The trade deadline started out more exciting than usual, if anything, because this season the end of the madness was on August 1, instead of July 31. Why? Because no one works on Sundays, like all 30 baseball teams who constantly play every weekend.
But alas. So it goes. Yesterday, we all watched with bated breath to see what the Seattle Mariners were going to do, and well, they didn’t do very much. The M’s, who appear to be content with constantly hovering just a shade above .500 all season, stood pat and neither sold the bleak future for immediate success or sacrificed a slightly exciting present for a potentially but possibly less exciting future.
The rest of the AL West didn’t get the memo, however, and they were wheeling and dealing until high noon. As such, it is time to do things such as GRADES, because as sports blogger, we obviously know much better than the rest of the podunk general managers who only spend their entire lives surrounding themselves with people who obsess over the game to borderline frightening degrees.
Traded OF Josh Reddick and LHP Rich Hill to the L.A. Dodgers for RHPs Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas.
This trade balances out pretty well for the Mariners. Rich Hill, in a very short time, had established that he liked to travel to Seattle, eat too many oysters and drink too much champagne, shit all over his hotel room and trash the Safeco Field visitor’s locker room. In 33.1 innings pitched against the Mariners, Hill has held the vaunted Seattle offense to just five earned runs, all the while maintaining 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings. I personally bought Hill a Bolt Bus ticket to Los Angeles, while failing to inform him that my golden ticket will only take him to Portland—after that he is responsible for his own travel.
Josh Reddick, although a fan favorite in Oakland, is not a good player, because his career stats against the Mariners aren’t very good. Reddick owned a mere .234/.286/.387 split against the Mariners over the course of 305 plate appearances. His BABIP against the Mariners was just a touch below his career average, so it wasn’t like he was falling victim to the cavernous outfield of Safeco Field. Granted, Reddick still has a bit of pop in that bat, but he didn’t make the likes of J.A. Happ or Wade Miley ever shake in his boots.
As of right now, this trade ended up quite average for the Mariners. There is still the possibility that the three prospects picked up by the Athletics might end up doing some damage in a slightly meaningful game against the M’s in future, but we can probably take solace in the fact that Billy Beane will also trade them away in the 2020 trade deadline. The pain will be short lived, and that is the best kind of pain.
Traded RHP Scott Feldman to Toronto for RHP Lupe Chavez. Recalled RHP Joe Musgrove from Fresno (PCL). Traded RHP Josh Fields to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 1B Yordan Alvarez.
Scott Feldman has spent a fair amount of time facing the Mariners, and he has spent much of that time being mediocre at best, which falls in line with being a mediocre at best pitcher for much of his career. The Blue Jays, who are enjoying a bout of success after a long time of anything but, are keen to continue the good ways. But as this trade deadline established, you don’t actually have to be a good player to get traded to a contender—you just need to be able to theoretically play baseball to net a return.
The Astros also sent Josh Fields to the Los Angeles Dodgers. That is the same Josh Fields the Mariners drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft and then decided they didn’t want anything to do with him and sent him to the Boston Red Sox involving a trade with Érik Bédard. Whereas many players might like to stick it to their old club who had no belief in their abilities, Fields never established that against the Mariners. He faced his original club in 15.2 innings over his career and gave up 10 earned runs. The Seattle Mariners will miss such ferocious competition, so the M’s came out slightly ahead on this one.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Traded RHP Joe Smith to Cubs for RHP Jesus Castillo. Traded LHP Hector Santiago, RHP Alan Busenitz to Twins for RHP Ricky Nolaso, RHP Alex Meyer.
The Mariners will be happy to say goodbye to Joe Smith, who had done a good job holding them in check over his career—to the tune of 30 innings pitched, an ERA of 1.78 and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Hector Santiago had also down a pretty decent job against the Mariners. He averaged close to a strikeout per inning, and was 4-2 in six starts against Seattle.
Ricky Nolasco has faced the Mariners three times, and has given up eight runs in 18 innings, with six walks and 14 strikeouts. He is hardly awe-inspiring, and should be a friendly face to see on the website when determining whether or not to buy those tickets to random mid-week games.
By all accounts that matter, this was not a good trade for the Angels. They gave up two players who had pretty decent success against Seattle, and picked up someone who is about as exciting as the compost bucket I received for attending a Mariners game in 2010. Alex Meyer hasn’t faced Seattle in his career yet, so he might be the one that pushes this into more neutral ground, but for now, the Mariners won this trade.
Traded RHP Nick Green, RHP Erik Swanson, RHP Dillon Tate to Yankees for OF/DH Carlos Beltran. Traded RHP Lewis Brinson and RHP Luis Ortiz to Brewers for Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and RHP Jeremy Jeffress.
Alright, the good news first. Yes, the Rangers made a big splash. But working in our favor is two things: 1) Carlos Beltran is 900 years old; 2) when you switch to his splits on Baseball Reference, he suddenly becomes Kansas City Royals Beltran.
Beltran has been pretty decent against the Mariners over his career. He hasn’t demolished the boys in teal by any means, but he hasn’t been an easy out. His career splits against the Mariners match up pretty well with his career averages. That doesn’t bode too well for the Mariners because Beltran’s career numbers are pretty damned good. The only saving grace in this equation is that Beltran’s legs are liable to fall off with every step he takes on a baseball field.
The Rangers also made out like absolute bandits when acquiring Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy has shown up in Seattle briefly, working a gig with the fish throwers as a promotional opportunity, and then whenever anyone ordered a fish he just threw it in the garbage instead. The man has no respect for Seattle or what the Mariners are trying to build up, and has absolutely abused Seattle in his insanely small sample size. Over five games and 22 plate appearances, he has hit a .381/.409/.619 slash. Lucroy has an option for 2017, so there is a good chance that he will have plenty of opportunities to continue to waste our delightful tourist fish.
Considering the Rangers doled out a ton of prospects that hadn’t ever faced the Mariners yet, we have to chalk this one up in their favor. The Texas Rangers, as sick as it makes me to type this, were the true winners of the AL West trade deadline arms race, and that means the Mariners lost this trade.