As the years of failure and playoff-less seasons have accrued the Mariners have figured out that, much like there are many different ways to win baseball games, there are many ways to lose them as well. 2010 saw them lose 1-0, 2015 was losing 9-6, and 2004 was losing through tears. Like a video game boss the Mariners will go game to game morphing into different past forms of their bad selves; lose a 2005 game, a 2007, a 2013, and so on in rapid succession. You, the fan, must be ready to counter these rapidly changing assaults on your morale, and you never can quite catch up. See you're playing the game of Mariner fandom, but them losing? That's in the code.
Anyway, one of the sacred tenants of all that losing is that the Mariners have stubbornly insisted on giving a large amount of playing time to astonishingly bad players. Mike Zunino in 2015, Kendrys Morales in 2014, Jose Vidro in 2008, Yuniesky Betancourt always, etc. I've been writing long enough about this team now that I'm always afraid I've just begun repeating myself but I'll repeat myself: The Mariners' greatest teams were rosters built around the concept of completeness, with league average as the roster floor. They were a 12 armed mutant octopus in a world of normal octopuses. The modern era Mariners have been limping along with 6 1/2 arms or so, and inevitably getting smacked by those opposing limbs for with they simply have no defense.
The Mariners made a trade today. Wow, what a surprise. Jerry Dipoto had the busiest pre-Winter Meetings offseason since at least 2003 and he's simply accelerated that pace now that the rest of baseball has decided to play a long with him. Today's transaction: First baseman Adam Lind, for three "lower level pitching prospects".
Lind is a very 2015 offseason acquisition in that he is a decent baseball player with some pretty obvious flaws. In this case those flaws include a hand-wringing inability to hit left handers (career 54 wRC+ vs. LHP), some spotty injury history, and the fact that he's a free agent after 2016. Adam Lind may very well only be a Mariner for one year if things go well, even less if things go Mariner.
The good news is that, depending on your preference for OBP vs. SLG (and I'd say it's fairly clear which one Dipoto is prioritizing) Lind is a pretty good bet to be a better baseball player than incumbent and recently traded first baseman Mark Trumbo. Lind's on-base percentage the last three years is .357, .381, and .360 respectively. Those are all much higher than Trumbo's career best mark of .317. Adam Lind is going to get on base a fair amount, and when Dipoto talks about making the lineup "longer" it's easy to see that meaning having fewer easy outs in it. Lind, at least against right-handers, isn't an easy out, and he will not be one of those inescapable black holes of suck that have haunted Mariner teams for so many years. 1B is no longer a peak at the gaping maw of torment and pain that surely awaits us all someday. Hooray.
With the cost being players years from the majors you can look at the 1B talent swap as Mark Trumbo, CJ Riefenhauser, and a few lottery tickets of variously long odds for Adam Lind and Steve Clevenger. Both Lind and Trumbo will make roughly the same amount of money in 2016, give or take 10-15 years of my labor or so, and both are free agents after the year is over. It's a swap of tools, with Jerry preferring the lack of outs to the constant threat of hitting a baseball harder than all but a handful of humans can hit it. It's a trade off I can live with, even as it still leaves a need for a LHP-mashing 1B/DH AND I SAID JESUS IS THE WAY MY FRIENDS!!!
Ahem, excuse me. I love Jesus Montero. I am an idiot, I know. Adam Lind is here my friends.All 1.5-2 fWAR of him. He is competent, he will get on base, he will not collapse in on himself leaving the first base position a ruinous crater. He will (hopefully) come into camp healthy and ready to push for a large deal in free agency after the year. This is Jerry's Trade of the Day. I'm sure he's working on another one already.
UPDATE: We've got the official cost
#Brewers acquire three teenage pitchers from Seattle for 1B Adam Lind, all RHPs: Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, Freddy Peralta.— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 9, 2015