The trade deadline has come and gone and the Mariners were very active. In case the folks reading this blog haven’t got enough of a fill on reading about the trades, or actually wanted to know our opinions, here’s one more review. I’ll get right down to it, as straight forward as possible. (If you want more, all the Mariner websites have some sort of reveiw. Here’s Lookout Landing’s. Here’s USS Mariner. SSI has several posts about the new prospects.)
Trade #1: What We Lost:
Doug Fister – Of the three players we’ve lost, Fister is probably the most valuable. The most talented? I would say no, but he is the most valuable because he is cheap and under team control for several more years. Fister doesn’t have the best stuff and that gave him the ‘over-achiever’ label. What he did have was excellent control and the ability to take advantage of good defenses put behind him. Fister was always intriguing and I always enjoyed him more than Jason Vargas, just because he didn’t have plus stuff to get people out but still held down the number 3 spot in the rotation and was very successful. Fister could be successful for a long time, I hope he is, or his lack of dominant stuff might catch up to him. Time will tell, but he served the Mariners well in his 2 years with the big league club.
David Pauley – David Pauley was a solid reliever for most of the year for the M’s. With that being said, he wasn’t part of the teams future and isn’t much to write home about. He’ll provide some bullpen help for the Tigers and that was why he was a part of this deal.
What We Got Back:
Casper Wells – Casper Wells is a 26 year old corner outfielder who came up to the Tigers’ big league club last Summer. In his debut year his OPS was at .901 in 93 at-bats. This year his OPS is .765 in 117 at-bats. He’s hit 8 home runs in 210 at-bats in the big leagues but has shown good power in the minors. He is primarily a corner outfielder but can also play center. His defense will be average in center (maybe a little better) and plus in one of the corner spots. He was a 4th outfielder in Detroit because they were in a pennant race but he’ll be the starting left fielder here for the remainder of the season. He could into a a little better than league average outfielder. At the very least, I think he’ll be a good 4th outfielder. At the most, the Mariners may have found their left fielder for the next couple years.
Charlie Furbush – I’ll refrain from any Furbush for Fister jokes…. Charlie Furbush is a left-handed pitcher who is being utilized in the bullpen at the moment. His fastball is 90-92. He also has a decent slider and throws a change-up. He has a deceptive delivery which has drawn comparisons to George Sherril. While he is in the bullpen right now, he will eventually see time in the starting rotation. Furbush’s ceiling is a number 3 starter. He’s 25 and has played in AAA and with the Tigers this year.
Francisco Martinez – Francisco is a 20 year old who has already made his way to AA. He has drawn a lot of comparisons to Carlos Triunfel, which I don’t think is very fair. Triunfel is a 21 year old who is AA but arrived there when he’s 19. He was injured, fell off many people’s radar and is still in AA (but he’s putting up decent numbers and is still young). I think it’s an unfair comparison because they speak of Triunfel like he’s a disappointment. He’s not yet. Martinez has been in AA for 2 years and has been solid but not spectacular in those stints. This year he is hitting .282 with seven home runs in the league this year. He projects to have solid power but so far his plate discipline isn’t great (that’s where the Triunfel comparison comes from). Francisco could make it to the majors in the next couple years. He was the 4th ranked prospect in the Tigers system by a few people, which is pretty exciting.
PTBNL – Cool name, huh? This player will be one the Tigers’ top 2010 draft picks. We won’t find out who it is until August 20th. It should be a good prospect though.
Overview of deal: Losing Fister is a big deal. He could have been a mainstay in the rotation for a long time. But, this isn’t like losing a Felix or Pineda. Fister won’t ever be an ace. Losing Pauley is not big deal at all. With these things in mind, I love the return the Mariners got. Of course, evaluating trades isn’t fair until a couple of years down the road but at worst the Mariners got back a good 4th outfielder, a good lefty reliever, and two interesting prospects. At best they got back a starting left fielder who will hit 15-20 home runs, a number 3 or 4 starter, a third baseman with some power, and something else. I like that upside, but I also like the practicality. Even if things don’t break right we’ll get something out of this deal.
Deal #2 What We Lost:
Erik Bedard – I love Erik Bedard. He’s the type of pitcher I could watch for days. He thinks while he pitches and is crafty. He’s has all kinds of talent and, when healthy, he’s one of the best pitchers’ in the league. With that being said, I didn’t know how much trade value he had because of how often he is injured. I’ll miss Erik but dealing him was a no-brainer because he was going to be a free agent and there was no need for him to be here.
Josh Fields – Josh Fields was a former first-round draft pick who is bad. Really bad. I don’t know why the Red Sox wanted him. Maybe someday he’ll put it all together and not walk every other batter but we didn’t lose anything to be worried about there.
What We Got:
Trayvon Robinson – Trayvon came to us via the Dodgers. He’s a 24 year old who’s been playing for LA’s AAA affiliate in Albuquerque, which is a hitter’s park to put it lightly. This discredits some of the 26 home runs Robinson has hit this year. But, it doesn’t discredit them the way many people on the blogosphere are. He hit 12 of those home runs on the road and Robinson still would be hitting home runs even if he wasn’t in a dumb park. He swings and misses a lot, but still can take a walk. Robinson is a center-fielder with a lot of speed. SSI compared him today to Curtis Granderson and you can see the similarities in their swings. Trayvon could be a September call-up. I’m looking forward to watching him play and he could push Guti out of the door.
Chih-Hsien Chiang – Awesome name. This guy is another outfielder, although he plays in a corner position. Chiang is 23 and is absolutely killing AA pitching. He has a 1.046 OPS right now in his second go around in AA. He has 58 extra base hits on the year and will move up to AAA soon, I imagine. He doesn’t have a lot to prove in AA anymore.
Overview: This trade is great. 2 months of Erik Bedard in a lost season or a top-5 organizational talent along with another interesting prospect. These guys may not work out, but Pete Carrol would be proud of the way Jack Z has built a competition for an outfield position.
All in all, it’s been a great deadline for the Mariners. Even with all the bad luck the team has had, you have to think that one of these guys in the outfield competition will turn out.
The team has also won the battle for the coolest names dealing Doug, David, Erik and Josh for Casper, Charlie (Furbush), Francisco, Trayvon and Chih-Hsien. That doesn’t even take into account PTBNL. That name doesn’t even have any vowels in it. There’s a chance the player they acquire may be named Chance. But, if I was Jack Z, I’d just stick with this PTBNL guy if he’s focusing on coolest names.
I know it’s tough to be a Mariners fan right now but Jack Z has done a good job, he’s just run into a city full of bad luck. I’m sure he wouldn’t use that as an excuse but the guy knows what he’s doing. By acquiring all of these outfielders, I think he’s starting to try to make his own luck.