Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Monday we took at look at what the M's could do to improve the club and try and win the division. What could we do in the other direction?

The Mariners actually don't have a bunch of fungible assets that could be dealt to improve the club for next year. Lopez, Betancourt, Johjima, Putz and Felix are your cornerstones, they are going to be here for a while. Beltre, Sexson and Washburn are virtually untradeable with the contracts they have. You would get so little in return and probably have to pick up a big chunk of their salaries so there is just no value-added there.

Everett and Jo-El are hurting the club more than helping, so anything you could get in return would be a blessing.

Ibanez would almost certainly have some value on the trade market, especially considering the monster year he is having, but I think the Mariner's have put him into the Edgar/Dan Wilson Memorial Face of the Franchise Role and wouldn't trade him straight up for Johan Santana or Albert Pujols at this point. The case is slightly different for Ichiro, but as your only superstar and a favorite of ownership, there's no point in even having a debate about whether to trade him.

Jamie Moyer turned down a trade to the Braves last year and I'm pretty sure he's still a 5 and 10 guy, so he's not going anywhere.

You might be able to flip Sherrill to a team looking for bullpen help. Same for Soriano. But you're probably not getting Jeff Bagwell in return.

That leaves one guy who might get you a close to the majors prospect with some zazz and that's Gil Meche. I don't think at this point that his value could be any higher. He's been pitching extremely well and while many doubt that his recent success is sustainable, you only need to find one GM who thinks it might be and you can make a deal. A guy that pitches the way Meche did in June would be a big splash for a contender. If the M's turn into sellers, I think Meche will end up being the biggest deal.

Yuk! That's not a lot is it?

The M's have a rough schedule coming out of the break against the Beasts of the East. On the road in Toronto and New York, at home against the Red Sox and Jays again. I don't actually believe that those games are any more indicative than any others but I think the Mariners will believe them to be.

If they play above 500 in those games, I would expect them to try and make a small move in the OF or a starter to replace Jo-el. I guess I am okay with that as long as they don't give up too much. If they suck, Hargrove probably gets fired and Meche gets dealt.

If it were me, I'd stay the course. See what these 25 guys can do for the rest of the year (okay, these 25, minus Everett and plus Snelling). If they make a run great, otherwise you know what you need to do. As opposed to two years ago, you can start to see the core of the next good Mariner team here, so I wouldn't mess with it too much the rest of the way this year.


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