Heck of a first trade, eh?
So Jack Zduriencik made his first big splash as a GM. Yeah, signing Branyan and giving Shelton (Branyan's potential platoon mate) a minor league deal happened first, but this move's obviously more recognizable to the common fan.
I'm not a huge fan of defensive metrics, and assigning individual dogmatic values to them, but I do really subscribe to the theory that an above-average defender with an ~average bat is a very valuable player. I'm excited to see what Gutierrez will bring to the table, defensively, and if he's got any sort of bat at all.
Of all these four:
...I think I'm most sad about losing Little Luis. That's not really an area of depth the M's have -- Valbuena was the most likely internal option to replace Lopez or Betancourt were one of those guys to be traded. Putz is my son's favorite player, but I've always been unfairly biased against him (anyone remember the Pützenbömber??? I do, and I'm sure marc w does...).
I do like this trade for the Mets and for the Mariners. And I'm really curious what the Indians see in Valbuena. The fact that they wanted him as sort of a centerpiece in their side of the deal somewhat confirms my affinity for Luis.
While it's a blockbuster, and a decent deal, it's certainly only barely earth-shattering. The M's pitching staff likely will have their ERAs drop somewhat noticably -- even if they pitch virtually the same way. That's not a bad thing. Now I wonder about the offense.