Friday, June 24, 2011

Why The Mariners Should NOT Make A Trade!

June 24th, 2011, just coming off getting swept by the Washington Nationals. After a reprt from former Nats GM, Jim Bowden that stated our own Jack Z had been on the phone inquiring about left fielders and third basemen with other GM's. So, that brings on a frenzy of media speculation, debate and concern about what the Mariners should do in the coming month before the trade deadline.

Here is my problem with making a deal before the deadline. There are no deals that I am going to be truly happy with. If Jack Z is calling the Dodgers GM (just for arguments sake) and inquiring about Casey Blake, the Dodgers GM and his team not being a contender is looking at building for their future then says, 'we really like Dustin Ackley!' Which in return, Jack Z laughs and says 'try again.' Even if you get into some of the other top prospects in our organization it still defeats the whole purpose of what we have been trying to build. What fans want is for us to deal pieces like Figgins and Cust or Saunders, but really, nobody is standing in line asking for guys that aren't producing or that aren't projected to produce.

If we go the route of trading to a team that is in contention, they are going to want a piece that will lead them to wins. Obviously starting pitching and great starting pitching. Erik Bedard is the name that continues to come up. If the M's are certain that Bedard is not going to stay a Mariner at the end of the year, than by all means, this may be an option. If the M's are certain that they are not going to be a contender themselves this year, this may be an option. On the other hand, if we're certain that we are not going to be a contender than the best option would be to wait and buy at free agency.

So, we understand that the whole point of buying now is to contend now. So contending now would not mean trading your only strength in starting pitching. That idea is out of the question. Trading our future for a bat that becomes a free agent at the end of the year seems like a huge price to pay for a rental. Cliff Lee worked out in our favor because we were able to flip him before the trade deadline. This will not be the same scenario and unless this bat would lead this team to a World Series, it's truly not worth it.

So what should the Mariners do?

At the beginning of the year the idea for the season was to evaluate the young talent in our organization. We have seen the likes of Mike Wilson, Carlos Peguero, Mike Carp, Greg Halman and now Dustin Ackley come in and get opportunity at the big league level and it has been more than fun to watch. But how much of an opportunity has it really been? Mike Wilson came up and was allowed to only hit once every 8 days. Greg Halman came up and had 6 hits in his first 7 at bats and then was asked to sit. We haven't seen a lot of him since. Mike Carp was brought up and was on a tear in Tacoma and yet he has been on the bench multiple days since being up. Ackley has been up a short time and has already been given a day off and had his lineup position changed. I really don't think that we are going to get any true evaluation of these guys if they are not allowed to play everyday. They need their spot. In the field and in the lineup and need to be given due time.

Ackley is our second baseman, no question and wants to hit in the number two spot and would project well there. Brendan Ryan has been there and although I have liked him there, he hit better in the number 8 spot.
Carlos Peguero has had the most time since coming up and honestly doesn't have the skill to be a Major League left fielder. He provides a bit of fear when he swings his bat but his connection rate is not what this team needs at the moment. Then again, he too hasn't had a ton of consistency, just more time than others.
Mike Carp, not a left fielder either. Trying to get his bat in the lineup has been the problem and his options have been left field and DH. In our last game against the Nats we would have been better served with Halman in left in the later innings.
Halman, he is a great fielder and seems to be a better hitter at the Major League level. Tons of speed and a great attitude, I think he should be our everyday left fielder and number 9 hitter.

Even our veteran bats have not had a lot of consistency. Jack Cust had a horrible start to the year and just when he started to heat up a bit he was pulled from the lineup and we haven't seen him at all lately. I don't know why he was stopped when he was, maybe he did something wrong, but as I saw it, he was coming around. If he's done, let's get Carp in there everyday.

Obviously Ichiro is the lead-off hitter, follow that up with Ackley, Kennedy at third, playing third. Then you put Olivo fourth and Smoak fifth. Smoak did the best in the fifth spot and since changing it has not been the same. Batting sixth I would put Carp as DH, followed by Gutierrez and Brendan Ryan. Halman would take the number nine spot. In the event that Jimenez gives Olivo his day off, the order would all shift down and Jimenez would hit ninth.

I'm not trying to be a offensive mastermind, but what everybody is asking for is hitters. I think we have hitters, we just are not managing them well. Wedge knows that he needs to find everybody's spot in the lineup but it has taken way too long. After our ninth inning flop against the Nationals we answered back the next day by taking Ackley and Kennedy out of the lineup and gave them the day off. That truly made no sense to me. Since then we have scored just one run while seeing two more different lineups. The only thing that we should be changing right now is the way we are handling these opportunities.

Consistency pays! Trading for another bat right now only will add to the confusion and lead to another frustrated veteran. Let's ride this thing out with what we have and see how far we can get. If we continue to run into 1 - 0 games for the rest of the year, address it in the off-season by adding free agents without giving up our future. If we have to give up Erik Bedard, I would rather see us get young talent than a bat that may or may not help us this year.

The Mariners can win the West without adding anything right now! I Believe!!!!

SodoJoe

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