As probably all of my fellow diehard Mariner fans already know, the Mariners finally wrapped up the deal that sent Baltimore’s Erik Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.
I have been one of the many who has followed the rumors and news of this deal for about the past month and as my last post on it details I am fully in favor of the move. I think GM Bill Bavasi really did a great job in getting perhaps the best left-hander in the game today for only one of Seattle’s top prospects. At the beginning of the offseason everyone thought to get a deal like this done it was not only Jones that had to be dealt but Morrow, Clement and perhaps even Balentien as well. Well, guess what? The Mariners kept all of the latter three and each should have their hand in helping the Mariners be successful in 2008, not to mention 2009 and beyond.
My qualms are this:
- I hate giving Jones up. I really loved this kid and was hoping to get to see him play everyday for us but to get a pitcher this great that can take us to the World Series (with rotation we have now and the bullpen) you have to do it, you simply have to. I wish Jones all the best. I hope he goes on to become a perennial All-Star and when he’s a Free Agent, maybe, just maybe he’ll want to return home.
- Next, I hate seeing Brandon Morrow moved back to the bullpen. I think this completely sucks. Morrow has an electric arm with great stuff and he was put in the winter league in Venezuela for the sole purpose of stretching him out and they did that and he looked fabulous. To put him back in the bullpen for the entire year where he’ll throw an inning every other game (or so) I think only stunts his development. I understand that we are now pretty stacked with rotation options and you have a lot of money tied up in guys like Batista and Washburn and Silva. That’s why entering Spring Training now you have to have the mindset of making a deal. Somebody like Batista or Horacio Ramirez needs to be moved. If it’s Ramirez, you move Batista to the pen and insert Brandon Morrow as your #5 starter. All of this will be made easier when Mark Lowe steps up and shows he’s ready to be the set-up man.
What’s next for the Mariners?
Well, without holding any bias at all, just being completely honest as a baseball analyst, I think this team has the makings to not only win the AL West this year but also make it to the World Series. The only team in the AL with as good of a one-two punch as Bedard-Hernandez that the Mariners can trot out is Cleveland with Sabathia and Carmona. That’s it. I think you’re four playoff teams in the AL are Boston from the East, Detroit from the Central, Mariners from the West and Cleveland as the wildcard. The Yankees simply are overrated (get back to me when they have a bullpen and some decent starters) and the Angels are going to get out performed by the Indians, that is how I see it. However, with that prediction already laid out, I still think the Mariners need to replace guys like Jose Vidro at DH and Raul Ibanez in LF and potentially Richie Sexson at first. With the expiring contracts of the aforementioned trio and that of Kenji Johjima and Horacio Ramirez, it will be interesting to see what moves are made between now and the July trade deadline to not only improve the club but cut salary and improve the future of the club as well.