likely to be traded and probably wouldn’t bring back a whole lot, considering his own medical history, but if for whatever reason the M’s had no need for a .290/.390/.460 bat from the left side (ha!), some club might part with a pretty good A ball prospect or two.
Snelling can hit, and is part of the answer, not part of the problem. Trading him makes little sense.
1. Adam Jones, CF – I wouldn’t trade Jones unless that no-brainer deal comes along, which means unless I’m getting a fairly cheap MOTO bat or frontline starter that is under 30 and under contract/team control, I’m not even talking about it.
2. Jeff Clement, C/DH – Ditto here, but with other catching options in the organization, Clement ca be had for the right price. By no means is he untouchable. But he’s still a good bet to hit and in a few years, he might be the club’s No. 1 catcher.