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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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July 31, 2008 2:48 PM

Ricciardi: M's shot down Ibanez deal

Posted by Geoff Baker

Here are the details on that three-way deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, Jason Bay to the Red Sox and four players (all pretty good) to the Pirates. Now, on to the teams that didn't deal, namely the M's. Except for that gimme with Arthur Rhodes that the team had in its hip pocket since last week.

Just got off the phone with some Toronto contacts. It seems the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays did indeed begin working on the parameters of a deal involving Raul Ibanez. The deal began coming together between 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Pacific time). But no, the two players offered up by Toronto, so I'm told, were not David Purcey and Brandon League. If indeed it even was two players. One contact told me there's a chance League's name was out there. But not Purcey's. Now the fun part. We don't know who the players actually were.

But we do have some on-the-record quotes from Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi on why the deal came apart.

"We had some really good talks with Seattle, they were pretty intense and pretty in-depth,'' Ricciardi said in a conference call with Toronto media. "We thought at one point there was a possibility to get something done there, but it just didn't come to fruition.

"We were ready to go forward,'' he added. "I think at the end of the day they just didn't feel as comfortable going forward to finish off the trade. It was just something that didn't come to fruition. Both parties worked hard. At the end of the day they probably weren't as comfortable with making the trade as we were. That happens.''

The version being put forth by Seattle so far is that Ibanez-to-Toronto was nothing more than rumors. Hmmm. Based on what I'm reading, I tend to believe the Toronto version of events. I'm sure the M's version will change a bit once they read these quotes. It doesn't take 2 1/2 hours to flat-out reject an implausible trade scenario. Especially not right before the deadline. Sounds like there was something concrete going on here. In defense of GM Lee Pelekoudas, he's yet to speak to the media. Will do so in roughly 90 minutes. What we've gotten so far is a few second-hand denials.

Why would Toronto do an Ibanez deal? I'd wondered that earlier. Until my buddies back east reminded me of a cardinal rule of covering the Jays that I'd forgotten about during my two years here. That optics mean as much back there as reality at times.

To realists, like most of you, and me, a snowball has a greater chance of lasting the afternoon in this Texas heat as the Jays do of making the playoffs. But in Toronto, the Jays could acquire Ibanez, then tell their fans they still have a chance and that they're going for it.

It's worked before. In that city, the team has told fans it's in contention if it begins September single digits behind the playoff leaders. Drives up the television ratings. And that's very important to Toronto baseball.

"I don't think we're in the middle ground,'' Ricciardi said. "I think we're in it. When you look up and you're under eight...within striking distance of the wild-card and there's still two months to play, I don't we ever thought about us as 'Hey we're going to be sellers.' We've taken on the thought process that if we continue to add without taking anything away from us going forward, that we would try to do that.''

So, there's your motive. Ricciardi's words are the smoking gun. And the Mariners, it appears, certainly had some kind of opportunity that came together over more than two hours.

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Posted by Bill

2:58 PM, Jul 31, 2008

At least we still have garlic fries and our all-star RF to get tourists to come to Safeco.

Posted by Dana

3:01 PM, Jul 31, 2008

I hope Ponson goes 0-for-the-rest-of-the-season. Would love nothing more than to see NY miss the playoffs because the back end of their rotation fails.

Posted by Mike

3:02 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Go get 'em Geoff. And while you are at it could you ask if Vidro's and Cairo's ABs will be replaced by someone who actually might help us in the future like Wlad or Diaz?

Gosh, even Peter Gammons think the Ms are a train wreck. Time for the FO to start justifying its actions (or inaction).

Posted by Adam

3:10 PM, Jul 31, 2008

As rarely as I agree with Gammons, he's exactly right here. The As and Rangers are both loaded with young players, and have bright futures. The Angels just know how to do things the right way.

The Mariners? Who the heck knows what they are doing? I'm not going to criticize Pelekoudas for his relative inaction today, YET, but the FO has done absolutely nothing to even project to fans that they have a plan or have any idea of what they are doing.

Maybe Washburn gets dealt for a decent prospect in the next couple of weeks, and maybe Ibanez does reject arbitration and we get two picks for him. Maybe the next GM comes in, makes some decisive moves, and the future starts to look better.

But for now, it's modus operandi for the M's, and we all know that's not a good thing.

