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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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May 28, 2008 8:26 AM

M's trade for Padres' Wells

Posted by Geoff Baker

Ah, that headline would have excited a little more 12 months ago. After all, a guy like David Wells could have kept things interesting around here for what promises to be a dismal four months to come. But no, it's not David making his way to Seattle. A guy named Jared Wells has been picked up in exchange for Cha Seung Baek. He's a living, breathing body. What else? Well, actually, all snarkiness aside, there is some potential here. But a lot has to happen first.

First, let me get the pro forma stuff aside. Yes, the M's actually won a game last night. Hooray! They snap a seven-game skid and manage to remain 12 1/2 games back of the Los Angeles Angels. The post-game, on-field celebrating was a little much for me to watch. I know they've had a rough time, but, geez. Game Seven of the World Series won't be for another five more months. Yuniesky Betancourt reacting the way he did at being pinch-hit for? You can look at it two ways. One, he's a gamer and wanted a shot at redemption after nearly sinking things with another mind-boggling error. Two, he just doesn't get it. Let's hope, for the team's sake, it's the former. This is the stuff we've been preaching for weeks now. Team first. The team has to come ahead of the individual.

Back to Wells. He's a former college football quarterback, so I like him already. Means he has some smarts. No, the college he played for, East Texas Baptist University, may not have beaten some high school teams in that state, but who cares? (BTW, I'm kidding. Any college program can beat any high school program in this country).

But forget about football. What makes Wells interesting is that before he became a reliever, making his major league debut over the weekend, he was a starting pitcher. Going into spring training 15 months ago, he was still one of the highest rated prospects in San Diego's system.


But Wells had trouble putting things together once he reached the higher echelons of the minors. It was less than a year ago that he converted to relief work, as fans in Portland watching him close for the Class AAA Beavers no doubt know.

So, what does this mean?

Well, the M's don't need another reliever under the age of 30. Especially not one whose fastball tops out in the low 90s. They've got plenty of guys in their 20s who can bring some serious heat. Not to mention sinkerball specialists like Sean Green, who throw softer.

So, I suspect the M's would like to see Wells try starting again. He'll be starting off his Seattle career in AAA, no matter what he winds up doing, so this is the time to experiment.

His numbers as a starter were once pretty good. He had a 3-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in high Class A ball a few years ago. The walks went up and the strikeouts down once he reached AA. But he still produced a 2.64 earned run average his first 12 starts of 2006, when he began the season at AA for the first time. That ERA soared once promoted to AAA that summer, but it turns out he was hiding a hamstring injury.

The numbers didn't improve last year, so he was converted to relief work.

In the interviews I've seen Wells do, he talks of how being a reliever enabled him to gain the confidence he was lacking. He said at the time that he felt, in his mind, that he he could now have success at either facet -- starting or relieving.

He's a 6-foot-4 righthander. Seems a waste to have him in a talented bullpen. I'd like to see the M's take him up on his words and try him out in a Class AAA rotation -- stretching him back out first, of course. Otherwise, he's a living, breathing body and not much else. If you're going to put Brandon Morrow in the rotation and bump everyone else up a notch, then I suppose Wells could earn his way into the sixth inning relief spot.

But you just gave up a major league starter to get him. A borderline major league starter, yes, but a major leaguer nonetheless.

The big difference between Wells and Baek -- besides what I just wrote in the above sentence -- is that Wells has plenty of minor league options left. Baek does not. There were times this year where the M's needed to send Baek back down to free up a roster spot, but could not. They were forced to keep him in the majors in a limited role. Let's not get all sentimental now and try to argue that Baek was something he's not. He was never going to crack this rotation full-time. Even if Jarrod Washburn or Miguel Batista get traded or moved around, Morrow is going to be in the rotation. There really is no room for Baek. He's a fill-in guy, a long reliever. You've already got one of those in R.A. Dickey, a guy who still has another year of minor league options left after this one. Meaning more roster flexibility in 2009 with him. There was little room left for Baek here. If he had options, that's another story. But he didn't. And this team needed a guy, like Dickey, who could be used on multiple nights, given how this rotation has struggled. Not a guy who throws great one time, sits for five days recovering, then looks miserable. Baek needs to be a starter. He's not yet comfortable as a long guy and you can't carry two of those on a roster.

Was Wells worthy of a trade return? Depends on what the M's do with him. I'd like to see him go back to starting and see if that confidence boost pays dividends stats-wise. Yeah, it's a gamble. But Baek's time here was up.



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Posted by Mike

8:47 AM, May 28, 2008

Makes sense Geoff since Baek wasn't going to get a shot. But my problem with this whole thing is that we are keeping 2 high price versions of Baek in the rotation and letting the cheap one go in a trade where we get a lesser talent. Once again in matters of trading we let ourselves get boxed into a corner because of Baek's option situation and had to trade him for less than value. If we knew he was not part of our future it seems we could have shopped him earlier and gotten better value. Why do I feel this way EVERY time Bavasi makes a move?

Posted by Bobby Hill

8:51 AM, May 28, 2008

So if Wells goes to AAA, who takes Baek's spot in the bullpen? Roy Corcoran?

Posted by Who Cares?

8:56 AM, May 28, 2008

Why discuss this trade. None of it matters. Every trade that the Mariners make, every move that the Mariners make will result in NO changes as long as Bill Bavasi is making the moves and John McLaren is making the decisions on the field. Its pointless.

And, I agree Geoff....Jeez, act like you have won a game before.

Posted by sodomojo

8:57 AM, May 28, 2008

I know this is entirely OFF topic, but I have to bring this up...how big of a joke is the All-Star balloting?

Because its now a popularity contest, guys like Manny, Pedroia, Youklis and Varitk are all in the lineup, even Vlad shouldn't be there, but somehow he's managing to edge JD Drew and Bobby Abreu...

when guys who are having years like Magglio Ordonez and Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler at 2B, even Milton Bradley at DH, Dioner Navarro at C, get no love for the all-star, and hacks like Varitek and Pederoia are in there, it's really a joke.

Tha All-Star teams should be selected by the sportswriters, thats it, no more of this fan democratic crap. It's just a bunch of bonehead Red Sox Nation posers sitting at their computer ALL day voting for their homeboys.

If you get a chance Geoff, maybe you can talk about changing the All-Star selection process?

