Nick and Pete Respond to Bruce trade, Mariners Future

Whenever the Mariners make a big move, we like to hear from two of our favorite fans, Negative Nick and Positive Pete who have a different viewpoint on a lot of things.

NN: Well Pete, the last veteran of the Cano-Diaz deal is off the Mariners as of Sunday.

PP: Am I under a rock, Nick? Jay Bruce to the Phillies for cash and minor league infielder Jake Scheiner.

NN: Aren’t you disappointed? Jay flashed some good power numbers.

PP: He had a .212 average and was always considered a veteran rental. First off, the trade didn’t happen for Bruce or Swarzak but for our new hot prospect, Jarred Kelenic.

NN: The trade was a ripoff. Not one of the guys we got are stars like Cano and Diaz.

PP: Quit being black and white. Per Mark Fischer of the New York Post, Cano’s “loafing has sparked more chatter than his bat”. And remember when Diaz recently fell on his face at Dodger Stadium? The only time he looked worse in the ninth was his 2017 blown save at the Angels. He must not be doing too well as Mark Fischer put Edwin Diaz and “alarm bells” in the same sentence. Jay was fine but he was never going to be a long term Mariner.

NN: Well Jay didn’t have to put down the organization. Per Greg Johns of MLB.com,  he said: “I get to go somewhere I have a chance to win.” If that’s not a burn, what is?

PP: He just meant where both the Phillies and Mariners are this year.

NN: I think he meant that the Mariners don’t care about winning. Do you know what’s going to happen? He’s going to pull a Mark Trumbo. As a Mariner, Trumbo had a horrible start but hit over .300 the remainder of 2015. The very next season as an Oriole, he put up MVP-type numbers and a home run derby.

PP: That had nothing to do with the Mariners, he clicked with the Orioles’ hitting coach.

NN: You’re wrong, it had everything to do with the Mariners. When discussing his amazing 2016, Trumbo, in a Seattle Times article, attributed it as “an extension on what I was working on with Edgar last year.”

PP: Yeah, he was grateful to us.

NN: You think teams win the World Series by trading away players too soon who were grateful? They hold onto players showing progress, which Trumbo was. And our 2016 first basemen, Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee, didn’t have close to the seasons Trumbo had.

PP: That’s how it worked out, Nick.

NN: Do you hear yourself? We traded him too soon! For as long as I can remember, this team has mismanaged players.

PP: So what does Jay Bruce as a Phillie have to do with this?

NN: It relates in that the Orioles invested in Trumbo at the right time and knew how to manage him. Jay may stink as a Phillie but I think the opposite. I think after struggling at the plate as a Mariner, he will break out as a Phillie. The reason being he was acquired by a team who, per his own words, gives him a chance to win and prosper. It makes you wonder when players do mediocre here and hit their mark elsewhere. Our management rarely seems to make players better. Maybe they’re less happy here. It makes you wonder.

PP: But Jay Bruce is not Mark Trumbo.

NN: I’m not saying that. I’m saying watch him hit .330 and 20 home runs for the Phillies. He’ll be happier playing for a team who can better manage him.

PP: Sounds like you’re pointing fingers at our GM.

NN: I sure am. Dipoto is trying but he’s all over the place. Per Jeff Passan, the team is “looking to deal almost every veteran on their roster.”

PP: I wonder why, Nick. It’s a rebuild!

NN: A rebuild that at this rate will take five years! Teams don’t rebuild contenders with zero veterans! Some of our veterans make a solid supporting cast like Dee. It just seems like Dipoto is all over the place with his goals for the team and as a fan who’s put in years of dedication, it’s disconcerting.

PP: These rebuilds take time, Nick.

NN: We’ve had time, Pete. The team has been rebuilding since Bill Bavasi in 2004. We need to hire a general manager who has a positive track record and whose goal is to win the World Series at the end of the year. Dipoto means well but he makes too many trades and not one of them has been for an actual, proven star.

PP: I just want to add that the Cubs and Astros were laughingstocks for years before their rebuilds worked out.

NN: Exactly, their rebuilds worked out. But Theo Epstein and Jeff Luhnow made some proven investments during that time. Epstein hired pennant-winning manager Joe Maddon while Luhnow made his key splash of Justin Verlander. And in consecutive years, their teams made the promised land.

PP: You’re just being impatient.

NN: Maybe I am. Or maybe I’m annoyed by how uncompetitive this 2019 team has looked the last 47 games. Every opponent is dominating us and instead of looking like a rebuild, this team looks like a disaster.