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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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February 4, 2008 3:08 PM

Sherrill in Baltimore; Tillman confirmed in deal

Posted by Geoff Baker

That's what Larry Stone and I have just confirmed as we work the phones this afternoon. In fact, George Sherrill flew out to Baltimore from Phoenix yesterday alongside Adam Jones, the centerpiece of this proposed trade for O's pitcher Erik Bedard. They took their physicals this morning. Sources say that Sherrill is already on a flight back to Arizona. No word yet on whether Jones is on the plane with him.

From what we're hearing, the other players said to be involved in the deal on Seattle's end may not be required by the Orioles to take physicals. (UPDATE 4:03 p.m. -- We've had it confirmed from multiple sources that Chris Tillman is indeed part of the trade package and has been told as much. If all the principals have been notified, it would seem a trade could happen tomorrow if all needed physicals are approved). The Orioles are apparently far more worried about the major league guys since they will be expected to help the big club right away. It appears that Bedard has yet to fly to Seattle. Our take on this? The Mariners probably want to get the "all clear" sign from the Orioles on Jones and Sherrill before bringing Bedard in for a physical. Never know with Peter Angelos running things in Baltimore.

So, what to conclude? No deal today. Probably no deal tomorrow, though there's still a chance (better, since even players not taking physicals have been notified). We keep hearing it may not go down until mid-week or even later. Hey, I hope it's earlier, but we've waited eight days already. What's a few more? Should make our Seattle Times Mariners Blog Fest a real interesting event by the time Thursday rolls around. Wouldn't it be fun if the news conference was a few hours before it? Think of all we'd be able to talk about! We got a big whack of RSVPs from some of you over the weekend and some more today. There are still some spots left if you want to attend. But we are going to cap it at a certain number, to preserve the intimacy and your chances of winning those Mariners tickets.

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Posted by The Besmircher

3:18 PM, Feb 04, 2008

With this deal going down on Thursday afternoon, The Besmircher wants to know how GEOFF is going to grill Bavasi about the likelihood of an extension for Bedard, if he's tied up babysitting a bunch of bloggers??!!??

Posted by ~Mariner4life~

3:18 PM, Feb 04, 2008

This news leads me to believe that pending Jones/Sherril's passing the physical, Bedard and Seattle will have a similar situation to NY and Johan. 72 hours to get an extension done, and then a physical…

Could that be possible Geoff??

Posted by jkherz

3:29 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Continuing from the previous thread...

Why do so many of you feel that Bavasi is selfishly making thi sdeal only becasue he doesn't have job security?

Who exactly does have job security in MLB these days when it comes to GMs and managers? All GMs make moves knowing that their behind is on the line if the deal flops or the FA signing backfires.

Bavasi is smart enough to know that he needs to make this team better now while also setting up the franchise for future success. While this trade takes away from our minor league depth, having Bedard in the rotation with a contract extension provides a foundational building block for this franchise for future success. Once this deal goes through, Bavasi can switch over to improving our defense, our bullpen, and our depth - all of which are easier goals to accomplish than aquiring a top-of-the-rotation arm like Bedard.

Posted by Donovan

3:29 PM, Feb 04, 2008

This is off topic, but since we are all repeating ourselves anyway...

Did you see the story that the U.S. government is reviewing visas for foreign national players who have been suspended for PEDs? The players' union will go nuts, but this is a much bigger deal than suspensions for the expat players.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3230641

Posted by dood

3:52 PM, Feb 04, 2008

As an Oriole fan I am jazzed! This is a great deal for a sad sack organization that was once great. McPhail may finally be the guy to turn it around for us. You guys? I can tell you that Bedard is a stud when he wants to be. However,he does quit sometimes when he thinks the game is in hand, and he is surly. I hope he wins 20 games for you. He's got the stuff to do it. Enjoy.

Posted by tyler

4:14 PM, Feb 04, 2008

M's fan in Minnesota welcomes Bedardsie to the club! Credit to the brass for putting us in the mix for AL west crown, and see you at Safeco in October.

Posted by cesame

4:26 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Well, the bad trade is almost complete. Time to just live with it I guess. I wish I could say this makes the M's the clear favorites over the Angels but I can't. I still feel the Angels are the clear favorites to win the AL West.

Posted by Ben

4:35 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Isn't this trade a little too heavy for a guy who hasn't pitched 200 innings? I know he is good - but 5 players (potentially)?

And does losing Sherrill mean that Brandon Morrow will yet again not be allowed to work his way into the rotation? Who are our short inning guys to give the ball to Putz?

I guess if all our starters can go 7 innings half the time, we'll be better off in the long run. I just think it's a bit strange to give more for Bedard than the Mets gave for Santana...

It's a gutsy trade for us more than them i would say...

Posted by Me

4:35 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Happy about the Bedard trade. I'm thinking another year to mature and one with a team in contention for the play-offs should help his attitude and consistency.

From the previous thread, is it a given that Morrow is going to be in the bullpen next year? I'm not wholly opposed to having him be a starter at AAA and called up if one of the starters struggles or goes down. Don't know if it will be more of an issues as If or When.

Only problem is it's Putz and who in the bullpen? Do we trade for a decent bullpen arm? Who would be the 2nd lefty in the pen? Who would be the first? Morrow could also be included on the big league team to be a spot starter / long reliever instead of just starting at AAA.

Posted by Ben

4:38 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I guess my concerns are shared by many...

I just like Sherrill.

Posted by griz

4:41 PM, Feb 04, 2008

No more trades, please! Although I think the Bedard trade is horrible in terms of the amount of talent we're giving up, at least we get something out of it. I don't trust Bavasi to make another trade without getting completely ripped off. Eduardo Perez, Horacio Ramirez, etc... Why is this man allowed to make trades?

Posted by Alaskan

4:57 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Me,
I believe that during the offseason Bavasi stated that if Morrow wasn't starting he would be relieving. Here's the quote:

“He (Morrow) is highly, highly unlikely to leave,” Bavasi said. “I’m not saying he couldn’t be traded, but it’s unlikely.”

If we add a starter, then he pitches in the bullpen,” Bavasi said. “If we don’t, then either Brandon or Horacio Ramirez would be the fifth starter. And if it’s Ramirez, Morrow would be at the end of the bullpen.

He’s highly, highly unlikely to start in Triple-A,” Bavasi said. “We don’t feel like that’s going to help us.”

Posted by Me

4:57 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I have my concerns too, but we had to deal with the Morrow issue regardless. I don't think he's ready to start at the ML level so they'll have to keep him in the pen or send him down to AAA to get ready as a starter.

Do we still have Mateo or did we trade him?

Rowland-Smith, Mateo (if we still have him), Green, and O'Flaherty to get to Putz are ok based on last year's stats. Won't have to use them as much with Bedard and Silva proving many more quality starts.

Posted by The Ultimate Optimist

5:07 PM, Feb 04, 2008

We traded Matteo to Philadelphia in a minor deal, mostly unnoticed on the trade deadline day last summer. Not sure though but I seem to remember something about the Phils releasing him at the end of the season. I could be wrong on that front.

Posted by Buschleaguer

5:09 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Chill guys!

If you are totally depressed about the loss of Adam Jones (and i'll admit it pains me as well), I give you the following to contemplate:

1) Ask yourself this: Assuming health and Felix's progression, who will have a better 1-2 punch in baseball? Do you remember how Felix started out last year prior to his injury? Man, i'm excited!!

2) We will not have anymore extended losing streaks greater than 4 games. If Bedard doesn't stop it, Felix will.

3) While the loss of AJ hurts, the M's have enough money to buy the offense we're gonna need for the foreseeable future.

4) Our rotation for 2009 will consist of three studs under 30 (Felix, Bedard, Morrow) and perhaps even Aumonte (sp?) to make it four! We are set for awhile.

5) Do you realize that a couple of years ago we would never have had the talent to make this deal?

6) We're now competing with the big boys (Yankees, Red Sox, Angels) with a legit shot to get to the post season!

7) PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT IN 10 DAYS!!!

Posted by Choska

5:10 PM, Feb 04, 2008

This is a win-win for us.

Either Bedard comes here and rocks or he doesn't in which case the Ms get a new GM.

I guess there is a third possibility which is that Bedard pitches well, but the other holes that Bavasi has opened up on the roster sink the boat. I actually think this is the likely outcome. I'm already preparing myself for blown holds, balls dropping into the outfield, and lots of strike-outs from our new RF.

Either way, the Mariners future is a little bit brighter. And, until Bedard gets hurt, the Ms will be entertaining to watch two games out of five.

