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About that Charlie Furbush - Jackie Bradley rumor (UPDATE)

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Let's examine a rumored transaction that could have been consummated but was not.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So this has been running around since last night and it's gained some national traction:

The very last thing I have any interest in doing is questioning the veracity of Gordan Edes' reporting. Gordon Edes is an established journalist and there's no reason to be skeptical that he was in fact told that.

That said there's a kind of mental checklist to roll through whenever this kind of thing comes up, before you even consider the merits of the rumored deal:

1) When was this proposed?

Edes' tweet reads "this Spring" but it's very unclear if "Spring" refers to when the trade was proposed, when he was told this information, or both.

2) Why is this just coming out now?

The timing is odd. I suppose it's possible that Edes' source is coming from somewhere on the Seattle side and this being the first time the two teams have seen each other in 2015 this is new information to him but it it's also possible that someone, whether Edes or more likely his source, has a motive for disclosing the proposal.

It could be as simple as someone having a personal axe to grind, a favor being called in at some waypoint in the serpentine path clandestine information travels, or a part of a larger play to set the stage for something bigger.

Almost certainly this didn't come out by accident, and neither is when it came out.

3) Who does this benefit? Who does it harm?

This is the overriding theme of this kind of stuff and, in my mind, the foundational question to keep in mind. It's certainly not news that Jack Zduriencik has alienated people within baseball during his time as the Mariners General Manager. Is this one of those parties sensing a chance to use the Mariners' slow start to further paint Jack in a bad light? It could be of use to either or both front offices as a sort of public disclosure to set up a market floor for either or both players, should they look to deal them later on.

What about the merits of the proposal itself?

I wish I had four hands so I could give this trade four thumbs sideways. Charlie Furbush is a useful albeit limited Left-handed reliever with a wipeout slider at times and wayward control. He was great last year, but so was every member of the 2014 Mariners' bullpen. The Red Sox bullpen has been a calamity but adding one decent to good reliever isn't going to solve all of that.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is a former 1st round draft pick who's currently OPS-ing .857 in Pawtucket as a legitimate centerfielder who has been relegated to pinch-running/defensive replacement. He is also 25 years old with a .247 wOBA in 539 PA in the majors and has seen almost all his hype removed and anointed upon the head of Mookie Betts. The Mariners sure could use another outfielder but that's not because they don't already have outfielders. They have a lot. They're just mostly bad. Kinda like what Jackie Bradley has been.

In conclusion:

Maybe this trade was proposed, maybe it wasn't. It certainly has been reported, almost certainly accurately by a good reporter. If the trade was actually proposed by someone and turned down by the other party it probably would not have changed either team much for 2015. You should feed this information into your grumble-o-tron, making sure you have the settings correct for your personal tastes, and see what it spits out.


Indeed it appears this is all a load of bullocks. Rumors are awesome, you guys.