With Free Agency starting today, I’ve decided to look back at Bavasi’s best and worst trades in his tenure. Free Agency is going to sort itself out and the Mariners are probably going to need to look to the trade market to fill some of the holes that will need to be filled in order to compete next year.
It’s probably best to mix the two lists to ease the pain of this article. The bad trades have hurt more than the good trades have helped.
5. Good- Marcos Carvajal for Jose De La Cruz
Like I said this list not going to be a happy article. De La Cruz at least has a shot at becoming a major league relief pitcher someday. He at least gives the Mariners some shot of getting something out of the Randy Winn trade of 2005.
Bad- Randy Winn for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba
Classic example of trading a player that didn’t need to be traded in exchange for two players that your trading partner know are worthless. I forget why the Mariners were so eager to get rid of Randy Winn (all I remember is that I wanted him gone as well). As a result the Mariners spent 2006 trying to find someone to plug his spot in the order. The Carl Everett era can be blamed on this trade. Randy Winn might not have been cheap up he was better than Carl Everett.
4. Good- Dave Hansen for Jon Huber
This is an example of the Mariners doing what they do best: finding cheap young bullpen arms. Huber was always a long shot at the rotation, but he wasn’t worthless. His value was as a relief pitcher. The Mariners are one of the best organizations in baseball at converting failed starters into relievers before they reach the big leagues.
Bad- Freddy Garcia for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed and Mike Morse
I know a lot of people really liked this trade this trade at the time and still like this trade as a result. Freddy Garcia was on his way out of town at the end of the year and Bavasi was given the opportunity to acquire some major league ready talent in some of the teams black holes. Unfortunately, the players acquired weren’t very good. This is another example of another GM being one step ahead of Bavasi. Olivo lacked the plate discipline and defensive skills to be an asset behind the dish. Jeremy Reed was an extremely overrated prospect (who then made some terrible adjustments and tanked his game). Mike Morse was a roider. The M’s failed to get anything close to the value of Freddy Garcia.
3. Best- Aaron Taylor for Sean Green
Finally something we can cheer about. The Mariners struck gold on a low risk move involving a groundball pitcher with low strikeout rates. Green figured out how to strike batters out and he figures to be a force, at below market value, for the next few years.
Worst- Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez
Eddie Perez is a talking head on baseball tonight while AsCab is at the very least going to give a good OBP from second base for the league minimum. If he ever developes power he is going to be the American League All Star teams starting 2nd baseman more than a few times over his career. This move hurts because it was made at a time when the Mariners overrated Jose Lopez. Now, when the M’s should be looking to replace Jose Lopez with a better option, they are stuck hoping for a veteran retread as opposed to shipping Lopez off and promoting Cabrera.
2. Good- Shin Soo Choo and Shawn Nottingham for Ben Broussard
The Mariners for once correctly identified Choo and Nottingham has having very little value and in return acquired a decent lefty bat. I’m not a big fan of Ben Broussard, but this was a good trade.
Bad- Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez
I’m not opposed to trading good relievers for back of the rotation starting pitchers, but I am opposed to trading them for pitchers who can’t major league caliber. Horacio Ramirez had a bunch of warning signs like: 1) He walked a lot of batters 2) He didn’t strike out a lot of batters and 3) He ran the following rates even though he faced a pitcher once every trip through the order 4) The Braves were going to non tender him. The Mariners thought that Soriano would never be the same again after getting hit in the head by a Vlad Guerrero line drive. This is an example of the Mariners overrating another teams player while at the same time underrating there own guy. It was the perfect storm and it is a miracle that this isn’t the no. 1 item on the list.
1. Worst- Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez
This beats out the rest of the field because it failed on every level except for the teams goal to get Guillen out of town. Guillen became an All-Star in Detroit, Santiago and Gonzalez were of no use to the big league club, and the money saved by the Mariners was dumped into Rich Aurilla. The moral of this story is to never make a trade because “we need to trade player X”. These trades almost always result in getting less value than a player is worth.
Best- Bavasi has made no good trades
I kid, I kid.
Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto for Jose Vidro
Before you burn me at the stake for heresy, let me have my say. The Mariners had a black hole at DH and they acquired a decent regular for two players who had no future with the big league club. Including one that was a fan favorite but had serious injury concerns. Maybe it wasn’t the most cost effective trade (yeah, it wasn’t) but Vidro’s option hasn’t vested yet and the Mariners are a team with money so adding payroll to plug a hole isn’t the end of the world.