Posted by Jermay

5:17 PM, Feb 04, 2008

As a Mariner die hard, I hope we don't end up regretting this trade. I just hate to see us have to give up so much for someone who will only be with the team for two years. It seems to me to be far too risky to give up Sherill and those young pitchers. Bavasi seemed too desperate and the Orioles knew it. I have a really uneasy feeling about the whole thing.

Posted by Alaskan

5:18 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Buschleaguer, I appreciate your optimism.

I like 1. I don't buy 2. I pray for 3, although Wilk isn't a great start. 4 is barely true, as Bedard will turn 30 in April - we may have seen his best year when he was an O. 5 is great. 6 is... arguable.

But 7. 7 is the most important, and I agree whole-heartedly. I'm counting the days. I hope a new guy makes it through Spring Training - someone to be my substitute Jones to root for.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:23 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Wouldn't it be fun if the news conference was a few hours before it? Think of all we'd be able to talk about!

Golly Geoff that sure would be fun. Unfortantely I won't be able to make...I will be trying to decide who my new favorite MLB team will be. Maybe the O's I heard they are getting some great young talent!

Posted by Shane-O

5:25 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Regarding Bedard, worse case is if he doesn't want to sign an extension we trade him before the 2009 season or 2009 trading deadline.

The Yankees & RedSox are always good for driving the price up on eachother.

Then we're back where we started unlike when we let Arod walk.

Posted by Me

5:26 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Bedard turns 29 March 6th.

Posted by Mr. X

5:33 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Do yourself a favor and back away from the fringe kook websites.

1. We didn't give up "so much" in this deal.

2. We aren't going to just have Bedard for 2 years, one way or another. Either he'll sign an extension, or he'll be traded for prospects. (barring injury)

Oh, and the verdict is in. Either Adam Jones is a clairvoyant, or he's a liar.

Posted by Lance

5:37 PM, Feb 04, 2008

"I can tell you that Bedard is a stud when he wants to be." ---Dood

Like I've already said, Bedard = Meche. Sometimes he'll also look more like Jarrod Washburn, 100 pitches by the sixth inning.

As to replacing Sherrill, I'd say O'Flaherty has the inside track. I'd like to believe they still want to see Rowland-Smith develop as a starter.

Also, a long shot could be Cesar Jimenez. He looks to be really be getting things together. Someone asked recently who could be a sleeper to make the 25-man roster in April. Besides Jeremy Reed, who I've already mentioned (as soon as Wilkerson goes on the D.L.), I'd say Jimenez. And, if not Opening Day, he may really help this team sometime during the year.

As for the two RH bridges to J.J., I'd think Sean Green is a lock if he stays healthy. It would be great to see Mark Lowe come all the way back and be effective. I'd say that's about 50/50. Hopefully, if Morrow starts in the pen it'll be as a long man, ready to take a rotation spot when it opens (i.e. as soon as Bedard goes on the D.L.).

That's why dealing Mickolio is such a shame. He could have been to the pen what Lowe was in '06. I hope he doesn't go, but little about the rumors of this trade have proven untrue.

Posted by Lance

5:47 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Buschleaguer, you think the 18-year old Aumont may be ready by 2009? If so, you know nothing about baseball! Guys like Aumont or Juan Ramirez won't be ready by then.

To look internally for someone to significantly help the top end of the rotation in 2009, hopefully, you'd have to look at someone like Chris Tillman or Tony Butler (Rohrbaugh and Feierabend aren't TOR guys).

.
.
.

Ah, oh, that's right.

Posted by Chris

5:52 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Is there any chance that Brian Roberts could be included in the deal?? Of course sending Lopez to Baltimore.

Posted by Adam

5:57 PM, Feb 04, 2008

1. We didn't give up "so much" in this deal.

Wrong.

2. We aren't going to just have Bedard for 2 years, one way or another. Either he'll sign an extension, or he'll be traded for prospects. (barring injury)

Wrong again. You are completely speculating.

Posted by Griffey24

6:02 PM, Feb 04, 2008

First I'll say that I'm not much of a Bavasi fan, although recently he seems to have warmed up to the idea that OBP is more important than average (see Vidro, Wilkerson signings).
Next I'll mention that I've been lurking on this blog and the one on the Baltimore Sun's site for several weeks. My reluctance to post has been due to my uncertainty on how I feel about the proposed deal.
I think in order to win in the playoffs, it's imperative to have a strong 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation...Bedard certainly would solidfy that. I worry mainly about giving up our best position prospect since...I don't know, Jose Cruz, Jr.? I don't expect Jones to be Alex Rodriguez, but I think he'll be better than Cruz and should be an All-Star at some point. I'm also worried about our iffy OF defense now...I would've preferred to sign a Mike Cameron because I think he gives the same offensive numbers as Wilkerson but is a much better defender and runner, important in Safeco's vast outfield.
I think Bavasi has to do this deal to keep his job because we are not likely going to make the playoffs in 2008 with Jones instead of Bedard. If Bedard gets hurt again, Bavasi is done.
I'm holding out hope that if the Bedard deal goes through, we acquire my favorite player of all time (guess who that could be?). Of course, we'd have to offer the Reds several pieces they would actually WANT, a much harder proposition if the Bedard deal goes through. Griffey suddenly becomes a perfect fit (in my mind) for this team if Jones is traded...and imagine the ticket sales :-)
Hey, a guy can dream!

Posted by Mikey

6:03 PM, Feb 04, 2008

WTF! Did I really just read above..

"Like I've already said, Bedard = Meche. Sometimes he'll also look more like Jarrod Washburn, 100 pitches by the sixth inning."

Do your homework pal! The guy had 221k's in 182 innings with an era of 3.16 in the best offensive division in baseball. He's one of the top five or six consensus pitchers in the game & lefty to boot.

Posted by Lance

6:06 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Buschleaguer, on your 5th point, we still don't. This trade is a year premature. We have no one as legit backups for the guys being dealt. And, we won't have for a couple of years, if by then.

Here's my view:

Adam Jones - no one. Balentien has a bit more power, but that's all he's got over AJ. No one has AJ's five tools, although Michael Saunders may be close. But, a couple years away from the 40-man, not to mention helping the team.

George Sherrill - O'Flaherty, Jimenez. But, unlikely either will be as good. Maybe eventually, but not right away.

Kam Mickolio - Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Jose de la Cruz. But, slim chance either could help in upcoming season.

Chris Tillman - Phillipe Aumont, Juan Carlos Ramirez, but neither by 2010, probably 2011.

Tony Butler - least of the loses. Robert Rohrbaugh, Ryan Feierabend. Both are closer than Butler, but neither has Butler's stuff.

Posted by scottM

6:26 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I'm surprised nobody has compared Bedard to former Mariner Mark Langston, another Ace lefty with a similar body type. Langston had good numbers for some M's teams in the '80s that had a whole lot less to be desired than this year's team.

Posted by Lance

6:31 PM, Feb 04, 2008

"WTF! Did I really just read above..

"Like I've already said, Bedard = Meche. Sometimes he'll also look more like Jarrod Washburn, 100 pitches by the sixth inning."

Do your homework pal! The guy had 221k's in 182 innings with an era of 3.16 in the best offensive division in baseball. He's one of the top five or six consensus pitchers in the game & lefty to boot." --- Mikey

I'm well aware of his strikeout totals, jerk.

I'm responding to a comment made by someone who's watched him regularly, and compared it to Gil Meche's history as a Mariner, which I feel is apropos, regardless of what you think.

And, that Bedard also has a pattern of using up a lot of pitches by the middle of a game, a la Washburn. Why do you think he's never reached 200 innings in a season, besides his occasional ouie?

That's all we need. Another starter to drain the bullpen. Has the leopard changed his spots? We'll see. I'm not getting my hopes up.

And about that ERA, I keep hearing that ERA means little by all the stat geeks. Washburn was 4th in the AL in ERA the year before he signed with the Mariners, at 3.20 in 177 IPs. But no one was banging the drum when the M's signed him. So, do your homework pal!

And, WTF, another clown who gets drunk off strikeout totals.

Posted by John

6:31 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Now that this deal appears ready to happen, hopefully we can put this foolishness behind us and talk about 2008, which is exciting because without this deal we'd be talking about 2010 or 2011.

