Biggest Contribution: Ichiro, +26.4%
Biggest Suckfest: Adrian Beltre, -9.3%
Most Important Hit: Ichiro homer #2, +17.4%
Most Important Pitch: Belliard double, -19.8%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +38.8%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +7.1%
Ichiro got his revenge the Ichiro way, Morse finally hit another ball over the fence, and Ryan Franklin found out that fanning a handful of batters makes it a little easier to get through a start without too much damage. But in all honesty, who cares about the game? There were a few more important things that happened today.
Trent did a fine job covering today's transactions (see posts below), so I don't have too much to add. I will point out, though, that Giants fans don't seem particularly enthralled with the Winn deal. And, really, they shouldn't be, because as underrated as Winn has been in Seattle, he's not a difference-maker, and he's not worth the package that Brian Sabean gave away. But then, Sabean clearly sees things differently, because he's been chasing after Winn for quite a while. It was around deadline time three years ago that Sabean actually offered - get this - Jesse Foppert to Tampa Bay in exchange for Winn, but was turned down by one of Chuck Lamar's typing monkeys.
Given that Winn wasn't going to be a part of the next good Mariner team, and that he's due to earn a little cash in 2006, getting Foppert in return is something of a coup. Torrealba's just gravy. Foppert hasn't been the same pitcher since the Mystery of the Missing Velocity a few years back, but going under the knife got him back into working shape, and he's still very much in the recovery stage. Dave compares him to Clint Nageotte, although Foppert's history shows a pre-injury dominance of AAA that Nageotte's record lacks. If Foppert ever gets his stuff back, he's going to shine bright; if he doesn't, he's still going to be useful, provided he improves his command with a little more coaching and experience.
Yorvit Torrealba's just a guy, but he's a guy who's hit .251/.318/.393 as a catcher in a pitcher's park, and who just turned 27 a week and a half ago. He has decent power (~36% extra-base hit rate), isn't afraid to take a walk, and plays well behind the plate, blocking balls and gunning down 38% of would-be basestealers over his career. He's reasonably cheap, he pummels lefties, and he's still waiting to hit his career peak. While he's no world-beater, he's an enormous upgrade over what we had, and he probably wouldn't embarrass himself as the full-time catcher in 2006 if it comes to that. Downside: zero.
Later, the Mariners shipped Miguel Olivo's rotting carcass to San Diego in exchange for Miguel Ojeda and Natanael Mateo, the latest in a series of trades involving bad or underachieving players between these two ballclubs. Since 2000, the list of exchanged players reads:
Olivo really needed a change of scenery, although I don't know if San Diego will be a good place for him, given its righty-killing ballpark and its coaching staff's inability to fix Sean Burroughs. Because Olivo's been so bad, it's hard to get worked up over how little we got in return, although I think most of that is just frustration that he didn't pan out, rather than frustration with the package. Miguel Ojeda's a randomly-generated 30 year old catcher whose numbers suggest an ability to hit southpaws at a reasonable clip, while Mateo's a 24 year old relief prospect who's not missing many bats in AA. He's got a low home run rate and the dreaded "live arm" label, so he's got more promise than, say, a Masao Kida, but it's unlikely that he ever makes it to Seattle. Looking at this, it's tempting to think that Bavasi made a bad move by selling low on a talented catcher, but the organization must have been convinced that Olivo wasn't going to turn it around with the Mariners. So, where you might call it selling low, the team would probably call it "salvaging the wreckage."
Perhaps the most interesting trade of the day is one that didn't end up going through - Jamie Moyer to Houston for Fernando Nieve and another prospect. While Moyer's been the best starter on the team this year, his skin's practically falling off, and Nieve plowed through AA earlier this summer as a 22 year old. However, as cool as it would've been to swing that deal, Moyer's NTC was a known issue far before he was even made available, so we can't blame him for making a decision that he had every right to make. Just because he refused to go to Houston doesn't mean that he won't be on the move tomorrow, though.
It's a good day to be a Mariners fan, for a few reasons: (1) they won, (2) they robbed the Giants blind, and (3) they look to have a pretty sharp guy steering the ship. We gave Bavasi a lot of heat earlier last season, but all he's done since then is bring in two big-name free agent sluggers and pull off a handful of successful trades. Where he took advantage of Kenny Williams' overeagerness last June, he did the same again today with Brian Sabean, and swung another shiny swap with Houston on top of that (it's not Bavasi's fault that Moyer said no, after all). While he may have a few questionable philosophies, it's becoming clear that Bavasi's pretty adept at swinging beneficial deals, and that makes me a lot more comfortable. We haven't seen how he'll respond to having a competitive team on the field, but he's doing a lot of good when it comes to getting himself in that position in the first place.
The brief rundown:
Verdict: Probably an improvement, possibly a wash
Out: Minor league flotsam, soon to be gotten rid of
In: Foppert, Mateo
So, after today, we're better off in 2005 and better off in 2006. And hey, losing Winn gives us a few extra dollars to play around with next winter, to boot. If there's a downside here, I don't see it.