Yesterday, a fairly significant three-way trade went down. Here are the particulars:
- AJ Cole (OAK)
- Blake Treinen (OAK)
- PTBNL (OAK)
It’s long been known that the Mariners struggle to score runs. Partially, this is because of Safeco’s spacious outfield. The other is because they really haven’t had any good hitters the last few seasons, relying on the fumes of Ichiro and the hope that Justin Smoak will become something.
This year, they tried to do something about it, trading away Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales, a pretty good idea, but also signing Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez. Those moves aren’t so good. Mostly because Bay and Ibanez are older, defensively hampered, and unlikely to still have enough power to play in even Safeco’s new and reduced size.
So what the Mariners did is trade away John Jaso, a catcher who lead the team in OBP by 80 points over Kyle Seager, for Michael Morse. Another defensively challenged hitter on the wrong side of 30 who has plenty of power.
Morse is better than Bay or Ibanez, this is true. Morse, however, plays the outfield as if he’s waiting for Chris Berman’s Sunday Night football commentary. Jeff Sullivan recently gifed some of his highlights. They’re not really highlights.
So while Morse upgrades the slugging ability of the Mariners, he doesn’t draw walks, something Jaso did, and now, another 1B/DH in Miguel Montero must go back behind the plate for another season. For the Mariners, it’s a rearrangement of deck chairs.
As for the other teams, the Athletics gave up on some low-level pitchers including the one they received from Washington last year. AJ Cole struggled at high-A, but settled back down in low-A, and clearly the Nationals like the kid to re-acquire him after a year abroad. However, with the Nationals in a win-now mode, having a bench bat like Morse could have been really beneficial, though we don’t know how unhappy that would have made him and how the could have negatively affected his performance and the team’s.
Meanwhile, the A’s get an upgrade on the .536 and .625 OPS that Kurt Suzuki and Derek Norris provided respectively.