BULLPEN: 4 stars out of 5
So ... the biggest loss in this deal for the next two years is NOT Jones. It's Sherrill. I loved the guy. But I do think O'Flaherty and Rowland-Smith will become your situational lefties, in that order. And I think they'll do a good job. You've also got Rhodes out there, but I wouldn't count on much. I think this team is so focused on winning right now that Morrow will stay in the pen as a set-up guy. Personally, I'd prefer to see him start a year at AAA.
I like our bullpen. The young guys coming up have shown they can do a good job, particularly Sean Green, Rowland-Smith and even O'Flaherty. Lowe is an intriguing wild card. If he comes back strong, the need for Morrow isn't as great, and the FO might be willing to let him spend some time in AAA. And when you have a stopper like Putz who can get four or five outs if you need it, it makes for a lot of one-run wins that many other teams don't get.

OFFENSE: 3 stars out of 5
Offensively, we're about the same as last year. The loss of Guillen hurts - more than some people might think. I'd love to see them platoon Wilkerson and Balentien, but I'm not that confident it will happen. Whatever happens, having Belentien in AAA for another year seems like a waste. Hopefully he'll have a big spring and force their hand a little.
I do think Beltre is poised to have a really strong season, and Sexson can't possibly do worse; anything better will be a big boost. I think Lopez, if he can focus for an entire year, could hits 20 points better, and I think UBet is just tapping into his potential. Those are all guys who I think will improve.
Ibanez will probably have a similar year to last year, and the same for consistent guys like Vidro, Joh and Ichiro.

STARTERS: 5 stars out of 5
Now one of the best in the bigs 1-5. If Felix picks this year to explode, then really watch out. Considering he won't be matched up with No. 1s as much, I think he will have a great year. Silva was great the second half of last year, and I think he'll do better in Safeco. Batista doesn't even need to win 16 this year, but I think he'll be solid. If Washburn, who makes a nice No. 5, falters, Morrow, Baek, Feierabend, Dickey and possibly Rowland-Smith make nice replacements.

BENCH: 3 stars out of 5
All the usual suspects, but I'll be ticked if they leave Clement in AAA. The guy can hit, and they will definitely need some left-handed pop on the bench. As far as I'm concerned they should have spent last year letting him play first because he'd be better offensively then that waste of money and space Sexson. But if he's just backing up Joh, that would be OK. I think Morse will make the team as a backup, and probably Cairo. Then you've got Willie and maybe one more spot.

DEFENSE: 2 1/2 stars out of 5
Average. Beltre's great and finally getting his due. Ichiro's fine and Joh is better than people give him credit for - and he's still improving. Same goes for Betancourt, who will hopefully start to make the routine with the spectacular. Lopez just needs to focus. He's fine when he's got his head screwed on straight. Corner outfield spots - ugh, but Ichiro covers the gaps so well, it minimizes that lack of speed.

PREDICTION:
The rest of the AL is going to catch up with Jared Weaver in his sophomore season, and I don't think the Angels' starters will fare as well as last season. I think they're going to miss Cabrera's bat more than Seattle will miss Guillen's. All in all, I think Seattle holds on to win the West.

PROBABLE LINEUP:
CF-Ichiro
DH-Vidro
3B-Beltre
LF-Ibanez
1B-Sexson
C-Johjima
RF-Wilkerson/Balentien
2B-Lopez
SS-Betancourt

LINEUP I'D LIKE TO SEE:
CF-Ichiro
3B-Beltre
DH-Clement/Vidro
1B-Ibanez/Sexson
C-Johjima
LF-Balentien
RF-Wilkerson/Moorse
2B-Lopez
SS-Betancourt

Posted by drlo

6:45 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I find it a little curious that, despite the Mariners poor track record of development of young pitching over the years, that we are taking at face value that Tillman, Butler, and Mickolio -- or any two of the three -- are destined to be solid major league pitchers. History might suggest that many Mariners pitching prospects considered of such high potential to be untradeable are in fact vastly overrated. Doesn't anyone remember -- this is from memory, so I might be missing someone -- all the can't miss prospects they held on to over the years: Anderson, Blackley, Madritsch, Nageotte, Thornton, Cloude...and wasn't Aaron Taylor in that mix as well? No disrespect intended to the three current prospects, but the Mariners track record suggest trading them for value might make sense.

Posted by theguru

6:52 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lance - I don't know who u are talking to in terms of ERA being an overatted stat? I couldn't disagree with you more, It's very important. Wins/Losses is a very very overrated stat not ERA!!! Having a 3.16 ERA in any division is impressive!

Posted by MT Mariner

6:53 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Adam Jones has NOT proven himself in the majors yet. Maybe he might. I will miss Sherill! Outfielders can be found, in fact, I am more concerned about 2nd base than the outfield.

Posted by Mr. X

7:01 PM, Feb 04, 2008

drlo, you're absolutely correct. The odds of three Mariner pitchers from the same draft (much less one) being successful in the Major leagues is slim to none. Some on here have been brainwashed elsewhere, spouting nonsense about "Mariner minor league pitcher of the year" honors. Here is a list of some past Mariner minor league pitchers and players of the year.

2001 - Matt Thornton, Jamal Strong
2002 - Aaron Looper/Aaron Taylor/Allen Simpson (tie), Jose Lopez
2003 - Travis Blackley, Justin Leone
2004 - Felix Hernandez, Shin Soo Choo
2005 - Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones
2006 - Mark Lowe, Brian LaHair
2007 - Prospect Tillman, Prospect Jones

Posted by Bdogg

7:02 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lineup I'd like to see. assuming Bonds gets his charges dropped and is free to play baseball in 2008 Which I think will happen.
CF Ichiro
2B Roberts
1B Vidro
DH Bonds
3B Beltre
LF Ibanez
C Jojima
RF Reed
SS Betancourt

Posted by Kentroyals5

7:04 PM, Feb 04, 2008

MT Mariner:

If you don't know anything about baseball, that is fine, but don't make sweeping remarks that show ignorance.

"Adam Jones has NOT proven himself in the majors yet"

Not a smart analysis...go check out anyone who broke into the big leagues and got little playing time early on. Say, how about this...go check out Arod's stats on his first 200 at bats in the majors.

Posted by Lance

7:12 PM, Feb 04, 2008

drlo - apples and oranges. Tillman, Butler and Mickolio are picks from Bob Fontaine drafts. Drafts that, although they didn't begin until 2004, and only had it's first pick in the third round that year (used on Tui), has already produces Mark Lowe (5th round) and Eric O'Flaherty (5th or 6th).

The guys you noted were from previous regimes. Plus, because of Gillick FA signings, we had few high round picks as it was, and most of those were used on position players (Jones, Mayberry Jr., Wilson, Flaig, etc). Two exceptions, Gil Meche, Ryan Anderson.

theguru - I'm with you. But, I'm sure the sabergeeks around here would say that ERA means little. That's what I've read, anyway. Maybe they'll weigh in on this.

Posted by Mr. X

7:16 PM, Feb 04, 2008

FYI Lance, O'Flaherty was drafted in 2003.

Posted by Lance

7:24 PM, Feb 04, 2008

"Some on here have been brainwashed elsewhere, spouting nonsense about "Mariner minor league pitcher of the year" honors." ---Mr X.

If I'm being the subject of your derision, and I suspect I am, I'm sorry I even mentioned it. I was simply using that to illustrate that Tillman is one of our hot young prospects, a starting pitcher no less. Although, among the teenage pitchers on your provided list, there are some pretty good names you've listed. So, Tillman's in some good company. But, what do I know. I've been brainwashed.

Posted by Adam

7:25 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I don't consider myself a "sabergeek," but I think I can explain why ERA is not the best measure of a pitcher's performance.

There are many factors which make up ERA but fall completely out of the pitcher's control, namely:

Defense
Stadium
Weather
Bullpen
Luck

ERA is influenced by each of these factors to some degree or another. Nevertheless, they are separate from the pitcher's own skill set.

I think we can all agree that a pitcher will have a lower ERA if he pitches in a pitcher's park, in front of a great defensive team, in ideal weather conditions for pitching (colder?), with a great bullpen.

Is he a better pitcher because of these circumstances? No. But his ERA will more than likely be lower. And if we give too much credence to ERA when judging a pitcher, we'll just assume that he IS a better pitcher.

There are a few stats out there that try to eliminate these outside factors from consideration. HardballTimes.com uses FIP and xFIP. I'd recommend you check out their definitions in the stats glossary section.

Posted by Adam

7:28 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I hope ESPN's Jayson Stark, who dares quote a pro scout, isn't the one doing the brainwashing:

And the primary pitching piece, Chris Tillman, is such a scout favorite that one says: "When it's all said and done, he'll be the one guy in this deal everybody talks about."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3225433

Pesky pro scouts...