Posted by Nat

8:59 AM, May 28, 2008

Mike, as I understand it, Bavasi has been trying to trade Baek for awhile. OTOH, I usually am a bit suspicious on hearing about ANY trade Bavasi makes - trying to capture a Josh Hamilton-type lightening-in-a-bottle to sign? You never know, but...

Posted by Samurai I Am Awry

9:01 AM, May 28, 2008

HA - agree with the "really, guys?" take on the celebration; to go along with Steve Kelly's prognostications - I said in the first inning last night to my wife "if they manage to win this game I'll bet we see an on-field mobbing on the scale of a World Series victory." A few hours later, after Yuni's Big-E and Ortiz's single, the wife looks up at the TV and says "We are up by 3 still? I guess that means Manny with hit a 3-run bomber here." no more than a minute later.... Still happy with the win.

Posted by Pete

9:02 AM, May 28, 2008

WOW! this is just the bold kind of move that the M's needed to do. It will surely affect the losing ways this team has adapted to.

As for the on field celebration, it is just as overdone as the M's site that suggests fans vote for Sexson, Vidro, Johjima, Bettancourt, etc to the All Star team. Sheesh!

Posted by wag the dog

9:15 AM, May 28, 2008

Yawn. What, no takers for Sexson?

It's not like I'm expecting a game changing trade at this point in the season (and frankly, to make a game changing trade I'm sure Bavasi would give up the remainder of out top prospects so lets not go wishing for the grass on the other side), but how 'bout a little stick to go with all the carrots? Bench some of these guys who aren't doing a darn thing. And leave 'em there for a while.

Must be nice to live in the insular world of Mariner baseball. Big fat paycheck, itty-bitty accountability.

Posted by scrapiron

9:26 AM, May 28, 2008

Jared Wells was a potential #4 starter that should have been in the Padres rotation in 2007, but as Geoff noted, he didn't progress on pace. Maybe a change of scenery and a AAA starting rotation slot will give him the confidence to contribute. I'm just glad they got something for Baek, as he obviously didn't fit in the Mariners plans.

Here is the 2006 Scouting report from Baseball HQ on Jared Wells, ranked the Padres 11th best prospect then:

Strengths: 87-92 MPH two and four-seam fastballs, 86-89 MPH cut-fastball, and 81-84 MPH change-up. Mixes pitches. Athletic/projectable frame. Aggressiveness
Weaknesses: Rotation of 80-83 MPH slider. Command within strike zone. Repeating high delivery
Comments: Workhorse pitcher with well-rounded arsenal, but just doesn't miss enough bats to be effective at upper levels. Projectable frame which may give him a velocity spike, but major improvement will come by repeating high delivery and tightening rotation of slider.
MLB Debut: 2007
Potential: Number four starter

Posted by Mikavexo

9:35 AM, May 28, 2008

Baek was going to refuse assignment to AAA and become a free agent in a few days. San Diego didn't want to take a chance on another team claiming Baek before they had the chance so they made a trade with the M's. The M's were going to get nothing for him in a few days and now they have a potential something in J. Wells. Something is still better than nothing.

As for why we released the lower paid pitchers rather than Washburn and/or Batista the reason is twofold- they have experience in the majors and some success at that level in their career. The other reason is that even if the M's did release them they would still be on the hook for paying them the salary. This is what happens when you have guaranteed contracts and aren't allowed to send a player to the minors.

Posted by scrapiron

9:36 AM, May 28, 2008

Stat of the day

With all the Mariners struggles hitting with RISP, you'd think that no one on the team is effective in this area. Not true.

Q: There are two Mariners currently in the AL Top 20 for batting average with runners in scoring position. Can you name them?

A: Tied for 17th, both hitting .359 (14/39), Jose Vidro and Yuniesky Betancourt

So now you know why Yuni was upset for being pulled for a pinch hitter with a RISP last night. Vidro is already hitting in the #3 slot, maybe they should move Yuni up to get more RBI opportunities too? Maybe #6?

Posted by koogbasschi

9:47 AM, May 28, 2008

This is just my opinion but I find it funny that the same people who beat on the Mariners like a drum during their losing streak are now the ones acting surprised the guys went nutso when they won. Get in a position where you hear from every angle how bad you suck and see how you react when you win agame against the league champions. And you know what else? If the M's hadn't gone bonkers at the end of the game, people would have said "this team has no spark, no fire. Look, they just won a game and they barely celebrated."

Posted by Seymore

9:56 AM, May 28, 2008

Now would be a great tme to dump Batista.

His trade value will never be higher.

Posted by ken

9:57 AM, May 28, 2008

Scott Hatteburg was DFA'd by the Reds yesterday to make room for their phenom, Jay Bruce. Hatteburg would be a big upgrade over the Big K at first base as he is a career .270 left-handed hitter. No long-term answer however he could buy some time for the team once Big K is DFA just to quell some of the fan anger over lack of accountability for poor performance. Hopefully Bonehead Bill has the authority to make this move

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:59 AM, May 28, 2008

Mike - Agree, though it's entirely possible Wells will pan out and we see him audition in September and compete for a slot in 09. Still, Batista's performance last night notwithstanding, Baek should have been starting for Batista or Wash a couple starts ago. He shouldn't have been used as a long reliever in the first place if that's not where his talents were. I can only hope that Baek doesn't turn out to be Yet Another Ex-Mariner Who Blossoms Elsewhere.

SodoMojo - ASG balloting has been that way for years, man. And the game itself is designed to showcase players, not actually be played, so you'll see weird things like players playing all of 2 innings, or starters in late relief.

Re; the celebration - lighten up, guys. They've been sucking pork for weeks, rightfully abandoned by their fans, rightfully trashed in the press, dazed, confused and lost for days. If I were in their place I'd be out there pounding on Lopez' head too. This whole "act like you've been there before" obsession with professionalism and no emotion is B.S.. I want to see some emotion. I want to see some life. I want to be reminded that these guys are human, and care. Obviously it's bad when it distracts them, or if they're showing up another team, or if they're showboating (*cough* Manny *cough*). But they should celebrate their victories. If they're ever going to come together as a team, blah blah chemistry blah, this is the kind of thing they should do. A little excessive? Maybe. Out of place if it happens every time? Yup. Fun to see? Of course!

