Well, it's Christmas Eve, and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't put it past general manager Jack Zduriencik to be on his blackberry working out more possible deals. The guy is a machine.
The latest trade by Zduriencik might be the most curious. For once, there are some people who feel that JZ may have come out on the short end of a deal. I still don't really have an opinion on it, which is surprising because I have an opinion on everything. I guess the better way to say it, is that I'm still formulating an opinion on it.
Here's a few things I believe about this trade
- The organization has some concerns about Sean White's shoulder and Shawn Kelly's consistency after the oblique strain.
- The organization's perceived value of Morrow was not as high as most Mariners fans, which isn't surprising. Zduriencik said he envisioned Morrow competing for a fourth or fifth spot in the rotation, not the No. 3 spot many of us assumed he would get.
- It wasn't a question of the Mariners believing that Morrow could one day be a solid starter in major league baseball, it was a question of how long the Mariners were willing to wait for him to get there.
- By giving up a potential quality starter for a proven reliever to aid the bullpen now, it says that the Mariners also view this season - perhaps their only with Cliff Lee on the team - as an opportunity to win the AL West. This is a move to help you win this season.
Here's Gregg Bell of the Associated Press' story.
Dave Cameron of the USS Mariner has a philosophical problem with the deal. And he offers his well thought-out reasons why
But that’s my problem with this. No one knows how Brandon Morrow is going to develop. He’s basically still a prospect, having been jerked around so many times that his development has been stunted significantly. We can try to make educated guesses about the likelihood of his success in the rotation, based on his pitch types, command, durability, and other assorted assessments. But, in the end, none of us know what is going to happen. He could flame out and never amount to anything. He could win multiple Cy Young Awards. He could end up anywhere in between.
Matthew Carruth over at Lookout Landingwrites about Brandon League and Brandon Morrow
It's common for us, as fans, to overvalue the potential of our prospects. Brandon Morrow's upside has been bandied about a lot post trade, and in the interest of fairness, I wanted to dump some reality* on the picture. People imagine Morrow as he was during his first start against the Yankees. Sure, he has that potential. But he also has Edwin Jackson potential. The Edwin Jackson that took years to show any real improvement.
*In full disclosure, reality may contain large amounts of rationalization.Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing offers a summary of the whole trade with some thoughts - some quite humorous.
An important difference between Brandon League's goggles and RRS' goggles is that Brandon League's goggles are more reflective. The additional reflectiveness makes League more intimidating. Also making League more intimidating is the fact that he doesn't have pinpoint command and throws a hundred miles per hour.
Rich Griffin of the Toronto Star has this column on the trade, and quote Jays GM Alex Anthopolous.
"He reminds me a lot of A.J. Burnett in terms of the delivery and the stuff," Anthopoulos said. "He can throw very hard, 98-99 (m.p.h.) as if he's playing catch. It's a power curveball in the low 80s, similar to what Burnett did. His changeup is not there yet. It's more of a `show-me' changeup. It has pretty good action. It has promise. Burnett was sort of the same way. He's got that kind of ceiling."
from the Canadian Press
From the blog Bluebird Banter ...
I would have liked to just stick League in the closer's role in 2010 and let him run with it, with Downs and Frasor likely to leave after this season, but if the Jays think they can make Morrow into a starter and didn't give up too much else in the deal, I'm okay with him leaving. I won't be surprised if League has a fantastic season for the Mariners though, and becomes a key piece of their bullpen in a season in which they hope to contend.
with the sweet name "Drunk Jays Fans"
For Seattle, to get a guy like League, who's got a great arm and a clear role in the bullpen-- plus a nice prospect in Chavez-- is probably better than trying yet again to balance what's best for Morrow with what's best for the team. But if Anthopoulos is right and Morrow's development has only been temporarily stunted and not stopped, the deal will be a clear win for the Jays.