Posted by Mr. X

7:29 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Well, if you think that O'Flaherty was drafted under Bavasi, and Meche and Anderson were drafted under Gillick, maybe you aren't brainwashed. Just a new fan or something. It's good that you're sticking around for an education.

Posted by ET90210

7:33 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Posted by KML

7:35 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Does anyone know or have an idea how Felix will deal with this trade? He has a tendancy to by a a little emotional. How is he going to deal with being No. 2 in the rotation. I like the trade but am afraid Felix may not deal with it well. Any ideas?

Posted by atbat08

7:44 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Being from Baltimore I am happy this trade went through. Unlike most on the board I have no doubt that Bedard will be a stud for you guys. Erik pitched great for us last year and would have reached 200 inning if he didn't get hurt at the end of the year. I know what you are thinking...he got hurt. However, if the Orioles were making a run, he could have come back from the muscle pull. The fact is the front office shut him down.

Erik pitched so well and would have one more wins if we had anyone in our bullpen who could hold a lead. You guys are getting the real deal, the dude is nasty.

The knock on him was his mouth, but that wasn't with the team...it was with the media. He got beat up a little because the media asks stupid questions and he calls them on them. After he tied the O's record for SO in a game a reporter asked him how important was throwing the first pitch for a strike. What a dumb questions, everyone know strike one is the best pitch in baseball. Bedard gave a smart answer and he would do that all year...no big deal.

Bottom line is he is a great pitcher but I understand your concern about give up your #1 prospect and 4 others for one guy. I would be worried too but as long as he stays healthy you guys will do fine. Still, a great deal for us because we need so much.

Posted by Lance

7:47 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Man, X, you're getting quite petty (well, not 'getting' really). I'm simply comparing Fontaine drafts to pre-Fontaine drafts. Those drafts were being conducted by Roger Jongwaard (sp), both during and before Gillick.

I only mentioned Gillick because it was his signing of so many free agents that left the team with a dirth of high draft choices. That's fine. That was just the philosophy back then.

I'll just be aware that in the future every vistage or my comments will need to include every minute detail to meet with your satisfaction.

Oh, how could I have forgotten to include Michael Garciaparra?

Posted by Lance

7:53 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Excuse me, X. I meant "vestige of..." I know you're dying to call me on that, too. You're that way. Is my punctuation ok?

Posted by Mr. X

7:59 PM, Feb 04, 2008

No, I was going to let that and "dirth" pass. I'm content to just correct you on baseball matters. I wouldn't want your bad information to get passed on to others who might not know better. I can't have you making up Mariner history as you go along.

Posted by drlo

8:00 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lance, I hear what you're saying, but I was actually thinking more of questionable player development rather than questionable drafts. While the drafting regime may have changed, there remains some overlap on the player development side which threatens to make "consistency" an ugly word.

Posted by Adam

8:05 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Mr. X - always there to point out a mistake, but adds nothing substantive.

Posted by KML

8:08 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Wow guys. I would hate to be a general manager. They are all a bunch of dumb idiots!! We have all been screaming for years for the Mariners to do something and when they finally go out and get a number 1 starter its the wrong move for half of us Mariners fans. I love the off season just to see what teams try to do. At least we tried to do something!!

Posted by Buschleaguer

8:09 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lance,
If you think Bedard = Meche, I can't help you. There is absolutely no comparison.....none. "First of all, Clark Kent wears glasses, Superman doesn't" (Bonus points if you can name the movie)

Alaskan, I'm with you. I love when some new guy comes out of nowhere to impress at Spring Training forcing the team to take him North.

Guys: We really need to accept the fact that we just joined the "big boys club" and will be competing come October. Not optimism, just realism. We have two potential Cy Young Candidates fronting our rotation. That RARELY happens in this game! Ask any ML manager what he'd rather have, that or a 22 year old rookie stud in the outfield. Which do you think he'd pick? Its a no brainer!!

To those who lament the loss of the young pitchers in the deal, I have to echo the thoughts of others on this board. We've had so many "can't miss" "next big thing" pitchers in our system in the past only to hang onto them right up to the point that they left baseball giving us NOTHING of value in return. I would have loved to hang onto all of these guys in the hopes that one or two of them turned into something average or better, but the fact is, we traded them for the rarest commodity in baseball - a genuine, bonafide TOR pitcher. Those don't exactly grow on trees.

Could he get injured next year? Sure.
Could Adam Jones tear his ACL one week into the season a'la our buddy Doyle? You bet.

Stuff happens and sometimes you have to go for it and take your chances. It just so happens that this year and next with Bedard, Felix and any 3 warm bodies, I really like ours.

Posted by Zach C

8:18 PM, Feb 04, 2008

" I'm counting the days. I hope a new guy makes it through Spring Training - someone to be my substitute Jones to root for." -Alaskan

yeah, except when it's Morrow...then it's a waste.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:20 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I'm totally up in the air if Bedard gets extended although I suspect it won't happen. That being said, the front office has shown in the past they are willing to pay Santana type money when they offered Barry Zito a franchise killer contract last year. Depending on Bedard's personal decision, he could decide to wait for his big pay day in 2010 or take Seattle to the bank.

There's an emotional connection by many Adam Jones fanatics. He has replaced Snelling among the blogs. There's a lot of risk in Bedard that a lot of people are ignoring.

Not a Bedard fan myself, but this does improve the rotation. If Tillman and Butler are anything above #3 starters we will have paid too much. I would have went after a #2 starter and left Felix as the ace. This would have allowed us to give up only Sherrill, Ibanez, Washburn, and a lower level prospect, in a deal for an Aaron Harrang typle pitcher.

I personally felt replacing Sexson was a far greater need than landing a #1 starter. Felix put up solid raw statistics last year enough to warrant allowing him to improve this year and be among the elite leaders. Felix was a #1 starter in my eyes last year. My 2 cents.

Posted by Mr. X

8:22 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Busch, you just gave me an opening for one of my favorites. You can't spell Doyle without "D" and "L."

Adam, This isn't a public school or the PI Forum. There is such a thing as a correct statement, and an incorrect statement. If someone says that Mark Lowe and Eric O'Flaherty came out of the same draft and Meche/Anderson were drafted under Gillick, I'm going to correct it.

I understand that this is an emotional time for you and a few others, but cheer up. Bavasi has made his one good offseason move now, so he still has a few months to make the usual bad trades and signings that will ensure the losing record that you are now rooting for. (so you can be right)

Posted by scottM

8:22 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lance,

I agree with others here, that your Bédard = Meche comparison is looney. You make many great points here, but not that one.

The better comparison is Erik Bedard = Mark Langston. As I pointed out in this thread, he was a lefty ACE on some very poor M's teams in the 80's. One year he came one game from being the franchise's first 20 game winner.

As for Bedard, I encourage you to go to the Baltimore Sun website where there are many photos of Bedard while pitching. Note the intensity and competitive demeanor. This is not the Gil Meche who was the ultimate choke artist for the M's two years ago against the Texas Rangers when we were still in the playoff hunt. He started out 11 game skid. Meche is a decent journeyman starter, but not a legitimate ace (except in KC).

It's one thing to not like this trade, but another to have it cloud what is usually some solid lines of reasoning from you.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:28 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Lance-if Fontaine hadn't blown the first round pick on Morrow in 2006 and instead drafted Lincecum, we wouldn't be in the position we are today. Bavasi completely undermines anything good Fontaine does and this deal is living proof.

Posted by flyaway24

8:30 PM, Feb 04, 2008

to Adam's post...

of course everything is speculation. EVERYTHING is until it plays out! I think ppl. who are opposed to this trade however are putting way too much stock way too soon on what you consider to be fact....that Bedard is gone after two years. It's definitely a possibility, but it's not a merely a formality either.

Oh, and in response to Griffey24....I couldn't be on board with you more. I grew up on Griffey Jr and it would be like a Christmas present to see that sweet swing back in Seattle. Realistic? Maybe not, but right now I want him back!

Posted by Lance

8:37 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Busch - most of my angst is in trading AJ. I can live with the other four guys getting dealt. And, we will miss Sherrill. But, maybe someone will rise to the occasion and do a good job as the situational lefty.

And, I think it's great to have a guy like Bedard in the rotation. But, his track record is very short. Not like Johan Santana. I'm not really that concerned that he'll leave after two years. My concerns with him is that he'll 1) get serioussly hurt again 2) protect his arm until the last half of 2009, when he's about to become a FA (yes, like i think Gil Meche did) 3) prove that 2007 was a fluke.

But, maybe he'll prove me wrong in all of that. We'll see.