Better management? On another note - I'm really, really hoping that the benching of Sexson, the sitting Yuni down after an error, the extra drills before the game, etc. means that Mac or someone near him is finally catching a clue. If this trend continues, perhaps just maybe possibly there's some accountability showing up somewhere, and a semblance of a spine growing in Mac's back. Certainly not enough to salvage the season - not going to bother with my Spreadsheet of Doom(tm) this morning - but enough to maybe possibly teach the young guys some discipline and have the team play with pride.

Scrap - Before this season, I'd think that Stottlemyre or Norm or AAA coaches would have been able to work on a guy like Wells and really develop him into a good #4 / #5 guy. Now, I have no faith. :) Either Wells will figure it out or he won't. And, I doubt Yuni was aware of his own stats with RISP; he was just pouting because he knew he was being sat due to the error. At least, I hope that's what it was, because a) as I mentioned above, it shows signs of life in Mac's noggin and b) it's possible that this is the wake-up call Yuni needs to halt his errors for the year at 7 and for him to live up to his potential.

Of course, one game does not a trend make...

Geoff - If you have a chance, would love to hear from Mac on why he swapped Reed for Yuni when, as scrap noted, Yuni is good w/RISP this year. Not just a cover story, ego-saving, "I thought Reed would hit that pitcher better". Please assuage my fears that Mac was misinterpreting stats and/or going with an autopilot lefty-righty nonsense. Please confirm that yes, Yuni was actually being sat b/c he booted a ball.

Posted by SICK56

9:59 AM, May 28, 2008

That was a good win. When Manny hit that 3 run shot, I thought "here we go again"

That was a fun ab to watch of Lopey's. Seems like he has been doing that alot lately, fouling off pitch after pitch, until he gets one he can stroke. It is fun to watch his maturation at the plate.

Yeah the M's victory celebration was a little over the top,

but was it any worse than Manny pointing to the sky just like he's just hit the walk off World Series homer then strutting around the bases like a rooster for a half hour?

What's up with that? Put a bean to his head

Posted by Domingo

10:07 AM, May 28, 2008

Ken

I totally agree with ya about Hatteberg. The guy knows how to get on base. He's walked more than he's struckout in his career. Plus he's got some power, and he's lefthanded. He had a damn good year last year too.

.310 BA .394 OB% .474SLG 27 doubles 10 homers 49 walks 35 k's in 361 abs

I say we pick him up just so we don't have to endure watching Dickie Sexson's patchetic attempt at rejuvenating his career.

Posted by sodomojo

10:24 AM, May 28, 2008

Chris from Bothell,

It used to not matter, now homefield advatage is won by it. However, even if it were a showcase, the idea is that you get to see the BEST talent from both leagues in ONE night, not the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees, and some other guys.

I'm sorry, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek are not the best talent from ANY league. Change the way its done. Have the ONLY popularity contest be the last guy.

As to the Celebration last night, I say, let em have their night of craziness, if they win and do it again tonight, then tell them to grow up, they did just go through a stretch of giving up 50+ runs in 5 games a losing a heartbreaker in NY...I'd want to celebrate.

Posted by reality check

10:36 AM, May 28, 2008

Anybody you get for someone DFA is OK. At least it's a body in AAA.

Posted by sodomojo

10:39 AM, May 28, 2008

The Wells trade is ok, not really worth too much notice though, its just swapping AAA'ers around.

Hatteberg is from Seattle I think, he'd be a good fit in the team, might even bring some of that famous "accountability" with him...

...he'll also make Griffey feel at home when he gets here in September the day after he hits #600.

Posted by grant

10:41 AM, May 28, 2008

Every team in baseball celebrates a walk off game winning hit. Every team in baseball celebrates the end of a long losing streak. So naturally, if they coincide, the celebration will seem larger than necessary. I have no problem with it whatsoever. There are plenty of real problems to complain about when it comes to this team, so get over the celebration.

Posted by scrapiron

10:45 AM, May 28, 2008

Ken might be on to something. Scott Hatteburg might be a good fit for the M's. I know they had some mild interest in him in the past.

Over the past 3 seasons, he hit .298 against right-handers with a .819 OPS. He absolutely stinks against left handers (.218 AVG), but Richie hits okay against lefties. Maybe the setup for a platoon situation, with Hatteburg getting the favorable right handed split?

Plus Hatteburg was born in Oregon and went to WSU, so you have the local feel-good story like Bloomquist.

The big question is whether the Mariners are looking to take on any more salary at this point. The season is done and they might just play out the string with what they have on the field.

Posted by scrapiron

10:52 AM, May 28, 2008

Chris - I don't think Yuni was benched for his error. Otherwise Mac wouldn't have let him put on a batting helmet and stand in the on deck circle. Mac waited until Yuni's at bat was due to ensure he had his coveted righty-lefty matchup he wanted. It had nothing to do with his fielding.

I'm all for righty-lefty matchups, but when the pinch hitter is hitting .200 and the guy you're taking out is one of the few guys who delivers with RISP? Reed grounded out and advanced the runner, but Yuni doesn't strike out much and could have at least delivered that.

Anyway, I'm just happy we're talking baseball strategy. Those 9 run blowouts left me with nothing good to talk about.

Posted by SubMariner

10:55 AM, May 28, 2008

For Sick56 - I think Lopey's nickname should be just that. Now he sounds like the 8th dwarf.. Doc, Sneezy, Sleepy.... Lopey!

For Reality Check - You're rhyming. I like it.

Posted by macdoubter

10:57 AM, May 28, 2008

Getting Hatteburg to replace Suckson might be an ok move and he seems to have a good reputation as a player. It may not help for the longterm. I haven't researched the numbers.A ny good arguments from the stats bloggers for not going after him?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:57 AM, May 28, 2008

At 26 years-old he's got zero ceiling for improvement. The 31st round pick back in 2002 isn't very talented. Doesn't belong in the majors. Doesn't own one plus pitch, he's hit 93 mph on his average fastball this year. He's had awful disastrous numbers in triple-A the past two years including 2008. A non-move in my book.

This has Jason Davis, Rick White, written all over it. Really a non-move that will replace Baek as the new mop-up artist.

Sorry but this isn't going to help the team's future much less this year. He turns27 years old in October.

