Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Should the M's trade Moyer?

With teams like Boston and NY looking for quality pitching, the M's are in a great position. As we saw with Garcia, quality pitchers can carry a premium at the trading deadline. By not trading any prospects, the M's are in a position to trade veterans knowing they have a ton of choices to replace them. With so few quality pitchers available at the deadline, this would seem like a great time for the M's to replenish their farm system with position players.

With that being said, what quality pitchers are available at the deadline? While the new rumor seems to be Randy Johnson, there's no guarantee at this point he's available. If Jamie Moyer were put on the market, there is no question he would be attractive to a number of teams.

So should the M's move him? (Let's forget the rights of a 10-5 guy for a moment and lets assume KOMO-TV is right and Jamie has already told the M's he would go to a contender.)

It would seem to be an obvious decision to trade him. At this time, Bavasi has indicated he won't due to "veteran influence." Apparently he thinks Jamie is worth more in the clubhouse to young pitchers than he is on the trading block. But what is the true value of Jamie Moyer?

Certainly if the right deal came along, you'd move him. If the Mets had a brainfart and offered their stud 3rd baseman David Wright for Jamie, you'd move him in a heartbeat, right? I'm not trying to say anyone would make such an offer, but the point is you don't really know what you'd get in return if you don't put him on the block. Is he worth an A-level prospect. AA? AAA?

So if the right deal came along, Bavasi should at least be considering moving him. Let's face it- you just traded away a 28 year old winning pitcher with the 5th lowest ERA in the AL. If you'll trade Freddy, how in the world can you not trade a 41 year old pitcher?

It's not like the veteran influence is helping this year. After all, you have one of the worst records in baseball. And isn't it the pitching coaches job to help the young pitchers?

Finally, if you trade a young pitcher, you have no idea what they could turn into. After all, there is a good chance one of the M's young pitchers could really turn into a nice pitcher. With guys like Swift, Hampton and Lowe getting traded, the M's have to think twice about trading pitchers. The nice thing with Jamie is you know what you have already, and he's only got a few years left.

Finally, it's not like fans go to the game to see Jamie pitch. Randy Johnson yes. Jamie, no.

I agree you don't trade Edgar for any reason. But I can't think of any logical reason to keep Jamie if the right deal came along. And the only way you'll know what you can get is to make him available to other teams and see what his true worth really is.

You decide when the offers come in, not based on leadership or fan loyalty.