Posted by meagain

3:33 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Here's a Bandwagon Boy post just before the trading deadline; he captures the spirit of the thing pretty well:

WOW REDDS GOT RIPPED OFF SO BAD!! WHAT DID I TELL THEM BUT DID THEY LISSTEN!! NO THEY DID NOT! If they have any since they will trade with Chegago for Griffy! He would play good for them! But they are too CHEAP to ever pay him the big bucks! !

Also Mannie Rodreguez traded to REDSOCKS!! For like a hundered million dollers!! But the commsnsioner has to investigate first!!


Posted by Bob

3:34 PM, Jul 31, 2008

The Ibanez deal is a waste. Yes, you could have got David Purcey and Brandon League, but where do you put both of them. Rhodes spot is one and the other would the demotion of a player other than Silva or Batista.

Second of all, you lose one of the few consistent bats in the order and nothing to replace it with. If the Jays would have swung Adam Lind and Purcey that would have been alright, but 2 Pitchers for a hitter. Stupid! Good move.

As for Washburn, what do the Mariners have to lose. Only one thing. If Wash tanks the rest of the season, he is untradeable in the off season. If he pitches well, there are many more options.

The problem with this team is they are old and the ones making the money are doing squat and have a number of years left to their deals. God I wish this was the NFL contracts. Silva, Batista and Johjima could be released with the upfront money costing the Mariners.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:37 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Adam - Don't you mean status quo?

Posted by ancient mariner

3:45 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Let's hope the Mariners get more active, and smarter, in the off-season. This is a terrible team with a lot of bloated contracts that obviously can't even be given away.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:45 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Lee did the right things here.

You can put 5 at a time on waivers, right? Washburn should be on waivers right now, and if you can get someone to take his contract, spiffy.

Vidro and Cairo should be DFA'd now to start a merry-go-round in the outfield (i.e. split some playing time for Wlad) and in the infield (i.e. split some playing time for Tug).

Ibanez, Putz, Betancourt, Beltre and Burke should be shopped in the fall.

Posted by Mike

3:48 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Ibanez cannot be shopped. His contract expires.

Posted by Big Ebu

3:51 PM, Jul 31, 2008


I thought that only Type A (highest rated) Free Agents result in a team getting two compensation picks if they sign elsewhere. Iím not sure what the formula is for determining whether a free agent is going to be Type A, Type B, or neither, but is it a given that Ibanez will be a Type A? If he is a Type B then the Mariners would only get one sandwich draft pick between the 1st and 2nd round.

Posted by bob

3:51 PM, Jul 31, 2008

The Bavasi regime has put this team in disarray. Lee P is a puppet GM that has little wiggle room. It is unlikely that he could do anything in regards to improving this team with Interim in his title. For you nimrods that question the lack of moves, you are blind to reality.

As to the point of the Rangers and A's abundance of youth and talent.

I have been arguing for years. Continually, the Mariners brought in veteran players with little help. Carl Everett
Brad Wilkerson
Jose Vidro
Miguel Batista
Carlos Silva
Rich Aurillia
Kenji Johjima
Jarrod Washburn
Pokey Reese
Scott Spezio
Horacio Ramirez
Matt Lawton
Jeff Weaver
Chris Reitsma

Sacrificing players like:
Adam Jones
Shin Soo Choo
Greg Dobbs
Wladimir Balentien
Bryan Lahair
Jeff Clement
Rob Johnson
Brandon Morrow
Ryan Rowland-Smith
Ryan Fierebend
and many others.

The draft also has yielded very little as we continue to draft high school players that take several years to develop versus proven college players that should not take as long.

The losing will continue unless a new approach can be taken.

Posted by Ned

3:53 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Ricciardi may have fired the first salvo, but you have to take his account with a grain of salt. I wouldn't put it past him to spin the trade scenario in the Jay's favor to appease hopeful Jays' fans. 'We tried, but Seattle was too stubborn...'

Posted by NOS

3:55 PM, Jul 31, 2008

we should have traded Ibanez to the Red Sox for Manny and traded Vidro to the Reds for Griffey. Thats a world series formula right their.

Posted by Scott

3:57 PM, Jul 31, 2008

The Elias formula is used for Type A and Type B free agent classifications.
Ibanez will definitely be a Type A.

And bob, don't forget about Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, and Kam Mickolio also to the Orioles. Tillman is now their top pitching prospect, thriving in AA, likely in the top 50 prospects in the majors.
Felix, Morrow, Tillman, Silva, RRS isn't too shabby if Jones is patrolling CF. But we all know what we though of the trade now and then.

