I’m really all about Cat Fancy becoming a CWU source for breaking Mariner news (albeit a small one), and thought I should elaborate on John’s great post about the blockbuster trade the home town nine was just involved in.
This week has been one big whirl wind for baseball fans. Just yesterday CC Sabathia signed the biggest contract ever for a starting pitcher. The Mets (foolishly) signed former Angel closer Francisco Rodriguez to 3 year-37 million. But the one thing I kept hearing floating around was JJ Putz might be on the move. Initially he was linked to the Detroit Tigers being a Michigan native. The Tigers had a couple of young, cheap ML-ready regulars in OF Matt Joyce and 1B Jeff Larish, that I was hoping we could land. But it turns out Dr. Z wanted both and the Tigers only wanted to part with one, so it dematerialized rather quickly.
Then all of a sudden there were reports of this big three team trade. Where it lacks in super star names, it definately makes up for in sheer number of bodies.
1B Mike Carp
This makes the Russell Branyan signing make sense. Branyan is a capable, cheap, power hitting lefty that can help the team win in the immediate future, while Mike Carp is THE future. Finished up his second season of AA last year, Carp batted .299/.403/.471 (BA/OBP/SLG) making huge strides drawing walks and not striking out so much. Hopefully he’ll get a nod to be starting in Tacoma this year and we’ll see him up at the Safe sooner than later.
RHP Aaron Heilman
Basically what I gather from this guy is he’s a douche. He demanded a trade from the Mets because he thought he should be a starter. So amusingly enough he was traded to a team in the Mariners that has way too many starting pitchers. Now with Putz gone there is talk of sending Brandon Morrow back to the bullpen and I prey to bejesus that that doesn’t happen. His stats indicate he’s not anything close to what we’ve all seen Morrow do, so hopefully this was just one of those bodies that had to be moved and Dr. Z can send him on his way somewhere else in the near future.
OF Endy Chavez
Endy Chavez is basically replacing Jeremy Reed in the role of back up outfielder. He has a tremendous glove, but no real bat to speak of. Although it would not be a tragedy to trot him out as the every day left fielder as his defense is a huge upgrade over Ibanez. As for a picture that one on John’s post explains itself quite well.
OF Franklin Gutierrez
This is where the trade gets exciting. Like Chavez, Gutierrez’s bat is nothing to write home about, but his glove writes home to mom every single day. Dr. Z announced earlier that he would be the teams starting center fielder and it will be a treat to see him patrolling Safeco’s vast outfield. Every defensive metric out there loves him placing him at or near the top of the leagues outfielders. And if Wak decides to trot out Washburn or Silva, an outfield defense of Chavez/Gutierrez/Ichiro will make those pitch-to-contact pitchers look like King Felix.
We also got three minor leaguers that I read a little bit about. None are that interesting or are reported to have much upside, but the fact that our system is getting fresh bodies is always a good side.
As for what we gave up, I personally believe JJ’s dominant days are over and wish him well in New York. Sean Green was cool, but his skill set is easily replacible as we’ve seen with Roy Corcoran. The only person I sort of regreted giving up was Luis Valbuena who came up last September and played a great second base. He has a bright future ahead of him in Cleveland pairing up with former M’s prospect Asdrubal Cabrera to make a great double play combo.
All in all this trade was great fun to watch and makes it exciting to be a Mariner fan again. Our outfield defense is gonna be historically good last year for the first time since 2001 with Winn/Cameron/Ichiro. Remember that? I think things went pretty well that year. It’s nice to see Dr. Z looking to the future with out raping the present.