If I had my choice, a five for Bedard deal would have looked like Balentien/Sherrill/Tillman/Feierabend/Lowe.

Posted by blah

8:42 PM, Feb 04, 2008

you all are morons except the people who like the trade

Posted by Lance

8:46 PM, Feb 04, 2008

My Bedard = Meche, it needs to be appreciated, is only in one respect. In that Meche was perported to have outstanding stuff, but there was always something with that guy. It's like he put out when he felt like it. Way too inconsistant, for whatever reason.

One of Bedard's own fans says the same thing about him.

Yes, for three months he was stellar (May through July 2007). But, was that the real Erik Bedard, or an abberation?

We'll find out, won't we. But, we certainly paid a high price for a front row seat to personally observe the answer.

Posted by Lance

8:48 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Excuse, X. Purported.

Posted by kevin_ess

9:01 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Accidentally posted this in a previous comment thread:

Sorry for the off-topic, but if any of you were a part of the SportSpot Mariners forum that recently closed, we've taken over the new forum at www.MarinerCentral.com. If you've never been to SportSpot, check us out anyway. Awesome stuff!

Check it out! Lord knows we do a lot of quoting Geoff's brilliant blog.

Posted by Zach C

9:04 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Bedards starts last year were consistantly dominant...what are you talking about. What ever happend to the benefit of the doubt? jeez

Posted by drlo

9:05 PM, Feb 04, 2008

The Bedard Meche comparison blows my mind. Meche definitely was lacking something. He was a deer in the headlights waiting for disaster to strike, almost hoping it seemed that disaster would strike. I've followed Bedard pretty closely for the past three (yes, three) years, and he definitely doesn't strike me as anything like a deer in the headlights. He is a focused competitor, a warrior, more along the lines of Rojo (excluding his last year in Seattle), a guy who can will his team to win. This element alone will be a key contribution to the rotation.

Posted by NB

9:16 PM, Feb 04, 2008

X,

No one's rooting for the M's to lose.

You may have some solid reasons for supporting this trade but seem content to simply make fun of people who don't have your Brittanica-esque knowledge of past Seattle drafts. You think you know more than people that devote a healthy portion of their lives to covering the team? Then bring it to the table. Otherwise you just come across like a jerk who hides his ignorance with insults.

Posted by Mark WS

9:42 PM, Feb 04, 2008

One thing I like to see is how a pitcher handles himself in "big" games. Last year, EB was 7-2 vs 2007 Playoff Teams (7-0 vs CLV, NYY & BOS); 0-2 vs COL and ARI. Looking through the game log, a lot of 6 and 7+ innings pitched. I don't see him burning out a bullpen.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6910/gamelog;_ylt=Ai1.sTuB5HCNlNOW49mwahaFCLcF

Posted by shemberry

9:45 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I am not for this trade, but I respect the opinion of those of you who are. It isn't about Bedard for me, I think he is awesome, and when it was first mentioned that he might be available I thought we should get him.

My question for those of you who are for this trade is this: are you at least a little concerned that Bedard(and the rest of the staff) will not be as effective as he should be due to the poor defense in the outfield corners?

To me, if this trade was going to be made, other moves should have been made as well to really give us a shot to win the division.

Posted by Merrill

9:53 PM, Feb 04, 2008

Ladies, gentlemen, I haven't had time to read through this thread yet, and I've got to get back to work. I'll catch up later.

I just wanted to say I agree with Adam's conditions for measuring the success of this trade.

And I don't know enough to have a strong opinion about Morrow's development, but I will add this: He just pitched 36 innings in 7 starts in the winter league in Venezuela (forgive me if any of these numbers are wrong, it's been a while since I looked at them), with 31 K's and 8 BB's, and I believe about a 1.18 WHIP and a 2.72 ERA.

Posted by happy dude

10:11 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I personally like this trade happening. I would rather have a guy proven right now, than prospects. Adam Jones was good in the minors and okay when he came to the bigs.
Sherrill was a great lefty set-up.
Chris Tillman is not even proven in the bigs yet.(not saying he won't be)
but Bedard was great in the bigs.
I say good trade for both sides, mostly coming from the M's stand point.
Bedard, though a lefty, should be a great mentor and teacher/rolemodel for Felix. come on guys, he's not even 23 yet????

Posted by helpFelix

10:23 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I would FLIP if the trade is:

Bedard/Roberts for Jones/Sherrill/Tilman/Butler/Mickolio/Lopez

I would still want the Snell/Bay trade to go thru!

Can you imagine this?

Bedard, Felix, Silva, Washburn, Batista

CF Ichiro
2B Roberts
3B Beltre
LF Bay
DH Ibanez
1B Sexson
C Johjima
RF Wilkerson
SS Betancourt

There would be so MANY double steals with Ichiro & Roberts combo, that it would be amazing to watch!

The minute the Bedard thing is done, if I was Bavasi I'd be on the phone with Pitts! They are just like the A's this year and are in a major rebuilding mode, and want to liquidate Jason Bay's salary. They even have been advertising Ian Snell big time. A month ago they wanted a mint for Bay, even though his trade value has dropped from his 2007 stats.

I'd be happy with the Griffey/Washburn salary swap that I mentioned in the last thread though, so Griffey can slip into the DH role! Heck there's a team that would take on Vidro's contract "if" bavasi thru them a few million to move him. Griffey & Bedard both would be HUGE PR in 2008! Just look at what the fans did when Cincy came to town in 2007.

Posted by Jerry K.

10:23 PM, Feb 04, 2008

As an Orioles' fan I am hoping that this is our best trade since we traded Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson. Also, while it may take some time for Jones to prove himself - I would not base his future stats on what he has done thus far. If I remember correctly, Cal Ripken hit around .150 in his first 100 bats and Brooks Robinson was so bad when he was brought up that they had to send him back down.

Posted by Andre

10:29 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I like this trade, but also respect those who don't like the trade. Without this trade, the M's have no chance THIS year, that's not to say we would be better long term, I guess that would all depend on how our Pitching prospects, some who are most likely gone now, turn out. But strictly speaking for this year and at least next year, we're definitely in the mix for the west.

Personally I was sick of watching our SP go out and get killed last year particularly by the Angels. Do you guys remember scoring bunches of runs only to see one of our SP's give up just as many and lose it. Think of it, we're basically replacing Horacio Ramirez with Bedard!!!

Even if we did still have Jones, and he produced how we would want him to, it probably wouldn't matter because we would need out of our mind offensive production from the whole starting 9, think M's 2001 type numbers, to negate our bad pitching rotation. I'm thinking about now and the next two years cause that's what matters to me now....let's figure out what to do and what needs to be fixed for 2010 and 2011 at that time. Go M's!!!

Posted by Patrick F.

10:58 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I can't wait for this deal to go down. Losing Sherrill kind of sucks, but the M's have depth, in the bullpen with serviceable left-handers. Bedard makes the Mariners a contender. I know the Angels are a great team, but I think their more vulnerable this season than many others on here.

What excites me the most, is the depth of starting pitching we'll have after this. Rowland-Smith, Baek, Woods, and Morrow are all good for spot starts, behind our very decent five man rotation. I'm looking forward to the season!

Posted by pstroms

11:08 PM, Feb 04, 2008

O's fan here. You guys will love Bedard, he is awesome, sometimes unhittable. I am happy with the trade because I think it is a plus for both teams. We have a lot of holes to fill and Bedard and Roberts are the only guys we can really get value from. Markakis is the guy we need to build around. I will follow your team and hope Bedard can help you win the AL West. Good luck to you guys.

Posted by Klatz

11:33 PM, Feb 04, 2008

I think it's kinda telling that all the O's fans who post here really really like the trade....

Posted by zob

12:44 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I have followed Bedard his whole career and the bottom line is Bedard is pretty much a stud and continues to get better every year. The rumor of high pitch count is a little exagerated, he typically went 7-9 innings last year always leaving around 100-110 pitches. He had a sub 3 ERA every month except Apr and Aug (only due to one bad outing). He was 2-0 against the Yankees (with a 1.28 ERA) and 1-0 against the Red Sox and has only lost one decision since early June of 07 (which was the game he strained his muscle). Actually, the Orioles never lost a game he pitched from early June through the end of August. He was leading the league in K's by over 40 when the orioles shut him down (and finished third overall sitting out the last month) and had a WHIP of 1.09 (2nd in the league) and an oponent BA near .200 (equally as good to both R and L hitters). He was 13-5 for the Orioles...independent of ERA it is tough to post that kind of win % with the O's, especially when you are typically facing the top of the other team's rotation.
As an O's fan I hate losing him, but hopefully he can go to a team that can use his talent to get a penant...once there you may just have the horses that get you to the series. Just promise you'll beat the Yankees and/or the Sox.

