Let's just go over the two deals that we've had today, and I highly doubt GM Jack Zduriencik is done, since he's got Roy Corcoran still out there in the midst of his 10-day period after being DFA'd.
Mariners get: shortstop Jack Wilson and right-handed pitcher Ian Snell
Pirates get: shortstop Ronny Cedeno, catcher/first baseman Jeff Clement, right-handed pitchers Nathan Adcock, Brett Lorin, Aaron Pribanic.
Mariners get: Right-handed pitcher Robert Manuel
Reds get: Outfielder Wlad Balentien
One thing to note, Pittsburgh Post Gazette Pirates reporter Dejan Kovacevic is reporting that the Pirates will eat a substantial amount of salary for both of Wilson and Snell's contracts this season. He is reporting that the Mariners will only pay each player $400,000 for the rest of the season. Meaning the Pirates will pay the remaining portion of the $7.25 million that Wilson makes this season and of the $3 million Snell is to make, Kovacevic says it's $3,308,702.19
Wow, Jack Z never ceases to amaze me.
Wilson was supposed to be here around 2:30, but his flight has been delayed (stunning) but we'll try and get some reaction from him later.
So let's get to the reaction ...
Obviously all the talk was surrounding the first trade.
Ronny Cedeno was red-eyed, emotional and absolutely stunned about being traded, despite hitting just .167 this season.
"I don't have any control over it," Cedeno said. "It's baseball. It's a business. I'm really surprised."
Cedeno was notified this morning at 9 a.m.
"I'm really sad," Cedeno said. "Felix is my best friend. He and Carlos Silva are great guys and I'm going to be miss them."
Zduriencik met with the media shortly thereafter for a lengthy session.
"I would call it a relatively major trade," Zduriencik said "We've acquired shortstop Jack Wilson and right-hand pitcher Ian Snell from the Pirate organization."
Wilson is somebody the Mariners have been rumored to have been interested for quite some time and Zduriencik confirmed that.
"I've talked to them couple of months ago," Zduriencik said. "Quite frankly, probably in May the first discussions we had together. It was about a lot of different things. His name came up. We still had another shortstop here at this time.
But those talks got more intense over the last 10 days, and Zduriencik said the two teams had several conversations.
"In terms of Jack Wilson, I think what we acquire here is a very talented defensive shortstop," Zduriencik said. "He's a former All-Star player, set several records for errorless streaks. He's a feisty, gamer type of guy. I think people will like watching him play. Having been in Milwaukee the last nine years, I watched this guy against us on many occasion. Not only the kind of defensive player he is, but what he brings to the table -- he's an intelligent player, he's got a lot of smarts, he has leadership skills, he's as feisty as can be."
Beyond the feisty lies another issue, Wilson is under contract for this season with an $8.4 million club option for next season.
At first, Zduriencik kind of hinted that the Mariners would be exercising it.
"Obviously, we'll see how Jack likes it here," he said. "I'd like to think he'll be here for a lengthy period of time. This certainly answers questions for us as we move forward. We have a guy that's a good player and he'll be here for awhile. A lot of things when he gets here -- how he reacts to his teammates, how he plays, the chemistry, all those things everyoine talks about, it's going to be interesting to see how it unwinds."
But then when asked if they were going to definitively get the option for next season, he didn't go that far.
"I didn't say that," he said. "We want to entertain that. I'm sure there will be discussions going on in regards to that. It's nice to know we have the choice whether he comes back or not. As we move forward with anything else, those are discussions that will take place at a later date. But you know you have him this year and you know you could have him next year."
As for Snell, he was a one-time all-star, who is quite emotional and talented, but this season with the Pirates, he was absolutely awful, earning a demotion to Triple A after starting 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 16 starts. At Triple A Indianapolis, he is 2-2 with a 0.96 ERA, including a game in which he struck out 17 hitters.
"He's been a three-year-plus big-league player," Zduriencik said. "He didn't have a successful first half with Pittsburgh, so they sent him to Triple-A. He's done very well in Triple-A, so that was intriguing to us. Maybe this guy is somewhat of a reclamation project. We're hoping we can help resurrect his career. He's done very well in Indianapolis.
As to what Snell's early issues might have been caused by, Zduriencik wasn't certain.
"I don't know if it's mechanical," Zduriencik said. "I haven't heard that. I don't think it's injury related, because he's still throwing in the mid-90s. We sent Kenny Madeja in there to make sure he sat on Ian Snell. Kenny came back with a really good report. Jack, he's got a live arm. ERA under 1. Kenny was a large part responsible with us moving forward in picking up Ian Snell."
Snell probably won't join the Mariners immediately, instead he'll most likely join the Rainiers.
"I think what we're going to do is probably send him to Triple-A, at least for a little while, to let him just get his feet on the ground in this organization, and make a decision in a short period of time on exactly when he will be here with us in Seattle."
As for what the Mariners had to give up, Zduriencik was pragmatic, saying "you have to give up talent, to get talent."
When asked if Clement was deemed expendable, Zduriencik said no.
"I don't think it's expendable," he said. "I think it becomes the pieces you get back in return. I don't think this deal is related to anything else. This deal in and of itself is the fact that you answered a question at shortstop for the next few years. Whenever you get talent you have to give up talent and that's really what it gets down to."
He also hinted that the Mariners having depth at catcher with Adam Moore, though not specifically using his name.
"You have to weigh, like any deal you ever make, you say does this deal fit us?," Zduriencik said. "And it did. We have some kids in Triple A that we think will be contributors here. We have one that's playing right now that is a contributor. You have to weigh what you have on the horizon and at the end of the day make a call. We addressed to nice needs here with this move."
And the young pitchers? Zduriencik admitted it was tough, but justified.
"You have a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher with 3 years of major league experience and a former all-star shortstop that is arguably one of the best defensive shortstops in the game for players that are yet to be proven," he said. "If you are acquiring a 33- or 34-year-old pitcher, it might be a little different."
Manager Don Wakamatsu seemed pleased about the trade. He'll start Chris Woodward at shortstop today as a stop-gap measure.
"Jack is one of the best defensive shortstops in the National League at least, someone who brings leadership and presence to this ball club," Wakamatsu said. "It's something we've talked about from Day 1 is to constantly try to improve and build a world champion. He's a guy we hope adds some depth to us and will be a part of the future."
Cedeno will not be part of that future
"It's not a knock at all on Ronny Cedeno," Wakamatsu said. "Ronny has done a commendable job for us. He's awfully athletic and he's somebody we didn't want to give up because of his versatility."
As for Clement, Wakamatsu, a former catcher who has high expectations for his catchers, still believes Clement can catch in the big leagues.
"I think so," he said. "He had a setback early in the season and he was scheduled to catch quite a bit. For me, the bat is an awfully big plus for that position. I spent some time with him at spring training and I was awfully impressed with him.