Harrison is crazy
"Sit down for a second and read what I’ve written. Don’t go directly to the comments and flame me. What until you hear the whole argument and then flame away."
Done and done. Now I get to flame away, right? Just kidding. That’s not how I do things, but his comment gave me the chance to use this headline and I absolutely had to take the opportunity. You never know when I’ll get another chance. The truth is that what Harrison says make a lot of sense. LF and catcher are major problems for this team, and not just at the major league level. They’re actually large weaknesses throughout the entire organization.
Soto makes tremendous sense for this team. The M’s farm system is completely void of catching talent, and the major leaguers haven’t been particularly good either. The key to this, or any acquisition this year is that it can’t be a simple one year rental. Any player must remain under team control for at least 2012 as well. Otherwise you’ve thrown away assets for a couple wins this season when the true purpose is to build for 2012 and beyond.
This is the plight of a team that’s rebuilding. There must be an eye, or both eyes actually, on the future.
But this does not mean the Mariners are your old-fashion trade deadline “sellers” either. They do have a few pieces to trade away, but only one that will net anything substantial. They also don’t have great need for a plethora B and C level prospects. They have plenty of those at this point. What the M’s need is 1-2 impact players. Players like Justin Smoak, who was acquired last year when the M’s traded away Cliff Lee.
The first problem the M’s face in acquiring such a player is that they don’t have many (or any at all) pieces that will fetch such a player. The only one might be Erik Bedard. The way he’s pitched over his last 4 starts has me optimistic that the M’s might be able to flip him for a solid player, but he’s always 1 pitch away from getting injured again. He has to stay healthy for another month before the M’s can get anything for him, and it remains to be seen if that is even possible.
Other players the M’s are likely to trade include Jack Wilson, Adam Kennedy, Jack Cust, and possibly Jamey Wright. None of this group is going to bring much of return. The only way the M’s get an interesting piece for trading any of these players is if the prospect is down in A ball, and even then it’s not likely to be a great looking prospect. No one is going to trade a Nick Franklin caliber prospect for a bench player just to make a stretch run.
Of course, injuries can play a key roll in changing that. If a playoff team loses a middle infielder for the season, Kennedy or Wilson might look pretty good to them, or not. It’s not like the Mariners are the only team trying to move middle infielders, so that team would have other options.
The truth is that the team’s with players the Mariner want aren’t looking for for the players the Mariners have. The Dodgers, who might be looking to move Matt Kemp, don’t want Wilson or Cust. They’ll be looking for Nick Franklin and Taijuan Walker.
That becomes the problem. The M’s are in a bit of a bind. Stuck between needing to sell and needing to buy at the same time; while trying to keep a fading fan base interested. Tough decisions will have to made.