Mariners Insider Blog

The trade deadline has come and gone and what is different ...

... with the Mariners?

Well nothing. They are minus one reliever and a mid-grade prospect richer.

But with the playoff races in the American League East and the National League West? Plenty.

That's because Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a three-team trade, while former Gonzaga standout and Kirkland resident Jason Bay is headed to the Red Sox. Here's some of the details of the trade.

But who cares about teams fighting for playoff spots, lets focus on a team that hasn't been in the playoff equation since April - the Mariners. I guess I'm not completely surprised. And maybe it's not over. Any deal involving the exchange of money or teams picking up another players contracts, must have it approved the commissioner's office.

And even if a move hasn't been done now, Jarrod Washburn could be moved in a waiver wire deal. That's not totally implausible, particularly if the Yankees get a few crappy starts from Sidney Ponson or Darrell Rasner over the next week.

On some level, I understand that interim general manager Lee Pelekoudas didn't want to just give up Washburn or Raul Ibanez or Adrian Beltre just for the sake of giving them up. Having a certain level of demand is expected. But according to most reports, the bulk of the executives around the baseball felt that the Mariners asking prices for their players were "exorbitant."

But is Washburn any part of their future plans? I wouldn't think so. Even with his newfound change-up, Washburn isn't likely to be re-signed by Seattle. The Mariners would have been better off dumping the salary and giving Ryan Rowland-Smith or Ryan Feierabend their shot at the rotation. Unless a waiver wire deal goes down the Mariners are on the book for another $14 million for Washburn counting the end of this season and all of next season. That's still a lot for a guy that's 5-9 with a 4.50 ERA, even with his latest run of good starts. Even if you make a trade in the offseason for Washburn, you're likely not going to get anybody to pick up all of his salary.

As for Ibanez, I don't understand why you don't make a trade for him. I guess we don't know what the Cubs, Mets or Blue Jays were offering. But think about this ... there is no guarantee that Raul is going to re-sign with the Mariners next season. He's an unrestricted free agent. And as a guy who loves the Florida area, if the Marlins or Rays offered him a contract for slightly less money that the Mariners, he could definitely wind up staying in the area. The positive of that situation is that if he does sign with somebody else, the Mariners are guaranteed two draft picks because Raul is a type A free agent. But that leads to the assumption that the Mariners draft well with those picks --- anybody remember Michael Garciaparra?

It seems that the trade deadline is often overhyped for how much really happens. Honestly if Manny, wasn't, well, Manny the last few weeks, that trade probably doesn't even happen. But since he's been a pouting, unhustling, clubhouse disrupting baby, the Red Sox kind of had to make the deal.

More and more GMs are a little wary of making that risky deadline trade that comes back to bite them in the end. Call it the Woody Woodward syndrome. Nobody wants to make the Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb trade.

For Pelekoudas, the safest thing to do was trade Rhodes, and do nothing else. Ask high, and if you don't get what you want, you can't be faulted as much. Pelekoudas has been around long enough to know that playing it safe could be the safest way to maintain employment and push for the GM job full-time. He also knows that being an interim GM with a team in the dumper, that opposing GMs might try and lowball him or bully him into a trade he didn't really want to make. So he played it safe. I guess you can't fault him for the idea of job-preservation. But really, there was a chance to make some sweeping changes and the Mariners stood pat ... and we all know it isn't the first time.

He's scheduled to meet with the media later today in Texas and I guess we'll know more then.