If we can move Washburn for Gardner, maybe take a little salary of Washburn's, and get two picks for Ibanez after he walks, we'll have a pick in the top three, one in the 16-30 range, and one in the 31-45 range.

Posted by Scott

3:58 PM, Jul 31, 2008

If Seattle was demanding Niese and another prospect from the Mets and Dexter Fowler and Casey Weathers from the Rockies for Jarrod Washburn, it's no wonder we still have him. The M's just do a poor job judging talent and market value.

Posted by JC in DC

3:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Is the media in Toronto responsible for this failed trade?


3:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008


Those are two great ideas.. Lee are you hearing this?!!?

Posted by ElScorcho

4:01 PM, Jul 31, 2008

If they get rid of Ibanez, attendance plummets THIS YEAR-bottom line

LeeP is a puppet, but give him credit, he takes it well, but he is used to it, and "on board" (meaning " I like my house in Medina)
This deal nixing was about attendance this year.

The mess that is Armstrong and Lincoln is now fully exposed.

Who would play here?
Who would manage here?
Who would GM here?

The M's did Rhodes a favor for all his hard work in the past. He really wanted to compete last year, but could not. He is a class act and deserves to be sent to a contender.

Ibanez has served the M's well over the years too, but they snubbed him for some reason. Ibanez would do a disservice to himself to stay in Seattle after that.
They let Jamie Moyer go to a contender
They let AR go to a contender
Even big sex is a Yankee, doing poorly, but still on the team.

Shame on the Mariners for not trading Raul.
What is the difference between prospects and weak major leaguers in the larger sense? nothing to stop trading and rewarding years of leadership and hard work.

Such a slap in the face.

Posted by I hate Mitch in the Morning

4:05 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Well so much for bringing up Balentien. Can we at least put Ibanez at DH so we can bring up Wlad?? Release Vidro

Posted by Scott

4:08 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Yeah, if we're trading Ibanez to the Sox and Vidro to the Reds we would have to take on salary instead of giving it up. This team is so far away from contending that even adding Griffey and Manny wouldn't get us up to 2nd in the division. Griffey and Manny are just like the old, descending stars we love to take on.
(Not to mention Boston got more for Manny than Ibanez and the Reds got more for Griffey than Vidro).

Posted by scott

4:10 PM, Jul 31, 2008

All of Seattle agrees with you (except the few people that actually have power to make a move)

Vidro should have been DFAed a month ago and Balentien should have stayed in the majors.

Look at Adam Jones' first month and see how he progressed? Balentien isn't the same talent, but it takes more than 70 AB's to see how good someone is.

Posted by Big Ebu

4:10 PM, Jul 31, 2008

thanks for the info Scott

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

4:11 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I have a strong feeling that the rumors, now circling around baseball, that Yamauchi will sell his majority ownership to Chris Larson has validity. If you are close to selling a product, basically it is to maintain the status quo until the new owner takes over. A change in regime obviously means the ineptitude in baseball sense of guys like Lincoln, Armstrong, and Lee P. will be gone. It will be a painful two-three years of rebuilding however at least some baseball people will be running the franchise and we'll have an owner who does more than just wake up when Ichiro is hitting. As a bonus, maybe Kenji will agree to be sold back to a Japanese team since his contract was a gift from Yamauchi.

Posted by scott

4:15 PM, Jul 31, 2008

If Armstrong and Lincoln are gone, this team will get better in a hurry. Meddlesome owners like Peter Angelos, Drayton McLane, Armstrong, and Lincoln hamper their teams and make decisions instead of leaving the decision up to the baseball minds. Great news if it happens within the next year or so.

Posted by john

4:15 PM, Jul 31, 2008

we still suck
managment has no balls
we are still old and still sucking
this sucks

Posted by Bellevue Rob

4:21 PM, Jul 31, 2008

We know one thing, scratch Lee Pelekoudes off the list of potential GM's. If he can't get a deal done when he is dumping players, they will not trust him to rebuild this thing in the off season. Best we can hope for is that they are well ahead in the search for the new GM and he will be named as soon as possible so he, or she can begin their evaluation of what we need to do in the off season

Posted by Mike

4:22 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Top pick---My fondest Mariners wish. Followed by the unlikely proposition of th FO completely changing the way they think and bringing in Chris Antonetti.

Posted by scott

4:24 PM, Jul 31, 2008

If we give Antonetti a contract that would put him the top of GM compensation, and give him free reign, it would be compelling to him. We already have some pieces, will have some draft picks next year, and have considerable salary means. He would never come under current ownership however. They would never offer and he would never accept.

