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  1. With the deferred money involved in Soriano’s contract and Morse’s money off the books (5.25m according to Cots), the Nats essentially are paying $1.75 million extra for Soriano this year. Right?

    Comment by JBentley — January 16, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

  2. Bay, Ibanez, Morales ( lose Vargas), Morse ( lose Jaso). Very disappointing offseason by Jack Z.

    Comment by Willie — January 16, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  3. Fuck Jack Zduriencik.

    Comment by Rippers — January 16, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  4. As a Nats fan, I’m happy to see Michael Morse return to the Pacific NW where I’ll get to see him play a few games this summer. As a baseball fan, I’ve got to agree with your conclusion that this trade makes like sense for Seattle. Even if you’ve undervalued Mr. Morse a bit — and I think you have — the one and likely done aspect leaves Seattle the net loser. As someone wittier than me wrote, Seattle does seem to be trying to field a team of nine DHs. Okay, maybe it’s only five or six, but you get the point.

    Comment by Eugene in Oregon — January 16, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  5. I believe Morse’s salary was $6.75 mil for 2013, so it’s really just $250k more on the books for Soriano.

    Comment by Sean — January 16, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

  6. Morse played 55 MLB games at SS when he originally came up with the Mariners. I just thought everyone should know this information and then look at Mr. Morse today….

    Comment by Scott — January 16, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  7. Fun story (marginally): I misread the author tag before the jump and thought this was a Cameron piece, until about halfway through when I thought, “Why does Dave sound so much like Jeff?”

    Congrats on finding a distinctive writing style.

    Comment by Icebox — January 16, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

  8. “In the outfield, Morse isn’t much of a defender, and I’m wearing my generous pants.

    This is pure gold.

    Comment by Hank — January 16, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

  9. Disappointed that this likely keeps Norris as a part-time player, being on the wrong end of the platoon split.

    Comment by Dan Out West — January 16, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  10. Hi Jeff. :-)

    Comment by DetriotMichael — January 16, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  11. If my memory is a reliable guide, Jack Z’s first years in Seattle were known for his focus on quality defense: his first Mariners squadron, anchored by Franklin Gutierrez in center field, may have been one of the finest defensive teams of all time.

    Did the failure of that strategy inspire Jack Z to go to the opposite extreme and field Ibanez, Smoak, Montero, Morales, and Morse in one lineup? It is the only explanation I can think of: that, having failed in one extreme, Jack Z attempts the other.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 16, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

  12. Seems they picked up some offense at least. Also, I wonder if they turn around and sign Napoli and then trade Morse or Smoak to a desperate Red Sox team.

    Comment by pft — January 16, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  13. Done. Done, _done_, DONE. Awful trade for the Mariners, the capper in a crapper of an off season. Trading a younger, better, cheaper hitter for a no-D guy who’s never had power sans PEDs in his career without a position on the team. I won’t pay to see him play, and this deal is a disaster in every respect. The Mariners made Oakland _better_ in the process of making themselves worse. Travesty of a deal.

    Jack Z may or may not have been under orders to acquire ‘a power hitting outfielder.’ I don’t care. He should have resigned rather than make this deal, and he will be fired rather than renewed because frankly the team he is fielding is going to be his sixth total loser in a row. Too many high drafts haven’t panned out so far, and the marquee acquisitions are stinko of this type. I trace this back to teh owners’ inability to correctly evalutate their asset—a baseball team—and come up with a strategic play for maximizing the value of that asset—winning while managing costs. They don’t win. Their expenditures swing between miserly and stoopid. They don’t put a professional product on the field. No one of talent wants to be associated with this doofus squad.

    I am done with this organization. Dippy owners; flailing front office; lousy trades; collapsing fan base; no present; worse future. I’m finding another organization to follow, because the Mariners organization is of losers, by losers, and for losers, and will be until there is a change right down past the sedimentary level to the face of the bedrock.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 16, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  14. From the M’s perspective, they’re gaining by getting a guy they can at least feasibly place in a corner. I agree it’s going to look ugly in the field, but as much as Morse might seem like a redundancy, Jaso became just as much a redundancy following the acquisition of Morales. With the DH open in 2012, Jaso fits great as the part time catcher. That isn’t there now and I have to believe he isn’t getting all that much playing time with us either way without encroaching on Montero’s AB’s.

    The other issue is Justin Smoak. What are the odds on him finally being productive? Probably lower than 50/50, which means 1st base may open up just a month or two into the year. Suddenly Morse fits a lot better in that scenario.

    I don’t like the idea of trading 3 years for one any better than the next guy but something was going to have to give.

