Mariners Analysis

Friday, May 07, 2004

Should the M's trade Freddy?

With Freddy Garcia clearly one of the hottest pitchers right now in all of baseball, the M's would seemingly be crazy to trade him. However, to lose him next year and receive nothing in return is equally crazy, so what should the M's do?

First, a few points to consider-

  • Freddy is still young, and very durable
  • Freddy seems to like playing in Seattle (his agent isn't dropping hints he wants a recording contract anytime soon)
  • With the M's having a number of contracts expiring next year, and the second highest revenue in baseball, they clearly can afford to sign him
  • The team has indicated they believe pitching wins championships, and Freddy has pitched well in big games
  • He doesn't appear to have a big ego, and has shown no signs of demanding to be the highest paid player in baseball

Plenty of baseball people will tell you Freddy should have been signed to a long-term deal a long time ago. Whatever hangups management has with Freddy's arbitration case or his bachelor lifestyle, the fact is Garcia is one of the most effective pitchers in Mariner history.

So why trade him?

Because the organizations inability to develop young position players leaves little choice. If the M's think they can go off into the offseason and suddenly find a replacement DH, first-baseman, power-hitting outfielder and a catcher all through free agency that will field a championship-caliber team next year, they are delusional. Free agency is used for filling holes in your line-up, not your entire line-up. Unless you have the Yankees payroll, the only way for the M's to get better is through trade.

Does anyone really see the M's attracting a big-name slugger next year? They haven't done it before, and show no signs of being able to do it now.

If anyone really believes this current team has playoff aspirations, ask yourself this- Who on this team has any trade value?

The answer for everyday players is rather short, and it makes no sense to trade your most valuable offensive players when you can't score runs.

So that leaves the pitching staff. With supposed major-league quality pitching talent in the minors, the team can replace Freddy. If the M's are smart, we just may see Freddy pitching for another team by the All-Star break.

If not, the M's bases really will have spider-webs over them.