I'd like to see an interview with team owner Hiroshi Yamauchi, if he will comment on the future front office employment future.

Posted by Bill

10:58 AM, May 28, 2008

A win's a win, but I was puzzled by Mac's pinch hitting for Yuni, as well as his removing of Morrow in favor of Putz in the 9th.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:05 AM, May 28, 2008

Mclaren is completely clueless of stats or capable of managing a little league team. He pulled Yuni because he wanted a lefty-righty match-up as usual. He had no intention of sacrificing with Reed at the plate. Mac got lucky he didn't blow the game with an inning ending double play knowing Reed's ground ball tendencies. What was more embarrassing to the player is that Mac made the decision so late that Yuni had to leave the field when he was half way to the batters box. Mac needs to go ASAP.

Posted by MelloDawg

11:06 AM, May 28, 2008

Wrong again Geoff. Betancourt has been on fire the past couple of week. He's hitting .360 w/RISP for 2 years in a row now. So how about THIS school of thought?

Yuni has extra motivation for his error, so he'll do better the plate.

But no, it's a good idea to tick him off and bench him, right? Absolutely.

Posted by K-Man

11:10 AM, May 28, 2008

Since beating the show-boating Red Sox and their hoards of frontrunning "fans" is one of my greatest pleasures in life, I relished watching the Lopez at-bat and subsequent home club celebration at second base last night.

Mike Timlin is done. He'll likely be DFA'd after last night.

Morrow was fantastic. Getting ahead of those guys with the curve and then putting them away with the high heat was unbelievable. I can see why the club is so confused. Do you really want to remove that heat from the bullpen and send him into the rotation with less velocity? Tough call.

Bill: Putz was used in the ninth because there's no such thing as a save at home in extra innings. That was the only inning available to him, since we didn't score in the eighth.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:13 AM, May 28, 2008

I've watched Betancourt in the minor leagues interact with his teammates from less than 5 feet away on numerous occasions, much closer than a press box I might add. And I can tell you he is a team player. He does get it. His competitiveness is exactly what you want in a clubhouse.

Posted by Scanman

11:14 AM, May 28, 2008

It seems to me tha all of you are missing what is really going on here. Yea, its fun to call for a head to roll or to want to trade deadwood type players, but you really have to pay attention to the attendance figures. From last year to this one, we are only down about 3 thousand a game. The front office looks at that and says, oh its just the economy. They still feel as if their business model is working fine and until there is no one in the seats, nothing will change.

Posted by Go M's!

11:20 AM, May 28, 2008

I'm with K-Man...if you were at that game last night, with all the bandwagon Sox fans in the stands, than that celebration was warranted. When you've lost 7 straight ugly games, a bunch of Sox fans from Kent who've never stepped foot in Boston or Fenway Park are here rooting for the opposing team, and we hit a game winning hit, than they should be able to celebrate. This team needs a spark and we got that last night from Morrow and Lopez.

GO M's!

Posted by SubMariner

11:20 AM, May 28, 2008

MelloDawg - you can't just throw stuff out there like "Yuni has extra motivation for his error, so he'll do better the plate."

There is zero reasoning of any kind to back this up. If this kind of stuff were true then Sexson (although Suxson is more appropriate right now) would be crushing the ball seeing as how he's in a serious year+ long funk.

You can do better than that MelloDawg. C'mon I know you can.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:23 AM, May 28, 2008

Scrap / Resin - Damn! I had a glimmer of hope of some kind of accountability going on or something. I wasn't watching the game closely when the swap happened, I just saw Yuni moping later. Mindless lefty/righty autopilot nonsense really honks me off. Bah.

Posted by Adam

11:27 AM, May 28, 2008

The best Yuniesky Betancourt can do at the plate is a 93 OPS+, which is what he did last year. He doesn't hit for power. He doesn't get on base. And he's not a very good fielder any more. He's a below-average shortstop.

I could care less if he's a good teammate. He isn't very good, and we would be wise to trade him to a team that possibly thinks he's better than he really is.


Posted by Adam

11:29 AM, May 28, 2008

And re: the Wells trade - It doesn't make the organization any better or any worse. It's an irrelevant move. Can't fault Bavasi, although I would argue he should have dealt Baek during ST.

Posted by SubMariner

11:38 AM, May 28, 2008

2 for 1

IMO - Sexson needs a change of scenery and I really wanted to get behind the Washburn acquisition, but I never could - even when he pitched marginally well in the beginning.

Isn't there any way we might be able to package these two together and go after only one person. Since we've got a couple of choices w/in our own system (Clement being one of them) and maybe with some new-old blood, like Hatteburg we could start to make some waves.

Posted by Trufan

11:43 AM, May 28, 2008

Perhaps Mac thought Yuni may press too hard and swing at too many bad pitches, as he seems to do anyways. I understand his stats and why he should have been at the plate, but sometimes a manager just has to use instincts. I feel Reed is a little more disciplined at the plate, and if he is to be a pinch-hitter(back-up outfielder) for this club, he needs to get use to pinch-hitting in situations such as this(not that we have many situations like this here), yes?

The celebration, cut them some slack. They just ended a losing streak in whci they mostly played horrible, recently lost a couple of well-played games, and won on a night that everything pointed to them losing, and after Yuni's error, seemed to maybe send them to another defeat. Let them celebrate for one night. Who knows, this could be the start of something. They've been competetive the last few games, played hard, perhaps a win and a little bit of celebration will help them all to relax a little and help them to play better baseball. If they keep playing hard, smart, and with some confidence(as this win may have lifted), they may still make something of this season(I know, I'm looking at this positively---but, I'm tired of being negative).

I feel that Baek should have been in the rotation before being DFA'd, but being what it is, at least they got something for him. Sometimes a change of scenery can change a players performance. All too often though, it usually is the player that improves that the M's trade away. :( Here is hoping Baek has a good career, but I also want to see Wells come on and pitch well for the M's.

I'm not a stats guy. I'm just a fan.

Posted by The Ultimate Optimist

11:56 AM, May 28, 2008

Can we stop talking about trading Sexson, Washburn and Batista. No one is going to trade for them. Players like that get shopped around, the team finds no takers and then finally decides to DFA them when they're ready to commit to letting the younger guys take over. They'll try to shop them around for 10 days, but realistically, what team would give up even a marginal A ball player for Sexson? I like Richie, but he's not worth anything in trade. Same with Washburn. Batista maybe since he used to relieve, but realistically... no.


