Much of the discussion amongst Mariners fans and the media has started to turn to possible trades of several people. Columnist John McGrath discussed this in today's column in the News Tribune, saying the Mariners need to clean house. Larry also had a story which discusses similar ideas. And not to be left out, I also did my weekly segment with KJR's Ian Furness where we also discuss that similar idea.
One thing I think I failed to mention when talking about Yuni Betancourt, and his trade value. Yes, the Mariners have to play him as not devalue him, but at the same time playing him, also on some level allows Betancourt to believe that his way of playing the game is acceptable.
If you are Don Wakamatsu what do you do? You bench Yuni for lack of focus in the field and at the plate, but then any hopes of trading him and getting anything back for him, go down. But if you play him, you have to watch him hack at pitches out of the zone and boot routine balls in the field. And allow Yuni to think that there are no repercussions for playing that way.
By the way, here's a column on Wak from the Contra Costa Times.
So are the Mariners all set to trade and cash in the season. GM Jack Zduriencik told Fox Sports Jon Paul Morosi that he is "not in a hurry to do anything."
As for teams looking for trade help, the Philadelphia Phillies seemed like a logical suitor for Erik Bedard. But now with Brett Myers' hip injury and possible need for surgery, that need grows more.
But this is important to remember and I think something that people tend to forget - the Mariners aren't the only teams looking to dump players - particularly 2010 free agents - to pick up prospects to rebuild. The Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks and others will be looking to move some players. So it's not like Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, Adrian Beltre or even Russell Branyan are the only players that contenders have to choose from.
Take the Phillies: Yes, they need pitching, and yes, Bedard would help them. But so would Jake Peavy, Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb and Roy Oswalt, who could also be acquired instead. And because they need to probably pick up two pitchers, they may go for lower echelon starters like Brad Penny, Doug Davis, Chris Young or Washburn so they don't have to give up so much in return and hope that the offense - led by Raul Ibanez - can continue to put up runs.
From all reports, Zduriencik is being relatively vigilant about making sure he gets some legitimate talent in return for Bedard, which is logical. At some point, a team like the Phillies only has so much it can or is willing to give.
Obviously Bedard won't garner as much as he got from the Mariners, including Adam Jones, who is yet the subject of another feature - this one from his hometown paper the San Diego Union Tribune.
And don't think that Adrian Beltre is he only third baseman available right now for someone like the Cardinals. Cleveland's Mark DeRosa is out there, and while he isn't nearly the defensive presence Beltre is at third base. Right now, DeRosa is a much better hitter, who can also play multiple positions if needed. Even Cubs GM Jim Hendry is still trying to explain dealing DeRosa in the offseason.
I have no doubt that Zduriencik will make some moves. And I don't think any player besides Ichiro and Felix are above being dealt at this point. But people also need to be realistic in their demands of him and remember the Mariners aren't the only ones looking to trade.