This is a new series of articles based on pathetic and absent-minded actions from members of any one particular ballclub. As I watched my Seattle Mariners yesterday somehow will their way to another loss against the Nationals, I realized something, the Mariners would be the perfect choice for the very first edition of “what were you thinking.” When it comes to the Seattle Mariners, few other teams do as terrible of a job at trading players. In fact, I am going to do everything possible to convince you that NO ONE does as poorly as the Mariners when it’s time to hit the ol’ trading block. Let’s start with the Nationals, since that is the team I was watching the Mariners play yesterday. They seem to have a large up and coming right-handed hitter with pop. Oh, that’s only Michael Morse! He wouldn’t possibly be someone who could help the Mariners’ loaded lineup – wink, wink. The Mariners had Morse playing all over the place, even a couple dozen games at SS in my hometown – Tacoma. That’s right, I said shortstop. I know there are such things as tall shortstops, but anyone who has seen Morse, knows exactly why that’s funny. Plus the very fact that they are now even in a situation where they are looking that hard for a shortstop is unacceptable, but we’ll get to back to that. So we traded him to the Nats for defensive specialist Ryan Langerhans. You’re welcome Nationals. Hey, at least we kept it between Washingtons. I don’t care how much of a “defensive specialist” someone is, If he can’t even get himself in the lineup, then how “special” can his defense really be for you? So back to the shortstop thing. Ever heard of Asdrubal Cabrera? If you watch “web gems” on ESPN or play fantasy baseball, then I’m sure you have. Brace yourself for this…In ’06 the Mariners traded A-Cab to the Indians for catcher Eduardo Perez. Yeah, that really happened. In ’06 we seemed to have a real strong desire to strengthen the team – the team in Cleveland. Two years before that, the Mariners traded away SS Carlos Guillen to the Detroit Tigers for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez, and not the Juan Gonzalez you are probably thinking of, just some dude. After a year with the Mariners Ramon Santiago re-signed – with the Tigers. Way to go with that trade M’s, especially when you consider that Guillen was the best part of what Seattle got from Houston for Randy Johnson. Freddy Garcia was so-so and John Halama, well, he pitched. – Overhand too, surprisingly enough. Back to Cleveland, Less than two months after handing over Asdrubal Cabrera for a guy who would be an ESPN analyst faster than the Mariners could order his proper catcher equipment size, we give them our prized Korean import as well. Shin-Soo Choo was traded to the Indians in exchange for Ben Broussard. Deep breaths now, with a little courage, we’re gonna get through this… Want more shortstops stories? Sure why not?! You know of a guy who is pretty much known as one of the 3 greatest defensive shortstops to have ever lived that goes by the name of Omar Vizquel? Yeah, well in ’93 the Mariners dealt him to, drumroll please…you guessed, the Indians! And what was the very specail pay-off on the other end? Felix Fermin and Reggie Jefferson! The very same year, the Mariners traded away both Mike Hampton and an outfielfer going nowhere in Mike Felder to the Astros for outfielder Eric Anthony. Five years later, Hampton blossoms in to an elite NL starter. It’s debatable on who’s career mattered less between Felder and Anthony. Fours years later (’97, in case I lost you) Seattle trades away Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb. Oh, he was a starting pitcher by the way. Just figured most of you wouldn’t know that….I sure wish I didn’t.
Here’s one of my all-time favorite scenarios: In 2006 the Seattle Mariners have the #5 overall pick and could have picked up Liberty H.S. (Renton,WA) product, Tim Lincecum. Like some other clubs, the M’s timidness appeared to stem from Lincecum’s frame and arm motion. So the 5’11 165lb. TWO friggin-time Cy Young award winner went #10 to the WORLD CHAMPION San Francisco Giants. All because we needed someone who threw about 1-2 mphs harder, was 4 inches taller and about 30lbs bigger, and that’s Brandon Morrow. Keep this in mind, Morrow was a starter at Rancho Cotate H.S. in California, and when he pitched at Cal Univ. But the Mariners felt they needed to use their FIRST ROUND flame thrower in the bullpen. They then pull what I like to call a “Joba” on Morrow by ruining his confidence and overall effectiveness by jerking the young pitcher from bullpen to starting rotation, and back again. The end result, they trade him to Toronto for Brandon League. So has Erik Bedard worked out? I know that he’s pitching well now, but his is a man who missed so many games in recent years that the only contract offer that was available to him was the 1 yr/ $1 million that the Mariners offered. Sounds to me like now he wants to finally give the Mariners a serious contribution, for a more serious contract. I mean heck, we only traded away Adam Jones (already made an all-star game) and the Orioles current #2 and #10 rated prospects. Why we felt the need to trade away Jones to make room for Gutierrez – who is currently hitting .202, is beyond me. Both cover a lot of ground in center, regardless of the gold glove Gutierrez recieved for 2010. Jones edged him out for the honor in 2009. I sure hope that Justin Smoak can start making better strides towards lifting that .235 lifetime average. Afterall, he’s what Seattle got for Cliff Lee. Just because a person grows up a baseball fan in the Seattle area, does that really mean he/she deserves having to go through these trials and tribulations?