We won't get Hatteberg. We're already paying Sexson a ton of money. Why would the M's DFA him, continue to pay him and also sign Hatteberg, who is hitting about .170 this year, and pay him all for a season that is lost. I am the Ultimate Optimist, but even I have came to the conclusion that the season is gone and they're just playing out the string with the guys they got.

Posted by zona

12:02 PM, May 28, 2008

Mac says benching Sexson has nothing to do with him hitting .200. He goes on to say Sexon is "working hard." Who cares how hard he's working? Someone needs to tell him not to confuse effort with results. This is not kindergarten, where doing your best is OK. Sexson hasn't produced in two years, and presumably he has been "working hard" all that time. The only thing that matters is getting the job done, and he obviously is not getting it done.

Posted by scrapiron

12:03 PM, May 28, 2008

Another reason we won't get Hatteburg: We already had him on the roster. His name was Greg Norton.

Posted by rv

12:06 PM, May 28, 2008

what's the difference; it is the front office that must be traded

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:06 PM, May 28, 2008

Adam - And the better fielder, power bat and/or OPS+ shortstop than Yuni, available in either our farm system or for trade this year, is...?

Posted by Bill

12:07 PM, May 28, 2008

K-Man, I understand your point about no extra inning saves at home, but my question was why was Morrow pulled after pitching the 8th? He only threw 13 pitches. It just makes me think that the statements about stretching Morrow out to become a starter is just lip service.


Does anyone think that if the M's drafted Lincecum that he would be starting for the M's? I don't think so. I think he would be doing what Morrow is doing, so there's not really much point in arguing who is better. Both teams selected wisely, but SF is using their pick more wisely than the M's.

Posted by cesame

12:17 PM, May 28, 2008

Does a nobody like Wells really deserve more than a few sentences?

Posted by K-Man

12:19 PM, May 28, 2008

Bill: Besides the fact that Putz could not get a save, Morrow was replaced by Putz in the ninth because Putz needed the work. I don't always, but in this case I agree with Mac's logic. If the M's had failed to score in the ninth, then it would've come down to Green, Lowe and RRS to bring it home. Thanks to Lopez that did not occur.

Morrow is not yet headed to the "Joba track," likely because of the reason I gave before - (Do you really want to remove that heat from the bullpen and send him into the rotation with less velocity?) Tough call, but I think Morrow should be groomed to starting at this point.

Posted by celebrate

12:20 PM, May 28, 2008

So, they can't celebrate for a win? Maybe you didn't notice, but the win ended a 7 game losing streak. They have every reason to be happy and celebrate so shut up Geoff.

Posted by DomingoRamos

12:22 PM, May 28, 2008

Hatteberg seems like a good idea, Sexson can't hit rightys, Hatteberg can't hit lefties.

The only problem is, that it makes too much sense. Bavasi would never make a simple, sensible deal like that. He will probably trade a useful player to the Atlanta Braves for Greg Norton.

Also...maybe keeping Morrow in the pen isn't such a bad idea afterall. The Mariners could groom him to be their future closer, with Putz being his mentor, passing the torch that Eddie Guardado passed to him. The way things are going with Putz, we may be needing Morrow as a closer sooner than later. sorry Putz I love ya but....

Morrow has straight up GAS ! His offspeed pitch isn't that nasty, but when you see a 99 mph fastball, then a 84 mph offspeed pitch it throws off the hitters timing

Posted by SICK56

12:27 PM, May 28, 2008

scrapiron

Norton and Hatteberg aren't even close to the same player

Posted by K-Swag

12:27 PM, May 28, 2008

Geoff Remember how we talked about accountability?Well even though I dont think it was smartest for the team to pinch hit for Yuni it sent a message.If your not going to focus on defense then your not going to hit you have to play both sides of the field.Now Yuni knows he better not make any more dumb errors or else he will be sat so hopefully he will focus more.

Also if the Mariners are as patient for the rest of the year as they were yesterday against Dice-K then they will be successfull.If they go up and swing at the first pitch every time then they will continue to be awful.Somebody still needs to tell Kenji,Yuni, and Richie when he plays to stop swinging at the first pitch,

Also I think Cairo should just take Richies Job.He makes more contact plays better defense and can do the small things.

This team is a small ball team we won like that with sweet Lou.Get a man on 2nd with no outs bunt him over,Steal bases,hit and run win with pitching and score just enough runs.Manufacture runs instead of waiting for somebody to hit the big HR.SImple as that.

Posted by Greg

12:31 PM, May 28, 2008

Will somebody please explain to me why all the deals the Mariners make are with NL teams??

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

12:33 PM, May 28, 2008

From Roto World. Yikes, the truth hurts:

The changes in Seattle need to start at the top. If one thing is for certain, it's that current GM Bill Bavasi shouldn't have anything to do with the much-needed retooling that has to happen over the next seven months. Unfortunately, the Mariners' bad contracts will be impossible to move. No one from the group of Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, Jarrod Washburn, Jose Vidro, Richie Sexson and Kenji Johjima has any trade value at all. Free-agent-to-be Raul Ibanez is the one player the Mariners must use to acquire a couple of quality prospects. Adrian Beltre is owed $11.5 million next year and doesn't have big numbers, so he probably wouldn't bring back what he's worth. The Mariners don't even have any veteran setup men likely to be prized by other terams. They could attempt to completely blow it up and move both Ichiro Suzuki (limited no-trade clause) and Erik Bedard, but that seems highly unlikely. More than anything else, what they need is a quality GM. There's no excuse at all for them to spare any expense in replacing Bavasi. Further immediate changes to the lineup might not come after the foolish move to send down Jeff Clement and give Vidro his job back. However, the Mariners need to do something different in the rotation. Sending Batista to the pen makes the most sense. Jarrod Washburn has been just as bad, but Batista is the one of the two more likely to be of use as a reliever. Ryan Feierabend has been about as effective as anyone in the PCL and could get a chance to take over.

Posted by David Gee

12:34 PM, May 28, 2008

So that the guys you trade don't come back to haunt you on the field. That's why you especially NEVER see teams trade good players within their own division.