    Comment by Jonathan Aicardi — January 16, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

  15. I think Norris still gets a chance to be the main catcher. If he wins the main job and Jaso murders righties, you can use Jaso at DH occasionally against righties and put Smith in the outfield.

    Comment by baycommuter — January 16, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

  16. This is the sort of comment I usually roll my eyes at but here goes:

    Fire Jack Zdurencik now!!!!

    Comment by Kazinski — January 16, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  17. This leaves me with a number of questions. Maybe the most pressing one (from my perspective anyway): What about the outfield logjam?

    On the roster as it stands right now, they have: Gutierrez, Saunders, Wells, Ibanez, Bay (maybe), Thames, Carp, and now Morse. Even without the Bay/Ibanez signings this was looking a bit crowded, but now with Morse in the mix this is turning into a Japanese subway at rush hour. Sure, they can rotate somebody into the DH spot, but that means Morales/Montero will get fewer reps at DH.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe Jack Z. will trade one of these guys for another catcher. Maybe Jack Z. will trade the entire infield for the sculpture in Marlins Park. I have no idea what their plan is at this point.

    Comment by Jared — January 16, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  18. Jack Zd fucked himself trading for Smoak, drafting Ackley, and drafting Hultzen over Bundy. Those were decisions under his control that have ‘not gone as planned.’ Jack Zd was brought in to build through the draft, and yes, there is talent added to the org, but the high value acquisitions which were supposed to be the core of the team by now are generating zero (0) added wins.

    You should be cursing the owners, because Howie and Chuck _do_ interfere in personnel decisions at the most inopportune times. Signing ‘two big bats’ under Bavasi was their play. Signing a washed up Ken Griffey, Jr. again was their play. This acquisition is in all probability ownership’s play: they ARE that stupid. Jack is a company man; look at what he’s been doing all offseason. Hamilton, Stanton, Upton, Squat. Jack at least started with players who would have added value, but has sunk down to scraping out the sump pump because there must be a ‘power hitting outfielder’ to swing for those newly moved fences . . . which ownership refused for fifteen years to move in where other organizations (Detroit, NY Mets) fixed similar problems in a couple of years. And ownershipe WILL be screwed, when attendance drops under 10K a game this season or next. We may not have the worst ownership in MLB, but we do have the biggest losers, that part is indisputable.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 16, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

  19. There is no way Norris gets the job over Jaso. Norris may be a little better defender, but batting wise, Jaso wins in a LANDSLIDE. Jaso posts a 900 OPS against righties and 400 against lefties, so he is in Oakland for one thing…to catch against righties.

    I can’t think of any reason the A’s would want to get Norris in the lineup against righties, move Jaso to DH, Smith to the OF so they could what…bench Young and Cespedes against a rightie? I don’t see any sense in that.

    Comment by West Coast Hard Baller — January 16, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  20. “Jack Zd fucked himself trading for Smoak, drafting Ackley, and drafting Hultzen over Bundy.”

    Hindsight, much? Smoak was an elite prospect at the time of the Cliff Lee trade, Ackley the clear #2 in that draft, and even preferred (not sure why) over Strasburg by a few teams, and Hultzen was a consensus top 3 in his draft year, while Bundy was not. Luck has not favored the Mariners with respect to these moves, but they’re moves that the majority of franchises would have made all the same.

    Comment by ASURay — January 16, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

  21. There’s been speculation Wells and a reliever could go to the Tigers for Porcello. I’d like that deal, but I have to believe the M’s could have found a better way to cover a corner outfield spot.

    I’m also curious why everyone is saying Morse will play left field. Isn’t right field typically where your worst-fielding outfielder goes? If Morse plays outfield I hope that’s his spot.

    Comment by Edgar4Evar — January 16, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

  22. ‘Luck’ is a loser’s excuse. GMs are paid to get these kind of calls right. Jack hasn’t. Repeatedly. One might add Jesus Montero to that, can’t say, as ‘Slow Bus’ Montero was going to take a year or two to adjust to major league pitching if he’s going to.

    And it isn’t hindsight. Smoak hadn’t hit a lick up with Texas which is why they sent him back down. There was data on him that said he might not make it. Bundy was a better prospect than Hultzen, period. Consensus is for the herd. Bundy was a high school arm, so high risk, and the Ms already had a high end high school arm, so an ‘advanced college arm’ is a judgment call. The GM is paid to get it right. The reason the Ms are where they are now is that after _five years_ under Jack Zd, they haven’t acquired a talent core. We see the plays Jack made to achieve that—and they have NOT achieved that. That isn’t luck, that is his responsibility. He’s not hopeless, but he has not achieved what a GM has to achieve. And the guy in the mirror he looks at every morning is responsible for that.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 16, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  23. As a Mariners fan, I’m not happy, but I’ll wait to see how things turn out. If Morse were to put up a 296/345/516 line in 2013 (his line over the past three seasons), albeit with poor defense/baserunning, and Jaso puts up a 256/360/367 line (his 2010-12 numbers), also with poor defense, I’d be of the opinion that the Mariners came out ahead production-wise (maybe not once you factor in age and years of control).

