Harrison already posted his thoughts, and did quite a nice job, but I’d also like to get out there exactly how I feel about it.
This trade is, to sum it up in one word, awesome. Not only are we significantly improving our chances of being a serious contender in 2010, but we’re doing it without giving up all that much of the future. Yes, Aumont has really good stuff, but he’s a relief prospect, and there’s only so much value a relief prospect can have. JC Ramirez is a nice little pitching prospect, but he’s far from a sure thing, and I prefer Pineda anyway. As for Gillies – he’s really fast, which is cool, but there’s a pretty good chance he’ll never be much more than a fourth outfielder.
The fact that Jack Zduriencik managed to land a full year of Cliff Lee (and his ridiculously small $9 million salary), plus the two compensatory draft picks that we’ll get when he walks, without giving up ANY of our top five prospects, is nothing short of miraculous. We have a really special man occupying our GM position, make no mistake.
So, does this move instantly make us the favorites for the AL West crown in 2010? No, but once we’ve signed/traded for a first baseman and a DH, we’ll most certainly be good enough to be right up there with both the Angels and the Rangers – and that’s coming barely a year after the completion of a 101 loss season.
In case any of you are wondering exactly how good Cliff Lee is, here are some of the key numbers that he put up in 2009 (while dealing with a high BABIP against, by the way), in both leagues:
And if those numbers look nice, keep in mind that he was significantly better in 2008.
What we’re getting here is an ace. A lot of us have been hoping for the acquisition of a real #2 starter – well, we got another #1 instead. With Felix and Lee at the top of our rotation, aside from maybe the Diamondbacks (Webb and Haren), no team in baseball has anything close to as good of a 1-2 punch.
Oh, and to echo what Jeff over at LL has said, towards anyone comparing this deal to the Bedard deal: Don’t. This isn’t even similar.
A) Cliff Lee is much better than Bedard has ever been
B) Cliff Lee is not an injury risk
C) The prospects we’re giving up in this deal aren’t anywhere near as good as the prospects we gave up to get Bedard
D) A win-now move makes a whole lot more sense right now than it did in 2008
The other big positive about this trade, which has already been mentioned by a lot of different people, is that it really hurts the Angels – and more importantly, their fans. Think about it.
The Angels lost Figgins to us, a division rival
The Angels lost Lackey to Boston, of all places
The Angels couldn’t get Halladay
The Angels couldn’t get Lee, and he’s coming to us, a division rival
The Angels may now resort to trading for Derek Lowe, which would be hilarious and awesome
There are about 50 different angles to view this trade from, and we look fantastic from each and every one of them. Don’t question it, just enjoy it – this is a great time to be a Mariners fan.