Posted by scrapiron

12:55 PM, May 28, 2008

In case anyone wanted to know, Bavasi's current GM record for the Mariners and Angels is 751 W, 857 L, which gives his teams a .467 winning percentage. He's never been GM over a team that even won 90 games in a season.

Posted by JoB

1:00 PM, May 28, 2008

To K-Swag (12:27) - I have the opposite impression - I think Richie looks at the first two strikes, then swings at something low and away. He must have set a record for the most three pitch, one swing strikeouts.
Sometimes Beltre falls into a similar pattern, take the good pitches and swing at the following bad ones.
Is that where the hitting coach is supposed to help?
If we got Hatteberg, maybe he cold platoon with Cairo at 1st? You have to pay Richie, but you don't have to have him lose games for you. Actually, his last game, he helped the team a little bit more than usual, he struck out three times, instead of hitting into double plays - only 3 outs instead of more.
I signed in yesterday as "Who Cares Anymore?" then someone else used "Who Cares?" so I'll come up with a new handle.

Posted by wabubba

1:04 PM, May 28, 2008

Bill and K-man,

About Morrow v. Putz to start the 9th inning:

Based on Varitek's history v. Putz, we got VERY lucky last night. Did anyone else notice that Varitek's career numbers v. Putz was 3 for 8, with 2 HRs? Granted it worked out this time, but we could have been talking about a 4-3 loss as Putz gives up a heartbreaking home run.

Shame on McLaren for putting Putz in that situation.

As for PH for Betancourt, if it's about fielding I have no problem with that but there is no reason for him to be on the on-deck circle. That leads me to believe that it was about creating a situational advantage...unfortuantely the numbers did not indicate that as Betancourt is clutch (as others have noted).

Exhibits A and B as to why McLaren must go. These type of mistakes are common almost every game.

Posted by macdoubter

1:04 PM, May 28, 2008

Resin, you had me at Rick White. Ouch!

Posted by scrapiron

1:13 PM, May 28, 2008

Trade Sexson to the Mets for Carlos Delgado. Salaries are nearly identical, Sexson used to hit well in the National League, Delgado used to hit well in the American League. Change of scenery might do them both well.

Besides, Sexson isn't a "throat-grabber". Shake up the roster. See what happens.

Posted by Adam

1:15 PM, May 28, 2008

Chris from Bothell - who knows? I don't know what players will be available at the SS position; that shouldn't keep us from looking.

Bottom line - Yuni isn't very good.

Posted by stripesjr

1:20 PM, May 28, 2008

Isn't Wells out of options next year? And, if so, won't they have to do the same thing with Wells as they did with Baek?

Posted by matt

1:24 PM, May 28, 2008

Hatteberg is not part of the future solution for this team. Forget about it.

Geoff, do we know what the delay is in getting Morrow stretched out and slotted into the rotation?

Posted by Zzzzzz

1:25 PM, May 28, 2008

Here is the sign of MaLaren's incompetence.
From todays mariners notes, they are talking about infield practice being back "in fashion"

You know what? I'm just changing the routine," McLaren said. "We've actually been fielding the ball really well. I'm just trying to change the routine up, maybe give a little spring training theme. I'm trying to break the monotony a little bit."


How many errors in the past 10 games????
and he is all "no big deal"

He should be saying something like "Heck yeah we are taking infield practice! 20some errors in the last so many games!?" that blows, and I will not stand for it. They are going to do this for the rest of the year and until we go a month without an error"
But then, Mac is not a good manager or leader.

Posted by macdoubter

1:27 PM, May 28, 2008


Exhibits A and B as to why McLaren must go. These type of mistakes are common almost every game.

Agreed. Have you noticed how so many people want to deflect any blame or responsibility from MacLaren, yet I see very few posts (if any) from these same persons pointing out the great strategic moves made by MacLaren in a game.

Posted by macdoubter

1:28 PM, May 28, 2008


He should be saying something like "Heck yeah we are taking infield practice! 20some errors in the last so many games!?" that blows, and I will not stand for it. They are going to do this for the rest of the year and until we go a month without an error"

That's what Lou would say!

Posted by Zzzzz

1:33 PM, May 28, 2008

MacDoubter
The best moves he makes is when he gets tossed out early

Posted by SubMariner

1:52 PM, May 28, 2008

To: Zzzzzz

I wholeheartedly agree. Although I don't think Mac is the problem for the team's struggles I think that he's been lackluster as far as motivating the team. He should be saying things along the lines of what you said.

He needs to light a fire under some butts!

Posted by drake

1:53 PM, May 28, 2008

I'm not going to pretend to know how the Baek for Wells trade will work out, but I give the Padres' fans the advantage if only for transparency. DePodesta actually puts his thoughts and stats behind the decision to trade for Baek.

http://itmightbedangerous.blogspot.com/2008/05/baek-for-wells.html

Imagine that! A GM who has sound reasoning for the moves he makes and is willing to share them with the fans. And yes, Wells is out of options next year, so he has to remain on the starting roster next year or he, too, will be gone.

Say what you will about Baek, but there was no reason to DFA him given how unused the bullpen was at the time. Mac's small view of the bullpen only allowed for using RSS and Baek to mop up and when Baek became unavailable due to pitching back to back days, he was thrown out, like the bathwater.

Posted by scrapiron

2:01 PM, May 28, 2008

Bret Boone just retired. A true "throat grabber", I was hoping he'd make it back. I guess Canseco was right.

Corey Patterson just got sent down to the minors. I know Adam likes him in a Mariners uniform. He's probably at his cheapest price right now.

Posted by Donovan

2:25 PM, May 28, 2008

I know it is in vogue to bash Bavasi for the sun coming up in the morning, but the Baek/Wells deal was really the best the M's could do. They have been shopping Baek since ST, but nobody wanted him because they knew he would be DFA'd eventually, and, more importantly, he isn't really any good. He's out of options because he hasn't been any good in his previous years either. It was either a low risk longshot like Wells or let Baek walk. If there had been a better option, they would have taken it. This deal isn't representative of anything. It's just what happens with players who fail to pan out. Nobody can get something for nothing.