    Comment by ASURay — January 16, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  24. That’d be a pretty decent deal, despite my fondness for Casper Wells. But I agree – talk about a Rube Goldberg approach to getting what you need.

    I think Morse played more LF than RF for the Nationals, at least last year, so I suppose that’s where the assumption comes from. Also, with the fences moving in, I’d guess that whichever field is considered the smallest actual area to be defended would be the one where they’d want to stick Morse – maybe that’s LF?

    Comment by Jared — January 16, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  25. Wasn’t Jack Z a “genius” a few years ago, or am I misremembering?

    Comment by walnutfalcons — January 16, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

  26. If the signing “two big bats” was referencing Beltre and Sexson those were probably two of the best moves of Bavasi’s time. Sure Sexson sucked at the end but Beltre was solid. these were not great moves but his others were so bad these are ok.

    Comment by ron — January 16, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

  27. I always figured the slowest guy played right because fewer balls were hit there as more batters are right-handed. I assume Morse has the arm for right field having played shortstop at one time.

    Comment by Edgar4Evar — January 17, 2013 @ 12:41 am

  28. WOW!! What is wrong with M’s fans?? Are you under the illusion that you could have signed a high quality bat in FA? Bitch please you know and I know that Seattle is where hitters go to die and at least Morse WANTS to be there so a good attitude is always good…You need to understand that under the circumstances, Z did what he had to do to get you bitches a power bat so you would stop crying..He goes out and gets one and what do you do? Cry…I agree that Z has bungled some moves, I get that…However, nobody here is a GM and until you get hired as one, STFU!!!

    Comment by 4233 — January 17, 2013 @ 12:52 am

  29. Jack Z made smart moves a few years ago.

    Comment by Matt Erickson — January 17, 2013 @ 12:54 am

  30. Balthazar, you need to look at this table for awhile before you shoot your mouth:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mqigwpr-uHs/SE7SM1xs84I/AAAAAAAAAAU/vkDkXgluDhE/s320/process.bmp

    Comment by AK7007 — January 17, 2013 @ 12:55 am

  31. Truly terrible joke but too good to resist: “To Seattle, From Washington”- isn’t Seattle in Washington?

    Comment by insomniac — January 17, 2013 @ 1:02 am

  32. I have to think there’s more coming from the Mariners and soon.

    Beyond that, I’m not sure that this deal is as horrendous as everyone’s making it out to be. Jaso had a career year last year and has never even come close to an ISO of .180 even in the minors.

    Just looking at his numbers, there isn’t much to suggest that he’s somehow changed his approach. However, it does appears that’s he’s swinging at a lot more strikes. In fact he’s swinging more in general which has also lead to career high in SO% (including minors). Regardless, he’s still a platoon catcher with sub defense.

    It will be interesting to see how this year plays but I suspect that the M’s won’t be all that disappointed with Morse.

    Comment by Jaker — January 17, 2013 @ 1:50 am

  33. I meant he’s swinging at a lot more pitches inside the strike zone. His contact is a bit down as a result but he seems to have translated that into more line drives and power.

    Comment by Jaker — January 17, 2013 @ 1:52 am

  34. Why are Mariners’ fans so dedicated to starting Smoak at 1B?

    He’s the worst player in the 1B/DH/OF logjam, yet you guys keep insisting he get a starting role, while a clearly superior player in Morse has the honor of playing on Smoak’s off days… I don’t get it.

    Morse is a slightly below average defensive 1B, Smoak is about average. Yet, Smoak’s wOBA is .301, while Morse’s is .363! Why is it not evident that Morse should get the lion share of playing time over Smoak.

    The M’s offense has been pathetic. No shit. Your 1B slugs .370, and you’re debating about whether Morse (.500 SLG) should play backup LF or 3rd string DH…

    Comment by Will — January 17, 2013 @ 4:09 am

  35. Which ones, I’m genuinely curious?

    Ryan Langerhans for Michael Morse? Morrow for League? Branyan for Carrera and Diaz? Lee for Smoak and parts?

    Comment by Will — January 17, 2013 @ 4:18 am

  36. Take a look at Morse’s body now and four years ago. Contact goes up when you get ‘help’ too. So do injuries. Figure it out. Don’t want the guy.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 17, 2013 @ 4:20 am

  37. Will, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about, but since the question of what Jack Zd does and doesn’t do is in the comments:

    Good: a) Putz and stuff for Gutierrez and Vargas, b) crib toys for Lee, c) hard love for Jaso, d) Vargas for Morales. All steals.

