The MLB off-season is one of the most exciting times for baseball fans. Each day passes, and the anxiety, excitement, and potential disappointment for the fans and teams involved sends all parties on a roller coaster of emotions. One of the most exciting trades of the Seattle Mariner's past was the trade for former Baltimore Orioles left-handed ace and strikeout king Erik Bedard. Mariners fans were excited to pair Bedard with the young, homegrown ace, many of whom come to know and love as King Felix.
The price to pay for the Canadian strikeout machine was hefty, a package that included an emerging high-end reliever in the likes of George Sherrill but also two crown jewels from the Mariners farm system and future all-stars in CF Adam Jones and RHP Chris Tillman. As fans have come to learn, acquiring high-end talent comes at a steep price. This lesson would haunt Mariners fans for years to come.
Adam Jones and Chris Tillman would both go on to have impact careers for the O's, and their career success would have been a sight to see in Seattle in the coming years. Jones and Tillman making all-star teams, providing a stable element on the field, in the batter's box, and on the mound could have helped end the Mariner's twenty-one-year playoff drought.
As the excitement from the considerable off-season trade carried fans through the cold, wet Pacific Northwest winter, a massive cold front would soon spell disaster on what was supposed to be the Mariner's new shiny Christmas present. Quickly into Bedard's first season, he would miss a start against his former team. These developments started an injury-riddled narrative for Canada's native son, as he would face multiple IL stints during his team in Seattle.
When Erik Bedard did pitch for Seattle, he had decent numbers, putting up a combined 3.0 WAR, 162 strikeouts, 165 innings, and a winning record over 30 starts, going 11-7 in his two full seasons. Fans expected this type of performance for the highly touted ace. Pairing a healthy Bedard with the 2008-2009 seasons Felix Hernandez had would have altered the overall outcome of the trade. At least get a return on investment for one of the most highly touted and now disappointing trades in Mariner's history.
What pains fans the most is the aforementioned Adam Jones and Chris Tillman duo. But this is what the off-season is all about: riding the emotional roller coaster as we wait for our beloved Mariners to build off the young and exciting core. I hope Jerry Dipoto and the company can find an Adam Jones and Chris Tillman to call T-Mobile Park home.