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Jason Davis

I'm a day behind, but it's graduation week, so baseball's kind of a distant priority right now. Bear with me; it'll be about a week or so before things are somewhat normal again.

Anyhoo, as you've undoubtedly heard by now, the Mariners picked up Jason Davis yesterday, a 27 year old righty reliever who was DFA'd by the Indians a little while back. Davis used to be one of Cleveland's several mildly interesting pitching prospects before the organization realized he didn't have the repertoire to start and moved him into the bullpen. Since then, he's put up the following numbers (league average in parentheses):

K%: 15.2 (19.0)
BB:% 8.4 (9.4)
HR%: 1.2 (2.6)
FIP: 3.94 (4.34)

He had a strong 2006 that incidentally looked a lot like Chris Reitsma's 2005, but he fought through a little shoulder pain in ST, entered the year in the back of the bullpen, and struggled his way through 11.1 innings before getting the slip. How good of a move this is depends entirely on how much of last season Davis is able to recover from this point forward.

His arsenal is okay, but nothing spectacular - while his four-seam fastball has gotten into the high 90s, he tends to throw a lot of two-seamers, hence the tendency towards groundballs. He also throws a slider and a splitter, but neither are much of a weapon; the splitter has potential, but he can't control it well enough to use it as a strikeout pitch. And so he exists as a guy who pitches to contact and keeps the ball on the ground more often than not. He's not a waste, but he's also not a huge asset, since even if he's able to get back to '06 form, he's redundant with a guy we already have. Expect him to throw a lot of sixth innings as Julio Mateo fades away.

There's been a bit of panic over who Bavasi's giving away in exchange, but I think it's unwarranted. Jason Davis is a middle reliever, and the Mariners know it. Bad trades happen when one side thinks they're getting more value in return than they actually are. Horacio Ramirez was supposed to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Jose Vidro, the everyday DH. Heathcliff Slocumb, the closer. Victor Zambrano, an intriguing #2. Adam Eaton, also an intriguing #2. Nobody gives away significant value for for a sixth reliever, and no matter how much you may hate Bill Bavasi, I don't see any reason to believe that he'll be the exception. The Indians aren't getting anyone we're going to miss.