Posted by Andre

1:00 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Thanks for the post zob, I appreciate the Baltimore assessment of Bedard. We'll work on overtaking the Angels first then we'll do our best to take care of the Yanks and Sox. Good luck with the young guys, we too know about rebuilding a team, well those of us who follow the NBA and the Sonics at least....sigh.

Posted by sam

2:44 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Bravo to Bavasi and staff!!! They pulled off what almost all clubs couldn't do all last year and even now! They actually made a trade for a top pitcher! Sad to see AJ go, but this our 2008 M's and we need to rally behind them. Lets show Bedard what its like to play in front a crowd again. This will work out for us...Only fear I have is that Bedard is going to be some big headed, cry baby, prick! In which case M's fans will have to pop that inflated ego!

Posted by Used to be a fan

5:17 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I'm done with the M's, they always trade away all of the young talent for one hit wonders. This guy will not put the M's over the top, they still can't compete with the Angeles. Jones will soon be a star while this guy will be gone in two years via free agency.
Oh well, at least now I can enjoy my M's free summer, lucky I don't live in Seattle anymore.

Posted by Me

6:37 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I'm only really concerned about losing Tillman. Corner outfielders who hit 20 to 30 HRs aren't an endangered species.

If Bedard walks before the 2010 season, who do we replace him with? Another FA or who's likely to be ready from the farm?

Regardless, Bedard is going to be mowing down the opposition. Our infield defense is quite good and we can always put in defensive replacements for the corner outfielders. Could move Ibanez to DH, take out Vidro and put in a good defender.

If I'm Ichiro, I have to love this trade. He's not getting any younger and I'm sure he doesn't mind having to cover more ground with no Jones next to him in RF if it means more wins and being in the playoff hunt. Now our 5th starter won't be a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by mickey

6:46 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Rumors in Baltimore show Sherrill going to the Cubs with Roberts for two more young pitchers for Baltimore after the Mariner trade is complete.

Posted by Andrew Higgins

7:26 AM, Feb 05, 2008

If Seattle doesn't tie Bedard down to an extension, this goes down as the worst trade in Mariner's history.

Geoff, I sure hope you are willing to eat your goddamn crow when the Mariners suck it up this year.

Posted by a baltimore perspective

8:13 AM, Feb 05, 2008

bedard went into yankee stadium and fenway park nonplussed and killed mugs. dude is fearless -- a very rare intangible. unfortunately that fearlessness was lost on the patchwork group of vets that make up the os. every baltimore fan knows its well past time to add young position players to its group of great young pitchers (and rowelll & wieters & niemold). this deal isnt a steal, just the right thing to do for both sides. tho, admittedly, mcphail may have bled youse just a little…

Posted by California Bob Kelly

8:38 AM, Feb 05, 2008

This trade, if the M's give up 3 young power arms, plus a quality reliever, plus a potential young star outfielder, has all the earmarks of a disaster...remember Swift, Jackson, and one other pitcher for Kevin Mitchell. I have maintained all along that 1 pitcher plus Jones, and a major league roster player was enough. We shall rue this trade.

Posted by byebyeSexson

8:39 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I like this trade although we gave until it hurts. A lot of good comments about 2008 and it helps me learn. However, any lineup with a guy in it whose name starts with "Sex..." is not a good lineup. Sit him or send him, PLEASE!

Posted by M's 2008

9:05 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Anyone heard anything about SEA possibly pursuing Bonds?

It seems like an ideal fit doesn't it?

Posted by JC

9:26 AM, Feb 05, 2008

the only past Mariner trade you can compare this to is Kevin Mitchell's deal. That one was bad for the M's. Comparing this to a Slocumb deal, or to the Timlin deal, is wrong. Bedard has two years as a Mariner until anything else will happen. Plus- he's used to performing and competing in the American league. Those are both positives for the M's. Another factor, this Mariner team last year wasn't bad and they are dealing from positions of strength- at least with LH relief pitching.

Will we rue this trade? Only time will tell, perhaps, if Bedard leaves or falters, and if Jones and the players we traded ended up being all-stars. I think that those who are afraid of making this trade must be huge M's fans. After all, that fear has been keeping the M's from making a move like this for years, and its about time they seize the opportunity and take a risk.

We cannot sit on our hands forever and hope that the minor league system produces all-stars...it just hasn't been reliable for that. For years the M's were the farm team to the real major league teams and traded away countless productive players- Phil Bradley, Danny Tartabull, Mark Langston, Ken Griffey, Ken Phelps- just to name a few- and where did that get them? NEVER TO THE WORLD SERIES. You know what they say? If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result? That is referred to as the definition of insanity.

Posted by Lance

10:05 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I spotted this report from today's Canada.com on Bedard's whereabouts.

Posted by Lance

10:08 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I spotted this report regarding Bedard's whereabouts on today's Canada.com.

http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/story.html?id=02c0e3f5-f694-4523-bbe0-aa8844732913&k=35216

Posted by Joemama

10:14 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Any truth to the rumor Jesse Orosco is in Seattle taking a physical today?
A worker at his senior center said he was catching a plane late last night after his early bird dinner.

Posted by Bomberboy

10:17 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Lance and others...comparing Meche with Bedard?? Are you out of your minds??? Just look at what Bedard did last year in 6 starts aginst Toronto, (1) Boston (2) and NY(3)....his ERA was 2.40, his innings per start was 7, he gave up 0.55 hits per inning (23 total) and went 3-0. Against NY alone he started three, won 2, pitched exactly 7 full innings each start , gave up 11 hits and an ERA 1.30. Now tell me again what about Gil Meche resembles this guy...help me out...It is ok to no like this trade, I have my doubts, but Bedard will come in as Seattle's very best pitcher since Randy Johnson. My view is , offer him an immediate four year $50-60 million deal and this trade is very good....lose him after two years and it is not so good...and by the way, for those Lincecum lovers, the Giants made him available in trades this off season....and if you think drafting Morrow was a bad move, well, you need to revisit Al Chambers and Ryan Anderson !

Posted by Griffey24

10:23 AM, Feb 05, 2008

For all those concerned about how much the M's are giving up in this deal, some of the posts mentioning how many can't-miss pitching prospects the M's have kept and gotten nothing for are right on the mark.
How many pitching prospects ever make it to the majors and go on to be successful pitchers? I would venture it's about a 1-in-4 shot. For every Ryan Anderson, Clint Nageotte and Travis Blackley, there's a Felix Hernandez...Felix has always been a top M's prospect, as Anderson was, while Nageotte and Blackley were considered a notch lower. So considering the M's are giving up three pitching prospects, the odds are that only one (say Tillman, who is certainly the best of the three) will amount to being a major-league contributor. If the deal winds up being Jones, Tillman and Sherrill (already a solid contributor at the big league level) for Bedard, I think I can live with that trade, even if Tillman is better than average. And if Tillman doesn't pan out, the M's wind up breaking even (I don't see Jones being a bust), not bad considering they are in better position to win now vs. waiting. It's a gamble; but it would also be a gamble to keep all the prospects and not get Bedard.

Posted by Eburg T

10:27 AM, Feb 05, 2008

As an Oriole fan I am jazzed.

Says it all. Always a good sign when the team on the other end of the trade is totally stoked about the outcome.

Always.

Posted by jkherz

10:38 AM, Feb 05, 2008

The important distinction between this trade and the Kevin Mitchell deal is that it was a publicity deal that was made to sell tickets when this franchise was really struggling to bring in 10,000 fans into the Kingdome; it was not going to be enough help to get the team into the playoffs. Then came the desperation deals of the mid-to-late 90's to try and get some pitching – which of course brought us nothing and used up the last of Griffey's and our fan base’s patience while guys like Varitek and Lowe have gone on to long, successful Allstar careers.

Earlier in this decade, the team then became extremely gun-shy to making deals due to these mistakes – so they attempted to build the franchise from within after making a few free agent signings (Boone, Olerud, Ichiro, Sele, etc). But unfortunately very few of our biggest minor league stars have been able to translate their potential into success at the big league level in the last few years – and after numerous seasons where acquiring 1 or 2 players at the deadline or in the off-season could have pushed us to the top, we stood pat and hoped the team would have enough to win (which we all know was unfortunately not true).