    Neutral: e) Morrow for League. Toronto got a different guy than Seattle gave up because in his first spring training weeks after the trade Morrow learned a wipe out slider he _never_ had in Seattle which completely changed his pitching profile. The actual deal was one good reliever for one hard-throwing, head case, bad reliever. This wasn’t a bad deal unless you were psychic. f) Morse for Langerhans. Take a look at Morse’s body and batting profile before the deal and after the deal. He ‘changed.’ If you like that kind of thing, and you’re psychic, than call it the way you want too. At the time, Langerhans was the better bench player for any kind of reason you might actually reckon by. g) Pineda and Campos for Montero and Noesi. Two high end, high risk power arms in an organization with lots of better pitching talent for a high end bat with big questions and a good stuff, no-head pitcher; the deal may come out a loser or just a wash, but it’s hard to call, and not in itself a bad bet.

    Losers: g) Lee for shiny stuff, h) Fister for tinny stuff, i) Jaso for thunder in a bottle. Ughh.

    Lots of other little deals of something for something else, none of which netted anything of note for Seattle more than end of the roster fill.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 17, 2013 @ 4:35 am

  38. The Putz for Gutierrez/Vargas/Carp trade was brilliant, the Gillies/Aumont/Romero for Lee trade was brilliant, and getting actual value for Yuni was brilliant. He began amazingly well. Things… went downhill.

    Comment by ThirteenOfTwo — January 17, 2013 @ 4:37 am

  39. Norris had a 70-75 wRC+ vr L and vr R.
    Also a negative UZR.
    I think another year starting in AAA would do the 23 yr old good.

    Kottaras however had a 110+ wRC+ vr both L and R last year. He was acually 50% better with the bat vr Norris in the platoon Norrris is going to inherit.
    Smith is expendable in every platoon senerio possible between Cespedes, Reddick, Young, Crisp, Moss, Carter and Jaso.

    Comment by Scott — January 17, 2013 @ 6:12 am

  40. Jaso put up 5.5 WAR in 1000 pa 2010-2012
    Moore put up. 4.7 WAR in 1300 pa 2010-12

    I think I like the WAR better than the line as an A’s fan.
    Why didn’t Washington keep Jaso to platoon with Suzuki ( .08 WAR ) and two more years after Zooks is gone? Arn’t they in win now mode as well?

    Comment by Scott — January 17, 2013 @ 6:25 am

  41. He likely was always just trying to find the best overall players at lowest cost. Gutierrez hasn’t been healthy and Beltre left (they were the big reason for their 2009 UZR peak), but they still have Brendan Ryan!

    They were 5th in UZR last year, a big improvement over 2011. 13th in xFIP. 27th in wRC+.

    Yeah, he probably has decided to stockpile some bats, not that it has worked out thus far, but it hasn’t really killed the fielding.

    Comment by wobatus — January 17, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  42. You forget they also acquired the great Robert Andino

    Comment by Miketron — January 17, 2013 @ 8:04 am

  43. Sullivan, if nothing else, Morse is a character and a great guy. Since the M’s will undoubtedly suck this year, characters and great guys are better to have on a losing team. That being said, Morse can flat out hit if he’s healthy and while he won’t provide the positional scarcity of Jaso, he will hit better than Jaso. The thing is, Morse isn’t a guy that you can look at past stats to help predict future outcomes, because he just hasn’t been healthy. The bat will play in any park and I absolutely believe that Morse will put up better numbers than LOLaRoche this year, especially if he can move to DH where there’s less chance of injury.

    So dry your eyes, the M’s aren’t getting back the same Morse they traded away.

    Comment by Pig.Pen — January 17, 2013 @ 8:10 am

  44. I don’t think you get a pass for the Morrow trade. He was a 1st round pick, number 5 overall. There’s some slack because he has diabetes and that was part of the reason he was converted to relief, but just because he learns a slider and becomes a good starter within weeks of spring training with Toronto doesn’t mean you can say, “oh, that wasn’t a bad deal; he got better.” It actually almost makes it worse in a sense.

    Comment by wobatus — January 17, 2013 @ 8:13 am

  45. I thought that, other things being equal, you put the stronger arm in right.

    Morse played right in 2010 until mid season, when Willingham was hurt. In 2011 & 2012, he played LF when he was in the outfield because the Nats picked up Werth and called up Harper.

