This is one of the trades that make many M’s fans scratch their heads to this day. Adam Jones, an up-and-coming prospect in the Mariners system, was on the fast track to superstardom. With that, he was a highly coveted player in any trade talks. Then, GM Bill Bavasi was really wanting to find upgrades for their pitching staff heading into the 2008 season, specifically a #2 starter who could spearhead the rotation with Felix Hernandez. But instead of going through with the trade that sent Jones to Baltimore…
What If The Mariners Did Not Trade Adam Jones To Baltimore?
Well, let’s be honest here. The Mariners have not had a legitimate Centerfielder since Mike Cameron left. Jones was an up-and-coming prospect destined to take over the Centerfield spot for years to come. Based on his career, he could have potentially prevented the Mariners from having to continuously find unique ways of filling the middle of the outfield (like having Ichiro play there or Mallex Smith). Let us take a look at who has manned the CF position since Jones was traded.
For my search, I took a look specifically at who the opening day starters were in the following years. Baseball-Reference was a great source for this.
2009-2011: Franklin Gutierrez
2012/2013: Michael Saunders
And from there, a different person has started every season in CF for the Mariners. There is clear evidence that the Mariners gave up what should have been a cornerstone piece of their outfield for the years to come and other key pieces of their farm. What they got from Erik Bedard was nowhere close to worth what they gave up.
Adam Jones Would Have Been Great For The Mariners.
After seeing the career Jones had, it is quite clear that he could have been beneficial to have on the Mariners over the last 10 plus years. Providing consistency at a position of high importance would have been incredibly helpful and could have also prevented the Mariners from having to make a ton of moves to find solid outfielders.
A colleague took a look a few years ago at potentially trading with the O’s to get Jones back but ultimately determined that at that point in his career, he would not be an upgrade.
Overall, I wish that Bavasi wasn’t so hasty in making this trade. Sure, the old saying “you gotta give up talent to get talent” may make sense here, but man that was a lot of talent given up. Even if you look at what George Sherrill did after being traded to the O’s (made the All-Star team and closed out many games for them), it was clearly a win for the O’s.
Come back next week for the next What-If Wednesday where I will take a look at a player who the Mariners could have really and one who could have made a huge impact.