Which leads us to Adam Jones. Since he is actually looking like a solid player who will someday find a good amount of success in the bigs, there seems to be this fearful belief that we have uncovered another Griffey or Arod and that dealing him is a serious waste of a potential Hall of Famer. While I agree that Jones is a top talent, the angle fans seem to be missing when looking at this potential trade is that this deal is a sign of the maturation of our club's approach to making trades. Finally the team sees that if you are going to make a deal and risk giving away some of your young talent – very valuable young talent at that – that you need to go for the usually un-obtainable top-of-the-rotation pitching that is only rarely available and also could realistically provide the team with the same foundation and years of success the young talent we deal away could have provided.

I honestly believe that the team feels they have a very good shot at signing Bedard to an extension or they would not be making this deal. If we do sign him to an extension and he is able to avoid major injury, all of us will be very happy with this trade in the years to come – especially when the Angels come to town late this year in a close race and we have this year's pitching staff of Felix, Bedard, and others to go after them.

Posted by Rick in Texas

10:38 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Here is another interesting note from the Stark column mentioned earlier:

• Are Bedard and Felix Hernandez about to become the most dominant top-of-the-rotation tag team in the American League? They just might. Bedard is one of the top half-dozen pitchers in the whole sport. And one AL executive says of Felix: "There's a Josh Beckett season in there somewhere."

We'd take that duo over Beckett-Dice-K, Halladay-Burnett, Wang-Pettitte, Verlander-Bonderman or Lackey-Escobar. But one NL evaluator says he'd still take one pair ahead of all of them -- C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona.


Obviously, this is up to debate but is a nice one to have. And if the Mariner's can't resign Bedard before he becomes a F/A, they can put him on the market and bring in some young players. They likely wouldn't get a Jones talent in return, but who knows. An early thirties left hander still has a ton of value.

Posted by scottM

10:44 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Check out their blogs. There are plenty of O's fans who hate this trade, and probably a 60% majority who love it. With M's fans, it seems to be about 50/50.

It's patently illogical to suggest that a trade be judged by how well the players we give up end up doing. If, on the one side, Adam Jones becomes a Hall of Fame center fielder, Tillman becomes a #2 starter, Butler and Miklolio (sp) join the O's bullpen, Sherrill is packaged in a trade for more young arms who deliver, and, on the other side, Bedard helps the M's win a World Series, then the trade is not a wash, it will have been a superb trade for both clubs. The way this is a BAD trade is if the player the M's acquires (or the players the O's acquire) fails to contribute at the level expected, whether through poor performance or injury, or, in the case of Bedard, by only being here for a short duration.

Bavasi is definitely putting all his eggs in one basket with this trade which is why extending Bedard, NOW, should be priority number one for the M's. Suggesting that we give up as much as we are, with the out that we can trade Bedard within the next two years for more prospects, doesn't fly. We've risked too much for that. And if we're going to risk, then go all the way!

GET BEDARD, EXTEND BEDARD!!!

Posted by Dominican/Alaskan

10:50 AM, Feb 05, 2008

I was raised in Seattle when the M's came to town in 1976 and have always enjoyed going to their games since. I think this trade is what we needed and something a lot of longtime fans have been waiting for. I was concerned at first, but I see they are trading from their strengths and will be able to cover.

For those of you that worry about signing Bedard to an extension, just look at where he is coming from. Would you not try free agency pitching for a team that is rebuilding in a tough division and is hard to negotiate with? Baltimore is offering to pay him 6M for this year and would like 8M. He doesn't sound like he is happy there. Now look at Seattle. Located close to Canada (far from Ottawa though), a GM that has yet to go to arbitration with his team, a team that was willing to pay a hefty contract to Santana and give up prospects to do so, contending in a weak division with a dominant pitching staff, and has a pitchers ballpark just to name a few things. I think Bedard will like Seattle.

Posted by Adam

11:20 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Which leads us to Adam Jones. Since he is actually looking like a solid player who will someday find a good amount of success in the bigs, there seems to be this fearful belief that we have uncovered another Griffey or Arod and that dealing him is a serious waste of a potential Hall of Famer.


Ok, can we just clear this up?

Who, exactly, is calling Adam Jones another Griffey, or a potential Hall of Famer?

I honestly haven't seen anybody make such a comparison, and it looks a lot like a straw man made up by the pro-traders.

Posted by Big Ebu

11:47 AM, Feb 05, 2008

scottM

Good points, I agree with you that the “success” of this trade hinges solely on how the Mariners perform with Bedard in 2008 and 2009 and whether he signs an extension or not. What AJ and the others do with the Orioles makes no difference to me. If Bedard signs an extention and during his tenure here he leads us to a World Series then this is a good trade for the Mariners even if AJ ends up being a perennial all-star for the O’s.

I also agree that the philosophy that we can always trade Bedard in 2009 for prospects if this doesn’t pan out is a weak argument from the “pro trade” crowd. If you really believe that then this trade should not be made in the first place.

Posted by Mr.X

11:59 AM, Feb 05, 2008

Did you know bestiality is legal in Washington state?

Posted by scrapiron

12:23 PM, Feb 05, 2008

This quote is from the Baltimore Sun from Erik Bedard, where he is discussing that he'd be open to signing an extension with the Orioles. So if he was that open to signing an extension with the Orioles, why wouldn't he be even more open to signing an extension with the Mariners?
-------------------------------------------
However, Bedard said he is still open to discussing a contract extension, a departure from his viewpoint earlier this offseason, according to MacPhail.

"There's not an offer on the table," Bedard said. "They're playing it both ways. I don't know how they go about doing their business. It's none of my business, and I don't really care. But I would consider [an extension]. I've enjoyed my time in Baltimore. But everything would have to be right, and it would have to be for what I believe I'm worth."

Posted by downinthegroove

12:24 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Ughh. So now the know-it-alls' are already covering their bases with..."Well if it doesn't work out we can still make a trade and recover most of our losses."

Wow. I would hate to see your retirement plan.

This is going to happen so now they have to go for broke. Unfortunately doing so is going to mean rushing youngsters not ready for the bigs and demanding more than you should. Morrow should not be a reliever...Or a roster guy for that matter. He should be in Tacoma learning to control his fastball and develop pitches. Too bad this team has to out produce last years miracle run and have everything go right to justify this poor of management. Everything.

I will stick to my guns even if Bedard is the stud as advertised....This is desperation to save Bavasi's job and the price is going to set us back for years. It will take an act of God to get 88 wins next year and that ain't gonna get it done.

Oh, and so we have a studly 1-2 punch that keeps us in a series....Hmmm....Ok so we lost our first two games 4-2 and 2-0 because MannyR and Ortiz teed off and had big hits while ummmmm....who do we have as big time offensive threats? yeah...sweet.

And Mr.X...Good God.

Posted by Mike

12:59 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Back away from the Mariner Moose Mr. X. Very slowly.

Posted by Donovan

1:15 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Here's a self-righteous thought to break the tedium of endless restatements of the same basic argument:

According to the Canada.com article that Lance cited this morning, the Orioles' FO has yet to actually notify Bedard that a trade is in the works. So far as he knows, he's to report for ST in Ft. Lauderdale next week. What a bunch of paranoid creeps. Whatever you think of Bavasi's job performance, he has at least always treated his employees with respect, be they stars or rookies. He did the right thing by Adam Jones in telling him straight up about the trade on the front end, and how Adam should understand he was the centerpiece of the deal on our end and his value made the whole thing possible. Ironically, honesty and decency got our team in trouble with the personal injury lawyer who owns the O's. There was never any legitimate business reason to keep things secret when the whole world already knew the deal was going down. I think the "rules issue" is a total crock. Angelos is a stooge, and McPhail isn't rating any better than a yes man in my book. If making Erik feel wanted and at home is key to getting him signed to a longer term deal, then the M's have a very easy act to follow.

Posted by Donovan

1:16 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Should we re-name this thread "Mr X has an epiphany?"

Posted by JiminMT

1:24 PM, Feb 05, 2008

I'm an O's fan and yes I am stoked about the trade, but not because we bilked the M's. For myself it's the fact that by dealing Erik we've broken the year after year bad habit of patchworking a bunch of has-beens and never-will-bes together with a couple of fantastic players and calling it an off-season. If we trade Bedard and then Roberts, a new direction has been set, right or wrong.

Regarding the Bedard=Meche comment (I know the poster has been hammered already so I'll kick him while he is down) you could not be more wrong. When Bedard is bad, he's not that bad. When he's good, you've never seen anyone better.
The guy will be a legitimate CY contender, will put you in the position to win over 20 games, and will lead the league in Ks this year. How do you complain about that. Oh and by the way, did I mention he's cheap?

