Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
August 1, 2008 10:07 AM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Now that the trade deadline has come and gone, it's time to look back at what was reasonably expected and what has transpired.
It became evident pretty quickly that, for all of the Mariners' tough talk after the firings of Bill Bavasi and John McLaren in June, they were not going to trade Ichiro. No matter how much sense it made at the time. Nor were they going to trade J.J. Putz at a time his trade value had dropped to its lowest point since he was still a minor league starting pitcher.
But this team had some intriguing options. A while back, we made a top-five list of the most likeliest Mariners to be traded. In the end, those players did indeed figure most prominently into trade discussions.
Here they were, in order of likeliest to be dealt:
Let's look at the five and see what lies ahead:
1. ARTHUR RHODES: He was the no-brainer trade of the group and the Mariners made out fairly well in picking up Class AA starting pitcher Gaby Hernandez for him. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman admitted yesterday that the team had known since spring training that a healthy Rhodes would likely be traded if Seattle fell out of contention. No surprises here. The Hernandez haul was good, but not overwhelming. Relievers often command their highest prices at the deadline, rather than the off-season when they are more abundant. Think back to last summer when teams wanted Wladimir Balentien or Jeff Clement for a righthanded veteran set-up man. Remember how the Texas Rangers scored three Red Sox prospects, including major league starter Kason Gabbard, for closer Eric Gagne? A decent minor league starting pitcher seems like it would be about the going rate for a 38-year-old situational lefty. When teams want to take a shot at winning, knowing how fleeting a playoff berth can be, they are often ready to give up more than seems worth it for relief pitching. The worth is all in the post-season, not in the one-for-one value of the players.