    Comment by JCA — January 17, 2013 @ 8:41 am

  46. They’ve got Wilson Ramos as their current #2 and longer-term #1 catcher (it seems Suzuki is going to be #1 at least until they deem Ramos is fully recovered).

    Comment by Aaron (UK) — January 17, 2013 @ 8:49 am

  47. Ramos is the primary catcher in Washington for the long term, and they have pretty good depth pieces for backups. Of course, as the article notes, their pressing need was to restock the system with starting pitching candidates, given the trades of 3 arms to Oakland for Gio and Meyer for Span, as well as the injury history of Solis, Giolito, Karns, and Purke.

    I’m probably wrong, but I feel funny about comparing Jaso and Morse’s WAR when much of Jaso’s playing time was at catcher and Morse’s was at 1st and left. There is a lot of position adjustment in those numbers. If Jaso is primarily a DH and only a backup catcher, then the right question might be how does his and Morse’s WAR project at the positions they will be playing? I’m more comfortable comparing bats with these two.

    Comment by JCA — January 17, 2013 @ 8:50 am

  48. So, just to recap, the Mariners now employ:

    Jesus Montero
    Jason Bay
    Michael Morse
    Raul Ibanez
    Kendrys Morales

    Was there a rule change I missed that came with the Astros moving to the AL? Do teams in the AL West now get 4 DH spots??

    My favorite part of this is thinking back to the epic #6 org thread and how Jack Z “invented evaluating defense”.

    Lol.

    Comment by Huh? — January 17, 2013 @ 8:57 am

  49. This trade isn’t nearly as bad as many of my fellow M’s fans are making out. It’s going to be pretty forgettable in July. This isn’t the sort of trade that makes or breaks an organization that is so far away from contending. I refuse to let it bother me a lot.

    Comment by philosofool — January 17, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  50. Mike Morse, confirmed PED user = character guy

    A-Rod, Clemens, Bonds, etc = spawn of satan

    Comment by Huh? — January 17, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  51. Jack Z may or may not have been under orders to acquire ‘a power hitting outfielder

    its clearly a panic move protecting someones job rather than looking at the future of the organisation

    Comment by paul bedford — January 17, 2013 @ 9:14 am

  52. The M’s will win 80-88 games this season with the players they have and contend next season. Take a look at their record (over .500) over the last half of last season and their additions by subtractions, Olivo, Figgins and Kawasaki. They add two MOTO bats in Morse and Morales (the M&M Boys) and full seasons from Iwakuma and Erasmo Ramirez cancel the loss of Vargas. Their bullpen is as good as any in the game already. The not remote possibility of better years from Ackley, Saunders, Ryan, Guti, Smoak and Morales, plus potential contributions from Zunino, Romero, Franklin, Paxton and Hultzen and wild cards (or trade chips) like Carp, Peguero, Wells and Catricala. The glass is not half empty, quit whining!

    Comment by maqman — January 17, 2013 @ 9:33 am

  53. If you swapped the name “John Jaso” for “Michael Morse” in that list, then how would the playing time been much different? Was Jaso going to get the bulk of the starts at catcher ahead of Montero? If not, then you have the same problem.

    Comment by JCA — January 17, 2013 @ 9:35 am

  54. That was before the steroids.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — January 17, 2013 @ 9:43 am

  55. And Griffey Jr., A-Rod, Randy Johnson, and Edgar Martinez (E-Mart?)will all somehow magically return to their peak seasons in a Mariner uniform with Sweet Lou expertly directing from the dugout and it’s Griffey beating the throw from Paul O’Neill again.

    80-88 wins? In what alternative universe are you living in?

    Comment by Cuban Pete — January 17, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  56. Jaso is more of an offensive weapon than Morse. He’s also younger, cheaper and plays a more important position. I can’t believe the M’s made this deal.
    Even if you believe Jaso’s 2012 was a fluke, then how do you ignore the chance that Morse’s 2011 was a fluke?

    Comment by stan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:18 am

  57. Balthazar, points E and F seem to be the fault of the talent evaluators, ie management. They didn’t seem to know what they had, while other teams did. Whether Jack Z was willfully or unintentionally ignorant doesn’t absolve him from making terrible trades.

    How is it that the Blue Jays were able to teach Morrow a devastating slider in a week? How is it that the Nationals were able to suddenly convert Morse from a poor hitting SS into a power monster?

    The talent didn’t just “appear” overnight as you suggest, but rather the Mariners were not maximizing the players’ potential. It’s embarrassing that other teams’ scouts could identify things that the Mariners’ management, who actually directly worked with the players, couldn’t.

    Comment by Will — January 17, 2013 @ 10:19 am

  58. Bonds, Clemens and ARod all also have reputations as first-class jerks. Their teammates didn’t like them any more than the BBWAA voters.

