Like most Mariner fans, I approached the trade deadline with quite a bit of skepticism. Too many times the M's approached the deadline needing to add a bat or an arm for a stretch run and failed, or decided to hang on to a useful veteran instead of cashing him in for some fresh blood. This past weekend, Bavasi squashed my skepticism and proved that he was willing to take a gamble, cut loose dead weight and wasn't afraid to trade a fan favorite (twice!).
Grading out the trades:
Who the Mariners acquired: C Yorvit Torrealba and RHP Jesse Foppert
What the Mariners gave up: OF Randy Winn
Trade Grade: B+
Jesse Foppert is a project, but inside this project is a former top prospect. Foppert is going to need innings to continue to get his feel and arm strength back so the club will be patient. Yorvit Torrealba has been a back-up throughout his career, but Seattle is going to give him a chance to start. Torrealba is a very good defensive back stop, with an arm that compares to Olivo, solid fundamentals and the ability to call a good game. While Bavasi took a risk with Foppert, the potential payoff makes this a terrific deal. Oh, and I forget to mention, Chris Snelling gets his chance to play!
Who the Mariners acquired: C Miguel Ojeda and RHP Nataneal Mateo
What the Mariners gave up: C Miguel Olivo
Trade Grade: B
Miguel Ojeda is not much of an upgrade over Miguel Olivo. Both catchers have struggled mightily this season and don't factor to play a major role this season for either team. Miguel Olivo fell flat on his face after arriving in Seattle, struggling defensively and offensively. They may have given up on him a bit early, but they obviously felt that a change of scenery would do him some good and that they no longer wanted to invest the time and effort to fix him. They got a serviceable catcher in return and a borderline flame throwing reliever.
Who the Mariners acquired: RHP Yorman Bazardo and RHP Mike Flannery
What the Mariners gave up: LHP Ron Villone
Trade Grade: A
This is Bavasi's best trade of the weekend. By moving the 35 year old left handed veteran, Bavasi opened up a spot for George Sherrill, which is an improvement by itself. In Bazardo, Bavasi acquired a 21 year old live armed pitcher who has the potential to be a solid middle of the rotation starter or solid middle reliever. Flanning isn't anything to get overly excited about, but he is in the mold of a Sean Green type player, an effective minor league reliever who could be used in the majors in case of an emergency. The move will also save the M's nearly $1.7 million next season. Terrific trade.
As I indicated yesterday morning, the roster shake-up is scheduled to continue over the next couple days with Strong and Sherrill reporting to the club yesterday and Aaron Sele getting the boot this morning with Jorge Campillo returning (he will start tomorrow). Another influx of minor leaguers is expected by the end of the week, with some more players receiving their pink slips.
Players who will be up in the next couple days:
* Jorge Campillo (will start for the team tomorrow)
* Felix Hernandez (will be up and start on Thursday)
* Chris Snelling (will start on Saturday)
Players who might be called up within the next week:
* Jeff Harris
* Greg Dobbs
* Justin Leone
Players on their way out:
* Aaron Sele (released today)
* Shigetoshi Hasegawa (will likely be released today)
Players who might be on their way out:
* Scott Spiezio
* Dave Hansen
* Matt Thornton
* Joel Pineiro
Over the next couple weeks and as the playoff picture becomes clearer, teams may be looking for help for a stretch run, so there remains the possibility of another trade or two. Nothing major, but possibly a bullpen arm or two. The next two months will be an interesting time as we get to see some of the younger players come up and show what they can do, particularly in the rotation.