If you’ve followed the Mariners today, you’ve probably heard that Ian Snell has been designated for assignment. It’s about time. Ian Snell has been terrible the past couple years and was even worse this year. Now, he’s gone and Brian Sweeney is up (more on him in a little while).
Ian Snell came over here last Summer in the Jack Wilson-Jeff Clement trade. It seemed like a good idea at the time; Snell was a young starter who possibly needed a change of scenery and Jack Wilson was the shortstop who was going to captain the world’s best defense. It hasn’t really worked out, to say the least. Jack has been hurt more often than not since coming here and Snell has been terrible. That leads to the obvious, and somewhat annoying, question, “Did the Mariners lose this trade?” These questions usually rub me the wrong way. This is because we are fans on the outside and the people who sometimes proclaim the trade as lost don’t know as much about the organization as they should. Lets take a look at this example:
- One team received a double-A starter who has a 5.92 ERA in 11 starts this year. He is running out an 8.4 K/9 innings rate, which is really good but not much else seems to be going for him.
- The other team received a shortstop who has been starting at the major league level. This guy is hitting .281 and, although he has one of the worst UZR’s in the league, has a pretty solid fielding percentage.
Which team wins that trade? Well, obviously the team with the shortstop right? No. That shortstop is Yuniesky Betancourt. This is just one of many examples that show a trade can not be judged by an outsider without organizational knowledge. The double-A pitcher I refered to above is actually a decent prospect. His name is Dan Cortes and if he ever gains some control he could be in the majors. Yuni sucks. People don’t know these things when looking at stats, they only know them after reading scouting reports and watching them. I think the Mariners made themselves a better organization by this trade even if Yuni is putting up solid numbers. Can the same be said with the Royals? I don’t know. I don’t know enough about the Royals to make a fair judgement. My first reaction would to be say no because of my experience with Yuni but that’s not fair to their front office.
So, back to the trade with Pittsburg last summer. No, the Mariners did not win this trade. Jack could come back and be a decent contributor this year and next but it’s probably not enough for me to say that this trade made the Mariners a better organization. But did it make them worse? Clement is hitting no better than Kotchman, .189, and has been moved out of the starting lineup. Ronny Cedeno could put up the greatest numbers in the world and I wouldn’t regret trading him away. Like Carlos Silva and Yuni, Ronny Cedeno wasn’t going to work in Seattle. So, no I don’t think the Mariners lost this trade. Clement could suddenly get better, he definitely has the brightest future of all of these players, but it sure doesn’t look like this will happen.
Maybe no one won that trade. It’s easy to see where both front offices were coming from in making the move. So don’t think that this was a terrible move. Jack Z wasn’t Bill Bavasi bad in this move. He was just average, which is worse than usual with our GM. It’s nice to say that.
A few more notes concerning this after the jump.
It’s funny that Ian Snell’s last inning with the Mariners was probably his best. He struck out the side and showed off an 87 mph slider with a late break and a 94 mph fastball. The inning before that his fastball was 89-91 and his slider was around 83. I don’t know where the extra velocity came from but it certainly helped since he can’t locate to save his life. This is the reason someone will pick up Snell. A tiny glimpse of promise in a series of nightmares. He’s also still pretty young so someone will take a chance. I feel sorry for that teams fans.
As I mentioned Brian Sweeney was called up. Sweeney is a journey-man reliever who will be around as long as Fister’s DL stint. It’s been a long road back for Sweeney and I’m sure he’s got a pretty big smile on his face tonight. Good for him.
The Mariners season has turned into a “Who will be gone next?” game. I’m sure they’ll wait a while before they go out an make some bigger trades (Cliff Lee) but it’s a question of ‘when’ now, not ‘if’. My best guess at the next person to be DFA’d? Casey Kotchman, who’s career is frighteningly similar to Ian Snell’s.
In a random note, it seems like Milton Bradley is heating up. That’s good news for this year and next year. In another random note, Rob Johnson sucks. His passed ball tonight was one of the most pathetic attempts at blocking a ball I’ve ever seen. Too bad we won’t cut him.