Posted by NOS

4:29 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Eh you only say Antonetti because USSMARINER did. Get your own flavor.

Posted by Mike

4:31 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Or Ng or Forst. USSM is a great website but I can think for myself thank you.

Posted by scott

4:32 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Would you rather people were original, or would you rather that the thing that would most improve the team got talked about? Being original isn't hard; being original and right is very difficult; so might as well be unoriginal and right.

Posted by scott

4:36 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Jack Zduriencik is my personal choice

Posted by Adam

4:40 PM, Jul 31, 2008

I'm all about LaCava.

And Chris Larson.

And Gillick as President.

Posted by Mike

4:42 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Advocating trading Ibanez for Manny and Vidro for Griffey is certainly more original than advocating for Antonetti as my back-up pipedream. So original in fact that I wondered if it were, perhaps, tongue in cheek. But most practioners of this have a better handle on punctuation and spelling.

Posted by scrapiron

4:57 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Thanks to Geoff's legwork, the Ibanez deal all makes sense now. Lind, Purcey or League were never offered. My guess is that the Blue Jays offered up a couple AA prospects (read, not top-10) for Ibanez, in the hopes they could pry Raul away cheaply and drive up TV ratings. The reason Lee didn't bite was because he realized the two compensation picks the Mariners will get for Raul at the end of the year could possibly be more valuable than the two prospects offered up by the Blue Jays, plus they get another half season of production from Raul. If that's the case, then good job Lee.

So Plan B, like many have said here, is to release Vidro, move Ibanez to DH and call up Balentien for LF.

The only player that loses in this deal is Victor Diaz, the DH-apparent.

Posted by scrapiron

4:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Adam, I love your FO suggestions. I still wonder if a saber GM could get along with "Stand" Pat Gillick though.

Posted by Mint Husky

5:24 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Bob - I'm so happy to hear you toot your horn about how you've been arguing FOR YEARS.

To who? An internet message board or blog? Give me a break. If you're so smart why the hell aren't you in the FO?

Shut up.

Posted by jon wells

5:43 PM, Jul 31, 2008

At 4:01 PM, Jul 31, 2008 ELSCORCHO SAID:

"If they get rid of Ibanez, attendance plummets THIS YEAR-bottom line"

Yeah, there's thousands of M's fans who only come to watch old man Ibanez "patrol" Left field and be wildly inconsistent with the bat. Earlier this year (April and May) he went 26 straight games w/o a HR (M's went 8-18 those games, which destroyed the season).

Memo to ELSCORCHO: The M's aren't selling too many tickets these days. Anybody that's coming to the games in August and September either has season tickets or they bought the tickets months ago before this teams went in the toilet.

Trading Ibanez would have had ZERO impact on M's attendance the rest of the way. The man has no charisma, is not a star player. There's no significant portion of the fan base that thinks he's a great player. Attendance didn't plummett when the team trading Randy Johnson and Griffey and let A-Rod (all Hall of Famers and perennial All-Stars) walk but it's going to PLUMMET because Raul Ibanez, who never has and never will make an All-Star team had left.

That comment has to be among the worst of the year. It has no basis in fact nor would anyone who thought it through give it any credence.

Posted by PCRet

5:52 PM, Jul 31, 2008

"if we continue to add without taking anything away from us "

Riccardi seems to be an idiot - how can u add without giving away *anything* ?

Posted by mac r.i.p.

5:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008

My friend in NY he heard on the Mike and Madog show that the M's were willing to eat Washburns contract but they(M's) were asking for Austin Jackson or Ian Kennedy and the Yankees said HELL NO!!!!!!!!

Posted by certaindoom

6:29 AM, Aug 01, 2008

With all due respect, JP Ricciardi has proven himself a quite capable liar in the past. In 2007 he denied BJ Ryan had any injury, then it was a bad back. Whoops, tommy john surgery, out for the year. All this was known to the club, but Ricciardi has a habit of lying to the media and I would not put any faith in what he says.

Recent entries

Jul 31, 08 - 08:55 PM
M's hang on, beat Rangers

Jul 31, 08 - 06:49 PM
Mariners at Texas Rangers: 07/31 game thread

Jul 31, 08 - 05:13 PM
Pelekoudas: "We came close"

Jul 31, 08 - 02:48 PM
Ricciardi: M's shot down Ibanez deal

Jul 31, 08 - 01:03 PM
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