Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Mariners and Herschel Walker

I don't like the trade for Bedard. I think we are giving up WAY too much for a pitcher who is two years from free agency and never pitched 200 innings in a season, and I think we are gutting our system at a time when the trend in baseball is clearly towards youth.

I understand others feel differently and we'll see how it plays out. I fear the worst but am always a Mariners fan.

That said, watching the Super Bowl over the weekend we all heard arguments comparing the Pats to the greatest teams in football. One of the obvious comparisons is always the Cowboys. Even though the Pats lost, they are still the dominant team of the decade thanks to 3 SB wins, just as the Cowboys were the dominant team of the 90's.

In Jimmy Johnson's first year as couch, the team went 1-15 and was the worst in football. Besides the goofy hair, Johnson is credited with two things during his tenure that stick out:
  • He understood the value of draft picks, and created a point system for every pick to begin identifying their value relative to each other. Was 2 second picks worth more than a 1st round pick? Johnson wanted the answer to that. What's fair value for moving up in a draft? The groundwork for answering these questions was established. His system is still in use today.
  • The greatest heist in the history of football. He gave a super star running back to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a complete rebuild of his system.
Now I know it's unfair to compare the haul the Cowboys got from the Vikings and the haul the O's will get from the Mariners. And I'm certainly not saying the O's are about the win three World Series.

But the reality is history has not been kind to the 1-for-5 type of trades where a team gets a superstar but guts the system to do it.

I remember when Mark Langston was traded and we got a bunch of no-names back. I also remember when Johnson was traded and we got back a bunch of names I'd never heard of. Freddy who? Carlos who?

If Jimmy Johnson was the manager of the Seattle Mariners I can guarantee you he could quantify what it cost the Mariners by not offering Guillen arbitration and giving away a supplemental pick.

And I can pretty much guarantee he wouldn't make the Bedard trade.

Jimmy Johnson was a coach who understood how to build a team. I'm not sure the Mariners can say the same.