Good luck to the M's and Erik. I'll be there in early August to watch your bullpen implode against my birds.

Posted by Erik Bedard

1:25 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Worst case: Bavasi is unable to get an extention done, and I walk before the 2010 season. As a Type A Free Agent, I'd still bring the M's 2 #1 supplemental picks to find the next Tillman and Jones.

Unless you're convinced that Jones is HOF material, that should be somewhat reassuring. If you are convinced that Jones is the next Griffey, then you should feel reassured that your Jones Tacoma Rainiers jersey is about to become 'vintage'.

Posted by Big Ebu

1:30 PM, Feb 05, 2008

scrapiron, the big question is what does Bedard think he is worth?

Posted by Mark WS

1:32 PM, Feb 05, 2008

With Santana in the NL, why wouldn't EK be the leading Cy Young candidate? THAT IS A GOOD TRADE!

Posted by jkherz

1:50 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Adam – Why do you have to be so confrontational and pick apart claim after claim made on this board that does not agree with you? I know you do not want this deal to be made and you have some supportive data that you continually cite to back up your opinion – I have no problem with that and respectfully disagree – but I was merely trying to point out a historical viewpoint on how we can look at this trade and the encouraging signs that we might actually start making good decisions. In fact, I look forward to coming here for all of the discussion involving different opinions on our favorite subject: Mariners Baseball.

But you must have seen as I have throughout these blog comments that there have been a lot of extremist posts claiming that this trade will doom us for years to come as Bavasi is this rogue village idiot making unfounded risky deals just to selfishly save his own hide, even though a deal of this magnitude would obviously require approval throughout the team’s top management and therefore share some of the responsibility. These people are SO afraid of getting the short end of the stick that their reaction communicates that the players in this deal – namely Jones – are the heart of this club and that they hold all of this team's current and future promise in their hands, ala a player of Griffey or Arod's stature. Equally, those who think this one deal will fix all of the M’s problems and easily hand them the division this year and beyond are also making unfounded fanatical claims. These polarized viewpoints have brought about a lot of disrespectful discussion as it has become an endless and sometimes rude debate of right vs. wrong on here, creating a tone that has made it less fun to read and contribute to this blog.

Sorry my slight exaggeration in my previous post is so offensive that you felt you needed to address it by calling me out, but I (and others who presumably respectfully disagree with your opinion) would appreciate the benefit of the doubt from time to time without continually being singled out. You know, it is okay for all of us to have different opinions and a positive outlook/tone on this situation. I mean c'mon - we both just want our team to win the World Series, right? Go M's!!

Posted by downinthegroove

1:52 PM, Feb 05, 2008

He will only win the CY if he makes the playoffs and this team will not.

Posted by downinthegroove

1:56 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Taking responsiblity from Bavasi is one of the worst arguments ever. Lincoln put himself on and quickly removed himself from the hotseat. He is only a money man and not evaluating talent other than Mario and Luigi.

Give me a break, this is Bavasi and Bavasi and Bavasi and after the M's fail to make the playoffs this year only Bavasi will be looking for a job.....

Posted by Rick in Texas

2:05 PM, Feb 05, 2008

I would consider myself being realistic, not covering my bases.

One of the key things I keep reading is that Bedard could be gone after 2009. Very true. But with this trade you have options.

If Bedard is as advertised, you have numerous options for 2009:

- resign him to a long term deal
- trade him during the 2009 pennant race for prospects
- he wants to be a F/A and you get comp picks (another roll of the dice).

The best case scenario is that Bedard is lights out and signs a long term deal. If he hates Seattle or the dislikes the M's direction, Seattle still has options.

Again, let's be realistic.

Posted by jkherz

2:14 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Thanks for proving my point downinthegroove. I'm afraid it's no use with you guys and all of your negativity. It's really a bummer because I enjoy conversation about intense topics like this - even with people who I disagree with - but not the disrespectful arguments with people who just want to put other people down to make themselves feel better.

Posted by downinthegroove

3:15 PM, Feb 05, 2008

I am not putting people down first of all. I feel good about myself everyday when I put on a uniform and salute my flag.

If you feel that it is excusable to validate poor performance by supporting their work then you are fired. Bavasi has a record to support being absolutely one of the worst GM's around. He cannot get the job done. Look at his record, his draft record, his trade record and tell me he is a winner. This is not personal.

I have been a fan since I was a kid listening to a radio at night and being grateful that Jimmy Presley hit a grandslam to with the game in extra-innings. This is not about bashing it is about results and production. We are a middling organization that has no rudder and is selling off our future for a half-ass now.

Convince me that we are a world series team with our roster. Go for it. I am still waiting???

It is impossible to try and stay competitive and rebuild at the same time with poor management. If you want to support it then look at what Lincoln has done and show me success....Are you proud to support a organization that is one of the most profitable yet one of only 5 or 6 that have NEVER made the WORLD SERIES?

I don't see how demanding accountablity makes me a bad or negative fan. Would you ask anything more of anyone that runs your childrens schools or our governments?

Apples and oranges you say? Do the math for that yourself....

Go M's and lets right the ship....

Posted by Mike

4:07 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Maybe Mr X though big ebu was a big emu?

Posted by Big Ebu

4:11 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Mike - I hope not!!

Posted by Big Ebu

4:16 PM, Feb 05, 2008

downinthegroove,

Just curious, but is your reference to the extra inning Jimmy Presley grand-slam from Opening Day in 1986 against the Angels?

Posted by Mr. X

5:17 PM, Feb 05, 2008

11:59 - Poor try, even for a pathetic troll.

Posted by downinthegroove

5:25 PM, Feb 05, 2008

That would seem right, I was a kid living with my grandparents. GO M's!! Spike Owen, Dave Valle, A.D. and all the rest!!

Posted by jkherz

7:53 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Down – Just to clear the air, let me say that it sounds like we have a good amount in common. I am in total agreement for demanding accountability from the team's ownership and management, especially with their recent track record. It also sounds like we are both around the same age as I too listened to games in the mid-80's religiously (Presley, Phil Bradley, & Mike Moore were some of my favorite players back then), even though I was only a young grade school kid. And I absolutely agree that there virtually no way to rebuild and remain competitive at the same time (I’m still upset with how we handled the 2004-2006 seasons!). Oh, and just for kicks, I actually do help run a school...

Anyway, I think I've made it pretty clear with my posts lately that I don't think this team will instantaneously become a serious World Series threat the second this deal for Bedard goes through – but we are also definitely not in a position to rebuild either. There is a lot of work yet to be done (defense, bullpen, depth), but as I've tried to point out earlier today, maybe Bavasi and Co. are finally taking a solid step to make this team truly better. Now, you may disagree with the merits of this trade and that's fine – but when you look at our franchise's trends over the last couple of decades, I like the progress being shown with this latest approach (see my 10:38am post). Yes, Bavasi is the point man that we can all blame about the past mistakes – but it just gets old hearing how every single thing the man does in the off-season is such a drag on our franchise. Does he deserve his share of criticism? Absolutely. But has he done a few good things while he’s here? Yes (Batista, Johjima, Guillen, etc), and we should give a deal like this a chance before writing it off as a franchise killer.

Basically, I’m just saying that I come on here to talk baseball with M’s fans – not to get into heated arguments over who knows more about the team, whose stats back up their opinions the best, etc. Maybe you don't realize how argumentative your words are, or maybe it’s because we’re on a blog which makes it harder to avoid misinterpretation, or maybe it's my way of reading your messages, but would you appreciate somebody calling you out by saying that one of your claims “is one of the worst arguments ever” when all you’re trying to do is point out that the ineptitude of this franchise should fall on all of the team’s management AND the ownership. I would just appreciate some kind words of disagreement to keep things a whole lot more cordial and fun because we both have the best interests of our favorite team at heart. Go M’s!!!

Posted by downinthegroove

10:48 AM, Feb 06, 2008

Uggh. I am glad you run a school, appreciated. I kill bad people. Who cares?

It is not personal with ya bud. My point is and you backed me up is the M's are under terrible leadership. If you want to quantify horrible records and no playoff appearances with a few average signings then I do not want to live in your world. Being average does not get the prom queen.

I am sure Bob Melvin was a terrible manager as well and he just didn't do a good job. He must hat being in AZ and surrounded with all of that young talent...AND WIN.

Nothing is personal brother but I am critisizing a business and nothing else. If you pay a rediculous amount of money for a product you want a big return. We are not getting it and I am calling them out. Just being happy go lucky gets you nowhere.

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