Other than Yuni's error last night, there was nothing legit to criticize the M's or Mac for. All his moves worked out, therefore they were correct by definition. That doesn't change the fact that the team is bad, but they played well last night almost to a person. Batista pitched as well as he can or should be expected to. The bullpen was lights out, and the hitters came through when they needed to. Last night was a snapshot of what the M's needed to do every single game to compete this season. If everybody does their job to full potential, they are just good enough to compete. If anybody is off, then they aren't close to competitive. If several people are off, they really suck. There is no excess capability and no room for error on this team.

Love the calls for Cairo to get more PT. After the way he was pillaged this Spring, that's delicious irony. You gotta like the effort he puts in, even if he can't really hit. At least he can put a bunt down and run the bases. He fields his position well too. On a team with an offense, he might be a great bench player...

Posted by drake

2:36 PM, May 28, 2008

'they've been shopping Baek since ST' - Donovan

What is your source on this? Padres GM DePodesta says in his blog (I linked to above) that they made inquiries about Baek's availability after the Bedard deal, but the M's said they really wanted to keep him. Then, after seeing him pitch during ST they tried again to no avail.

Posted by Mike

2:43 PM, May 28, 2008

Here's a fun stat. The Ms pitching/defense has given up an OPS of .796 which is higher than any Mariner regular. has produced offensively.

Posted by Donovan

2:45 PM, May 28, 2008

drake - That has been an assumption of mine (and lots of others) since ST ended and he made the team. I couldn't and still can't see any benefit to having him on the roster. There is no pitching role Baek can fill for which we don't already have better options. My guess is that the M's weren't too thrilled with anything offered for him by the Padres or anybody else (e.g., Jared Wells), and were hoping some team would need a replacement bad enough to give up somebody more valuable. It didn't happen, so they finally had to accept his low value and cut him loose. I don't doubt that lowball offers were made, but why assume the Padres ever valued him higher than what they gave up in this trade? I'm just making what seem to me to be obvious and logical conclusions, given how the M's have handled Baek.

In retrospect, they should have traded him after ST. He's contributed nothing.

Posted by drake

3:08 PM, May 28, 2008

Of course SD probably tried to give Bavasi something of lesser value than Baek, because that's what GM's do to Bavasi over and over. Once Baek was DFA'd, the Padres had the advantage.... either Bavasi takes what they give him, or he goes to waivers and someone can take him for $20K.

Baek was used like a glorified garbage man here, so it's no surprise that his contributions would be seen by the casual fan as garbage. My guess is we'll see him get better than decent stats next season for the Padres as a 5th starter. Something, over the course of a season, he could've contributed to the M's on the cheap (as opposed to Washburn's outlandish salary).

Posted by Mike

3:14 PM, May 28, 2008

Ultimately neither Baek or Wells are that important now. My problem with the whole thing goes to philosophy. Baek could give you exactly what Washburn, Silva and Batista do for a fraction of the cost. All three of those contracts are albatrosses. Baek represents the Ms willingness to pay through the nose for proven vets who have no more talent than younger cheaper players. So Baek has no place because we have 3 high-priced versions on the roster who are virtually untradeable.

Then DePodesta swoops in, understanding things like FIP and gets himself a 5th starter for a middle reliever.

As a single example, not the end of the world but to contiinually miss opportunites other see is what, in my opinion, leads the Ms to playing Whack-A-Mole with their roster, responding to one need at a time.

Posted by 11Records

3:33 PM, May 28, 2008

Hmmm. Maybe they should snag Hatteburg for a platoon with Sexson. He's not striking out a lot. His BABIP is under .200, so a lot of his failure this year could be attributed to straight-up bad luck. All they'd probably have to pay him is the prorated minimum. But, they'd either have to:
a) Cut Cairo
b) Send down Reed and use Bloomquist as the 4th OF.

I'd probably lean towards cutting Cairo.

Posted by ken

3:50 PM, May 28, 2008

Cairo is again starting tonight in place of the Big K. Hopefully this is a clear signal that the team will soon be cutting ties with the Big K. Getting Hatteberg to platoon with Cairo at First Base will be a good move for the remainder of this season. This will buy some time for a new GM to figure out what can be done long-term with the team. Hatteberg's salary for 2008 is only $1.8m so the team would only be on the hook for about $1m if they were to claim him on waivers otherwise they take the risk of another team claiming him. I just hope Bonehead Bill isn't hunkered down in a bunker preparing to screw up another M's draft - just rely on the scouts to do the preparation and keep out of the way.

Posted by NewFan

3:54 PM, May 28, 2008

Does anyone know what the win / loss ratio for the team without Sexson is this year? I see he played 44, the M's 53- so whats the stat without him?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

4:03 PM, May 28, 2008

Um, all y'all that are starting to pick up the chant for "get hatteberg and platoon him" forget one crucial thing: Mac doesn't know how to platoon people.

Or have you forgotten how he got Wilkerson' platoon splits backwards? Or how he runs people out there in slavish devotion to lefty/righty matchups regardless of what the people's historical #s are (just did it last night, even)? Or how he does anything to avoid calling something a platoon, for fear of hurting people's feelings (see Sexson, Ibanez, Joh).

Plus, Lord only knows who we'll fritter away to get Hatteberg now, rather than suck it up and let Bavasi's successor assemble a better team for 09. I'd rather see a so-so Bryan LaHair or Miguel Cairo, or an oddly placed Vidro or Ibanez, than to overpay (in $ and potentially people) to get Hatteberg.

Posted by moneyball

4:07 PM, May 28, 2008

I don't believe that Wells' confidence has anything to do with his future sucess. Either he's a good player, or he isn't. You can't measure confidence, so it doesn't exist.

Posted by drake

4:07 PM, May 28, 2008

Someone made a good point on DePodesta's blog (a place I have a feeling I'm going to be frequenting now in the future) that's been stated before, in that Baek wasn't a good fit for the M's due to our awful defense. Baek plays a lot in the strike zone, relying on the park and his defense, which is a perfect fit for Safeco, but not for the current makeup of the squad.

Which has me imagining Baek winning 17 games with the 2001 M's defense backing him up, ala Paul Abbott. Remember that (explained) anomaly? Of course, it's ancient history now (both Abbot's 2001 season and Baek as a Mariner) so I'll let it go.

Go Jared Wells! Go M's!

