I'll Trade Ya...
Well, it's that time of year again. Time to start trying to figure out what direction your favorite team is headed. Fourth of July weekend is nearly upon us. It's a time when traditionally, GMs sit down and either buy some glorious mortar shell fireworks to celebrate their team's accomplishments, or some high-powered M-1,000,000's to blow their team apart. In the M's case, it appears the latter is what's about to happen.
It's now been two days since the first anniverary of the Ben Davis trade. How the heck we got Jeremy Reed, Mike Morse, and even Miguel Olivo for him is still beyond me. Oh wait -- what's that you say? I forgot someone? Well... I guess we did include Freddy Garcia in that sweet deal. I've been so consumed by pining for the days of Ben Davis behind the dish, that I nearly forgot about The Chief. Kidding, really. As unpredictable as he was -- would we see Freddy Garcia or Freddy Krueger? -- and as overrated as I see him, the M's probably miss him in the rotation. He'd be the Ace of this staff, for sure (though Garcia is no ace). I'm still expecting Morse to come back down to earth (he's only 2 for his last 12), and Reed to hit a little better (and for both of them to continue to surprise people with their defense). But even with our need for pitching, and the still-unsolved-as-of-yet-but-we-thought-we'd-solved-it-with-Olivo problem of catcher, I'd do that trade again twelve days a week.
Common thought in the M's blogosphere, and perhaps even in the media, is that we don't have a guy like Freddy to trade this year. We don't have a blue-chip, everyone's-gotta-have-him-to-stay-in-contention player, or so people think. However, I'm not totally convinced that we don't. Obviously Ichiro, Beltre and Sexson are not going to be traded. I'd seriously doubt we'd trade Reed right now, either. Rumors abound, and have been well-discussed already by bloggers, about Winn, Boone, and even Moyer being on the trading block. I'm not expecting a Garcia/RJ/Langston blockbuster on any of those guys. In fact, with Boone and Moyer, I wouldn't be surprised to see them get treated with much more respect than John Olerud did last year. Winn might fetch a decent prospect, but even that I doubt.
But perhaps we do have a blue chip to throw out on the market and cash in on -- Eddie Guardado. I'm still trying to nail down whether or not Eddie has a no-trade clause in his complex contract. I recall that he did, and (if you believe him) Ken Rosenthal said (July 11, 2004) he's got one, too:
The Braves and Astros are among the clubs seeking lefthanded relief help, but perhaps only the Yankees would take on the complex contract that the Mariners awarded LH closer Eddie Guardado last offseason. If Guardado's club declines an option of $6 million in 2005, he can exercise a player option for $4 million. The same goes for '06, when the club option is worth $6.25 million and the player option $4.25 million. Guardado also can earn up to additional $1 million if he exercises the player option for '05 and finishes 60 games and up to an additional $1.25 million if he exercises the player option for '06 and finishes 60. He also has a blanket no-trade clause.What? How can we trade our spark plug, and one of our most exciting players, if not one of our best players? Well, I'm of the mold that believe an ace closer is a huge luxury which a bad team cannot afford. This 2005 M's team is bad, folks. I know Bavasi's still making up his mind (so he says, anyway), but I'm already convinced. It's time to throw in the towel, and see what takers there are for our massive surplus of spare parts, with Guardado potentially having nearly as much value as Freddy did last season (depending on who's after him).
So, unless there's indeed a no-trade clause, I'm all for heavily selling Everyday Eddie. Here's why:
- I'm more concerned about Eddie's shoulder than I am about Richie's.
- George Sherrill will be back soon. He's been lights out closing in Tacoma, and would be lights out in Seattle.
- Rafael Soriano has also expressed interest in the closer's job. He wouldn't suck at it, either.
- Eddie is not in the long-term plans for the M's. It'll be awhile before the M's have a winning club again, let alone one that competes for the playoffs. I like Eddie a whole ton, and love to watch him pitch. But he needs to have his talent utilized by someone who can actually put him in a save situation, especially in a high-pressure one. The M's haven't had one for awhile, and I don't expect them to have many in the near future. Eddie needs to seal the deal on a playoff-caliber team. Otherwise, he might lose interest and focus, and completely fall apart.
- Eddie is the most valuable trading commodity we have that we actually might consider trading.
Or maybe I'll just go find Corco's new digs and hook up with him for a fierce game of tetherball...