    Morse, on the other hand, was extremely popular in the Nationals clubhouse. He was a joker and an important leader on a pretty young Nationals team. It’s a big reason why many Nats fans were disappointed to see him as the odd man out. I think that’s what Pig.Pen is getting at by calling Morse a character guy.

    Comment by Will — January 17, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  59. Smoak was still a big name on prospect boards, but his star had already fallen considerably by the time the M’s traded for him. There’s no mention of Josh Lueke here either, which I find odd.

    Comment by stan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:24 am

  60. Hey I am too!

    Comment by Al Roker (pre-op) — January 17, 2013 @ 10:30 am

  61. Fine. Insert McGwire and Petitte, who have never been anything but great teammates and professionals on and off the field, yet they too are pariahs for steroid use.

    Comment by stan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  62. It won’t be forgettable when Jaso is leading the A’s to another division title and Morse has a 750 OPS playing every day.

    Comment by stan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  63. I think he was totalling all of the M’s major and minor league teams ; ).

    Comment by stan — January 17, 2013 @ 10:35 am

  64. Jaso = C
    Montero = DH
    Ibanez/Bay = LF
    Morales = 1B
    Smoak = C’ya

    The only way this deal makes sense is if there are other trades following it either moving Smoak &/or Wells or Gutierrez none of whom prob have much value…

    Comment by Spike — January 17, 2013 @ 10:41 am

  65. Will – IMO, e) and f) were not the fault of the talent evaluators, so much as the fault of the talent developers. I.e. the coaches. I truly wish that the effect of coaching and/or the output of a player development system were statistically quantifiable things, so that they’d get discussed more on this site.

    All I’m left with is a gut feeling – I know, not really liked on this site – that the Mariners organization has been truly terrible at developing their players. Contributes to the “they always do better when they leave” meme. Corroborated slightly by seeing things like Morrow picking up another pitch in another org and being given a true chance to stop changing roles all the time. Further advanced by the supposed wave of the future prospects like Ackley, Smoak and Montero being off to a slow start.

    Comment by Joe F. — January 17, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  66. We had a character last year (Munenori Kawasaki). You can’t force things like teh funny. I don’t care whether he’s a cut-up or not, or whether he can translate his newfound quirkiness to here.

    Comment by Joe F. — January 17, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  67. Your addition by subtraction theory leads to maybe 81 – 82 wins. As of right now they have Noesi and Beavan in the back of the rotation. Morse, Morales and Ibanez are possibly a net 5 wins over Olivo, Figgins and Kawasaki, true… figure that gains from Ackley, Montero or Smoak are negated by Saunders regressing, Guti getting injured yet again, whoever they bring in at C to replace Jaso, and the back of the rotation. I doubt Ryan will be a net gain from last year. So yeah, this is probably a .500 team, barely.

    Comment by Joe F. — January 17, 2013 @ 10:50 am

  68. It hasn’t really killed the fielding yet. That may change with Morse in LF, Montero catching, and I assume Morales at first.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 17, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  69. maybe you read this:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/some-comps-for-mike-morse/

    It’s by Dave Cameron. I’m not sure how a 120 – 130 wRC+ set of comparables changes over a week’s time.

    Comment by JCA — January 17, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  70. If your predictions of drastically more wins relies on a full Erasmo Ramirez being a significant improvement, then your team is in trouble.

    Comment by Michael Scarn — January 17, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  71. “So yeah, this is probably a .500 team, barely.” Only if you predict pretty much total negativity. I get that that is the most common view of the M’s, it just isn’t a true view. GMZ has screwed the pooch a few times no doubt but he’s still a smarter baseball man than a lot of bean counters. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon in the second half of the season.

    Comment by maqman — January 17, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  72. Remember how much praise was heaped on him for the Figgins signing? Even Rob Neyer went so far as to label Figgins a “superstar” at the time. I am not kidding. This was regarded as one of Jack Z’s brilliant moves.

    Comment by rbt — January 17, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  73. If the Mariners wanted Morse and the Nationals wanted pitching prospects back, why did they need to include Oakland? From their deep farm system, Seattle could surely have traded prospects of comparable value to what Washington got from Oakland. Why was this a three-way trade at all? Maybe Jaso is the brokerage fee.

    Comment by Phil — January 17, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  74. Jack Z. might be under the gun to win a few more games right now or at least to provide some more offense for the fans.
    That’s the only explanation for this trade and stocking so many DH/1B/LF types.

    Comment by Baltar — January 17, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

  75. Please cite your evidence that Michael Morse took PEDs. I’m sure you must have it, otherwise you just libelled a guy who can afford much better lawyers than you can.

