Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who will be traded?

With the deadline fast approaching, and the Riggleman era looking more and more like the McLaren era, the team is going to have to make a move shortly. There is no way the team can continue to send out the same collection of players as it marches towards 100 losses after canning its manager and GM. Changes have to be made, if only for appearances sake if nothing else.

Other than the Sexson firing, which might never have happened if Ritchie hadn't thrown a fit, we haven't seen significant player moves since Bavasi's removal. Lee is going to want to show his potential bosses he can be a GM, so let's look at what we know for certain is at work here:
1) The team wants to show the fans it's doing SOMETHING
2) The interim GM wants to show SOMEONE he is trying to do SOMETHING
3) Bedard's not going anywhere
4) Chuck and Howie will have a major say in any player movement

I submit those are four things we know for sure are true between now and July 31st. Something will happen, but it will have to involve Chuck's blessing and it won't involve Bedard.

Raul is the face of the franchise, according to Chuck and Howie. The biggest surprise about Ibanez is simply that he hasn't been extended already. Who would have thought Raul would be heading in to the off season as a free agent? Clearly something is amiss... either Raul won't sign or team management isn't... no, that can't be right. Regardless, Raul isn't going anywhere. Chuck won't approve it.

The smart move is to dump him. He suffers a lot from the Ryan Franklin syndrome. Even when he doesn't give up runs he loses. Eventually the team needs to move him if for no other reason he never wins any games. Casual fans think Washburn has made a change or is pitching better. He didn't and he's not. He is still the same pitcher that should be making 1/10 of what he's being paid. That's all. It's impossible to believe a team has actually made an offer and the team has turned it down. Chances of moving: Extremely high. (If Washburn is still on the team, it meant no one was willing to part with anything and he may clear waivers and still be moved before September.)

No one would ever trade for him, and he will likely remain with the team the rest of the year. His option won't vest and he's not throwing a fit like Sexson over not playing. Logic says if the team was going to release him it would have happened already.

Not going anywhere. Has value but team has no replacement. Would be shocked to see him go, but all bets are off next year at this time (doubtful he will resign here)

Team should be actively shopping, but teams aren't interested (for all the obvious reasons).

Team should be calling the Dodgers 15 times a day. Highly unlikely he will be moved, but he should while he actually has value.

Under normal circumstances would be certain to go. Lack of trades this year has me wondering how many teams really want to trade for a pitcher as specialized as Rhodes.

Not going anywhere.

That's it. I'd be surprised if anyone else is traded. Can't see Reed going anywhere, Clement etc... The most likely to leave is Washburn, and that is 100% contingent on some team actually wanting him and his contract.

The team is in a tough spot. They want to make a move, but the moves are all painful. It's what happens when you are one of the worst teams in baseball. No one wants the players you would be willing to give up, and your situation isn't improved by having an interim GM.

The other factor coming in to play is the large number of teams still competing for a wild card but not many moves have been made. When the Brewers acted, the Cubs immediately reacted. The AL has been quiet, and teams haven't felt the need to one-up their rivals. A few trades that altered the landscape would really help the M's cause and might contribute to some actual interest rather than the casual calls they've received.

I don't expect much to happen between now and next Thursday, but I do know Morrow will be available if any save situations do come up...