My Thoughts on the Morrow Trade

WORTH NOTING: All of this is assuming that the trade, as it currently is being reported, is completely accurate. If there’s a missing piece that we don’t know about yet, my opinion on it is sure to change.

Well, it was bound to happen. There was absolutely no chance that Jack Zduriencik was going to be able to continue making nothing but outstanding moves. There just wasn’t. He’s a great general manager, but nobody’s perfect. As for why this trade happened, I really don’t know. It could be that we’ve just been grossly overestimating Brandon Morrow’s trade value all this time, and this was truly the best we could do. However, if that is the case, I would have preferred to just keep him.

I’m not surprised that they didn’t, though – this organization has made it clear that they aren’t all that fond of Morrow, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they got to the point where they just wanted to get whatever they could for him. Either way, I’m not a big fan of this trade.

That may be in part due to the fact that I was expecting us to get significantly more if we let go of Morrow, but it’s a confusing trade nonetheless. I just can’t figure out what the reasoning behind it was. League is a solid reliever, and acquiring him certainly does improve our bullpen, but Brandon Morrow is still young, and certainly still has the potential to be a reliable middle of the rotation arm. Granted, League is a lot closer to reaching his potential than Morrow is, but Morrow’s ceiling is significantly higher.

When it comes down to it, we basically weakened our starting rotation, and more importantly, our future starting rotation (assuming Morrow ever gets it together), to improve our bullpen. I’m not going to cry over a trade like this, but I’m still confused as to why we even made it.

As for Johermyn Chavez, the other piece of the deal, he’s not real good. He’s a lot like Wladimir Balentien, or Greg Halman. He’s young and has a ton of power, but he has a God-awful approach at the plate, and he’s still quite a ways away from making any impact in the big leagues. He’s also an outfield prospect – and doesn’t it seem like we have enough of those? There’s already a potential log-jam brewing out in left field. However, he does have potential – he just happens to be a long shot to realize it any time soon.

So what does this mean for the 2010 Mariners? Probably not all that much. I’m still skeptical that Morrow’s ever going to be able to turn it around – let alone this season. So, in all likelihood, it’s far from a crushing blow to our starting rotation. Our bullpen will be improved with League as a late-innings guy, and at this point I’d be shocked if we didn’t sign or trade for a #3 before the off season is over.

All in all, I’m not very happy with this deal. The more I think about it, though, the more I inch towards being indifferent. Should this change the way we see Jack Zduriencik? Absolutely not, he’s still awesome.

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Tags: Blue Jays Brandon League Brandon Morrow Greg Halman Johermyn Chavez Mariners Wladimir Balentien

  • Tacoma Rain

    Griffin, I basically agree with you. I REALLY wish this trade had not happened.
    One point that is not being made enough is that Morrow could everything that we all hope League will do from this point forward. Moreover, Morrow really HAS ALREADY done what we hope League will do the future. Morrow has proven himself to be at least League’s equal as far as relief pitching goes, if not better.
    There was no point to this trade, other than to get rid of Morrow…and that’s a shame.

  • Mat Germain

    I think you’ll like the performances you get from League and do believe that the M’s wanted someone who was comfortable with his role as a bullpen go-to guy. Morrow just wasn’t happy there and has already stated he wants to start. As you said, there’s not much of a chance that he would be an asset to a team that wants to win in 2010 – the Ms fit that profile – so it seems that he didn’t fit their plans. They could have sent him to AAA, but that would have been useless to the Ms for 2010. I expect that Jack will add at least 1 FA starters to replace Silva/Morrow or will attempt to acquire someone like Harang from Cincinnati.

    Chavez has holes in his swing to be sure, but he’s still very young and has the potential to become an Alex Rios style OFer. I still like the deal better from Toronto’s end because the ceiling is higher for Morrow and he adds another potential #2 to the rotation for 2011 and beyond.

  • Harrison Crow

    I really like Harang from Cincinnati and would love to see a move made for someone like that. But, with the all the cheap #5′s we have that will perform at average or possibly above average already available. I don’t see a “big” move to be made.

    There are the likes of Chien-Ming Wang, Justin Duchscherer MAYBE even an Erik Bedard type still available. But, I tend to think that’s a long shot also.

    If another move is made it’s with a bat to get a first basemen type. I don’t honestly believe that Mike Carp starts at first this year atleast not without some competition.

  • Harrison Crow

    @Tacoma Rain – Don’t under estimate the return that Jack Zduriencik got in return for Morrow. League may just be a reliever but he’s a solid pick up. Should we lose Sean White, Shawn Kelley or even Lowe or Aardsma you’ll happy we have this guy.

    Chavez is a Mauricio Robles diamond in the rough. Will he turn into a Balentine or Buhner? I have no idea of course. But he has a lot of potential and is a very powerful and athletic future right fielder.