    Comment by Sam Samson — January 17, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  76. I have never done or seen an extensive study on whether LF or RF gets more chances, but I have scanned the data, and it seem about even (contrary to common sense, but isn’t everything?). WAR also rates the two positions evenly.
    It seems to me that the only decision to be made (except in lop-sided stadiums) is the slight advantage of putting the better arm in RF due to the better defense of 1B to 3B.

    Comment by Baltar — January 17, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

  77. Go back to sleep.

    Comment by Baltar — January 17, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

  78. I think Mariner fans have enough experience with Jack Z to see what this organization is. Good prospect evaluation. Mediocre MLB level evaluation. Questionable ownership motivation. We all hope that the inertia of a solid farm system overcomes the .500 average (maybe generous evaluation there) on Jack’s trades. This Jaso trade isn’t Morrow bad, but it’s bad – unless there is a follow-up trade coming.

    This isn’t the end of the world. The overall effect of the trade is probably small, but still annoying.

    Being a baseball fan is brutal. The development of a good team takes sooooo many years, and the seasons are so freaking long and slow. Then, with one bad hire, the entire thing can be obliterated in a year or two. Is it really worth the effort of following a team closely? As a 35 year baseball nut, lately I’ve been discovering that there are far better things to do with my time.

    Comment by zack — January 17, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

  79. Oh great, block Chris Carter at DH with Smith AND Jaso. Great move. Carter definitely wasn’t on pace for 40+ HR and didn’t absolutely destroy the ball last year at all…

    Comment by PL — January 17, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

  80. Morse was suspended for PEDs in the minors. TWICE.

    Comment by Llewdor — January 17, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  81. and i’m sure those lawyers are hunting around the interwebz, looking for ridiculously petty lawsuits to engage in

    Comment by jim — January 17, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

  82. I don’t like the trade either. But there is a clear future in Seattle. I honestly am excited for that future.

    Comment by Scott — January 17, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

  83. And…?

    Current Possibility
    Montero = C
    Morales = 1B
    Morse = LF
    Ibanez/ Bay = DH
    Smoak = C’ya

    Or, ah heck
    Montero = C
    Morales = 1B
    Wells/ Ibanez = LF
    Morse = DH
    Bay = bench rotter
    Smoak = C’ya

    I’m not saying whether I actually endorse either of those arrangements or not (it doesn’t matter), but jeez… it’s… not really all that different… … … JCA’s point still stands.

    Comment by Dag Gummit — January 17, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

  84. So Will, again, you just don’t know the facts. We, in the NW, _watched_ this guy, in the minors and the majors for three full years. He did NOT have a decent breaking ball. Period. He had a mediocre slider that was not plus and that he couldn’t command. In spring training after the trade, he was taught a new grip on the pitch, which really worked. This was reported AT THE TIME, i.e. observers asked him where he got the pitch, he told them, and they confirmed it.

    This does happen btw. Players do acquire new skills. J. J. Putz, for instance only had a mediocre slider outside of his hard four seamer his entire time in the minors, which led to his conversion to relief. I his second big league season, Putz learned a splitfinger grip from Eddie Guardado in the Mariners bullpen, and ever since has commanded the pitch which has made him much more effective. Mariano Rivera didn’t learn his cutter grip until after he was in the Yankees bullpen as a power reliever.

    I give kudos to Morrow to learning something different which worked—and demerits to him for never having done a damn thing similar during his time in the Mariners org. If you had watched Morrow pitch, starter and reliever, in Seattle, you’d understand just how bad he was. Now, not all of that was his fault, but he was a mess. Sometimes when you hold onto a guy, they figure it out. Most of the time not. Sometimes after you deal a guy, they figure it out. Most of the time not. Morrow beat the odds, credit to him; that makes the Ms FO look bad. But in grading them, they traded a mess who had gone _backwards_ over three years for a guy who did certain things demonstrably well.

    If you want to know the Ms on the Fister deal, though, by all means go ahead, that was simply a bad evaluation of a good player in a deal-of-need. Fister was that good before he was moved, but the Ms had other pitchers coming and undervalued him, it’s that simple.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 17, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

  85. So Will, here I agree with you. Smoak is hopeless, and it’s an indictment of the Mariners FO that they can’t admit it and move on. The fact that the guy is still on the roster is ugly. But Morales will be starting in front of him, so he really doesn’t matter that much at this point.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 17, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  86. So Sam, you can use your eyes, or not. Morse was suspended for PEDs twice. And the reasons were obvious watching him play in Seattle.