Posted by Dave from the coast

4:17 PM, May 28, 2008

A neutral move, it would seem. Let's shake things up and trade someone for someone else so we can tell the fans we're trying new things, etc. Still, it's the pitching the M's need to experiment around with the most, since the M's bats have been relatively so quiet for so long. On another note; Richie Sexson hasn't had a good year. Now, I can't hit a baseball to save my life, so I'm no authority. But Richie is so big, that every swing he takes looks more like a golf swing than a baseball swing. His bat starts around the knee level and ends up above his shoulders; in short he's not swinging on a level plane, and the effect that's going to have is, the bat is near the ball even less...in short, if you swing in a level or semi-level plane, your chances of hitting the ball will be greater. As I said, I'm no authority, but I've been wondering about this for a long time. Hey, it makes about as much sense as anything else this season.

Posted by ken

4:18 PM, May 28, 2008

Chris: Good point re. Mac's tendencies. Hasn't been a peep from Bavasi since his teleconference call last weekend blaming the players for this mess. I just am hoping that enough pressure is now being placed on the M's FO through initiatives like www.firebavasi.com that they will deviate from their practice of avoiding mid-season management changes. In 2006, Bonehead Bill did not hesitate to throw Dan Rohn and Ron Hassey under the bus during the middle of the season because of perceived undercutting of Hargrove. Bonehead getting the boot during the middle of the season would be some sweet karma and would also give a new GM a headstart on analyzing the team with an eye towards 2009-10.

Posted by Diablo

4:29 PM, May 28, 2008

Darn fine trade. Wells is a Texas boy from the good old U.S.of A. God Bless America!

Posted by ChicoV

4:46 PM, May 28, 2008

Huge sigh, we play the Padres enough for this to hurt us.

How about Ibanez to first, Kenny Lofton to left and Slammin Sammy Sosa for Vidro? Then Freddie Garcia for some long relief work. Sexson can pinch hit for a pitcher in interleague games.

problems solved, we can all go to bed now.

Posted by scottM

5:08 PM, May 28, 2008

OBP SLG AVG
Sexson
2008 .277 .413 .200
Career .343 .511 .261

Delgado
2008 .294 .387 .215
Career .384 .544 .279

Hatteburg
2008 .262 .231 .173
career .361 .410 .273

Patterson
2008 .240 .352 .200
career .295 .411 .256


Swapping Sexson for Delgado or bringing in Hatteburg for Sexson looks like a throw-anyone-we-can-trade-for-out-there-and-see-who-sticks at strategy. All three 1st Basemen are on the twighlight side of their careers. The only thing about Delgado that's attractive right now is that he's a lefty (for Safeco), and one of the few players with the salary and (equally mediocre) performance in '08 to think the trade might be viable for the M's and the Mets.

As for Hatteburg, trading to create a platoon at first base accomplishes nothing. Offensively, the Mariners are in bad need of legitimate power with decent numbers at 1B, RF and DH. With everyone clamoring to put Ibanez at 1B or DH, Hatteburg (with his mediocre numbers) simply clogs matters even worse at a position where the M's desperately need improvement offensively.

As for Patterson, his offensive numbers are right in line with Balentien's and Wilkerson's. I would rather give Wlad and Jeremy Reed legitimate opportunities, over an extended period this season, to see if either or both can cut it in the big leagues. If not bring in a veteran corner outfielder in the offseason before everyone is picked over (Wilkerson).

So many posters throw out suggestions for solving the problem at DH and First Base without looking at the ripple effect. I am more interested in learning if Ibanez (who may or may not extend in '09) can play First Base. Or Griffey, if he becomes a Mariner. Everyone can't be at DH if they're marginal in the field. That said, DH isn't a powerlite position for the likes of Vidro.

2008 is all but shot. Acquiring more struggling players to throw in the mix at 1B/DH/OF will simply emulate the low baseball IQ that has everyone clamoring for Bavasi's head. Why not ferret out the rising talent from the teams that are stocked in the positions we need?

Again, this should be a year for Balentien and Reed to prove themselves. Get Clement (and perhaps LaHair) up here, too, for an extended look.

Finally, I was all in favor of keeping Baek as an insurance policy after ST. Unfortunately, his numerous performances ranged from hideous to marginal. His inconsistency earned him this DFA and trade. At least we got something. I wish him well.

Posted by scrapiron

5:10 PM, May 28, 2008

Chris - Don't forget Clement. He actually hits left handers better, but never got to face them in Seattle.

McLaren says lefties hit righties better, and righties hit lefties better. Period. Damn what the numbers say.

Posted by firmacnow

5:14 PM, May 28, 2008

In the 2005 draft Justin Upton, and Alex Gordon went before Clement, and after him Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Tulowitzki, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury in the first round..and Micah Owins in a pick we should of had in the 3rd round..When is Bavasi gonna give Clement a chance at catcher, seeing Jay Bruce last night and these above mention guys succeding at the MLB level has me just scratching my head on what there doing to Clement and his psychi?? Somple math when Clement plays C=RAKE, when DH=not so good..I believe when he was up here didn't he go 4-9 or 4-10 when they had him playing Catcher...

Does anyone know whats up with the guy we got from Toronto? any info/stats on him?

Posted by Faceplant

5:14 PM, May 28, 2008

"Cairo is again starting tonight in place of the Big K. Hopefully this is a clear signal that the team will soon be cutting ties with the Big K. Getting Hatteberg to platoon with Cairo at First Base will be a good move for the remainder of this season."

In what world would this be a good move? No matter what you are going to be on the hook for Sexsons salary. So cutting him in favor of a worse hitter makes absolutely zero sense. Sexson can still hit LHP, as opposed to Miguel Cairo who is still completely worthless.

I remember last year when I was getting slammed for advocating Broussard over Sexson. But now it's just come full circle. It's at the point now, where people want to dump Sexson no matter who replaces him.

A Sexson Ibanez platoon makes all sorts of sense. But I doubt either one would agree to it. Because they are proven veteran who know how to win or something like that.

Posted by jake4three

7:56 PM, May 28, 2008

In about a day, Baek would have been a free agent so something for nothing is a posiitive. If Wells doesn't work out, that's fine. If he does, great.

And for all of you who think we should trade Sexson, Batista, Washburn, Beltre, etc., who will want these guys? Their salaries are inflated because we needed to get them to come here and for most of them, their play isn't worthy of sending any prospects for them. Stop saying the Mariners should trade these guys for great prospects and move on. Nobody wants to trade for them.

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