    Mike Morse actually knows how to hit, I’ll give the guy that. His strike zone judgment has been solid to good. His pitch recognition is good. He knows how to work for a pitch to hit. What he never did well was a) hit, and b) hit for power. He didn’t barrel up the ball all that well. He had not body torque and despite being a tall rangy guy didn’t have a naturally strong swing. This is what he looked like in the minors outside of his times using; this is what he looked like his entire time in Seattle. An unathletic, smart guy, who know how to hit, but was going to hit ~.260 with HRs in the low teens, and be defensively terrible. And Michael Morse is smart enough to know that profile doesn’t have a career, whereas 30 HRs per season ears many millions of dollars.

    The body type of Morse in DC is _entirely different_. The dud is carrying thirty pounds of muscles mass on his upper body, or more, that he never had here. Unsurprisingly, his BABIP has jumped. That’s associated with PED usage. Unsurprisingly, Morse’s HR totals have jumped. That’s strongly associated with PED usage. Morse had a history of trying to dope. He had a history of _not_ hitting for power when he was under the microscope for having been suspended. Michael Morse has developed chronic shoulder and muscular injuries. _Those_ are typically associated with PED usage.

    Figure it out. It’s just not hard. Can I prove he uses? Hey, I don’t have the flask. But if MLB can’t catch the guy, it’s because they don’t want to. I do find it . . . strange, there’s a word, that we’ll all talk about Morse without at least raising the hugely obvious question of the elephant in the room bulging out the carpet. Michael Morse’s career trajectory is just not credible, and that begs a question.

    Comment by Balthazar — January 17, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

  87. Yeah, I don’t think the Mariners are all that bad.

    Still. It’s a strange trade.

    It seems to me that the Mariners have really good pitching, and that all they need is another 100 runs a season, and they’ll be contenders. That’s a lot of ground to make up offensively, but the offence was so bad in 2012, that there’s a lot of easy places to add a ton of offense.

    One major place to find some of those 100 runs is in LF. For 2012, left field was a circus for the mariners, with no player getting more than 52 games there and an overall aggregate OPS of .647. So, Morse will absolutely help the mariners there. Getting Morse, at least, makes a lot of sense.

    Losing Jaso, however, does not. Correct me if I’m wrong (the Mariners are not my usual team), but Jaso was a huge part of what little offense the Mariners were able to muster in 2012. For a team that’s offence starved, losing one of their most potent offensive contributors is the opposite of the direction they ought to be going. Last I heard, Montero was mostly moved to DH, Olivo, who wasn’t that great to begin with, was a free agent, and your blue-chip catching prospect was still in AA.

    If Zunino is ready to be the Mariners regular catcher in 2013, then it makes tons of sense. The team’s going young, they know that they’re going to want to give this kid a ton of playing time at Catcher, and that made Jaso expendable. But that’s if Zunino ready. He’s only been a pro for a year, has only played 15 games in AA… I mean, that seems like a hell of a chance to take with a young prospect. You don’t want to bring a guy like that up until he’s really ready to contribute… for his confidence if not the triggering of his arbitration clock.

    So, I don’t really understand it. If Zunino comes up, and puts up good numbers for 2013, then it will have been a good trade. However, if all of Morse’s production fails to compensate for Jaso’s lost production at catcher, and the team finds itself with a replacement level catcher while the team waits for Zuniino, the Jaso would’ve been the perfect guy to hold down the fort in 2013.

    So, yeah, the Mariners might be good in 2013 if they can score a bunch more runs. Whether or not this move helps them score more runs, well, that depends on Zunino.

    Comment by rory — January 18, 2013 @ 1:02 am

  88. Every single Mariners fan who goes to the games will love this deal. As a Nats fan, he was the most likeable player and was a biger part of turning around the Nationals than anyone gives him credit for. He gets casual fans to come back to the game.

    He is one the most likeable players in all of baseball and I’ll miss him.

    M’s fans will love him.

    Comment by Greg — January 18, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

  89. Its not like Bay is ever going to see the majors for more then a taste. Ibanez is a bench bat.

    Not defending the trade for the Ms, but no one should be talking about Bay/Ibanez like they are going to be regulars.

    Comment by PhillR — January 18, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

  90. Fuck your bed

    Comment by man without a bed — January 19, 2013 @ 12:56 am

  91. GET THIS MAN A BED

    Comment by guy who knows where the beds are — January 19, 2013 @ 12:59 am

  92. I actually think it sounds pretty fuckin gay

    Comment by k — January 19, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

  93. If this trade had happened during the season, after Zunino had hypothetically proved he was ready and had been in the minors long enough for the Mariners to get an extra year of team control, I’d like this trade a heck of a lot more then I do now.

    Comment by Sarpar — January 23, 2013 @ 4:59 am

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