It must be depressing times for Seattle Mariners fans. Not only is the club mired in a 46-80 season, but there is a bitter aftertaste lingering in most fans’ mouths thanks to last winter’s Erik Bedard trade.
It is rare for a multi-player trade to work out perfectly for a club receiving five “lesser” players in return for one established Major League star, but it’s come pretty close to perfect for Baltimore. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Bedard has hardly been a savior for the Mariners’ rotation and he hasn’t really fit in in Seattle leading to rumors that the club would like to trade him. That said, his numbers look OK on the surface and he has allowed just 70 hits in 81 innings to go along with 31 walks and 72 strikeouts.
Let’s take a look at the players the Mariners gave up:
Who would have thought that a LOOGY would suddenly become so valuable? George Sherrill, who made his MLB debut at the age of 27 and spent parts of four seasons facing nothing but left-handed batters, has saved 31 games for the Orioles this season, solidifying the back end of the bullpen. The Mariners relievers, on the other hand, have managed just 23 saves as a team and rock-solid closer J.J. Putz has pitched, well, like a putz.
Considered the key ingredient in the trade from Baltimore’s perspective, Adam Jones has had an up-and-down season as a 22-year-old (now 23) everyday outfielder. He has a line of .279/.320/.405 with seven homers and eight stolen bases in 398 at-bats. Jones has walked just 19 times to go along with 92 strikeouts. Basically he has been Delmon Young-lite.
Right-hander Chris Tillman, 20, has been the true steal of the trade and has rocketed up prospect lists everywhere to become one of the top five pitching prospects in Double-A and Triple-A combined. In Double-A this season, Tillman has allowed just 106 hits in 124.2 innings, along with 59 walks and 139 strikeouts. As well, he has as many wins – nine – as home runs allowed. Right-handed batters are hitting just .218 against him and he could make his Major League debut next season at the age of 21.
Kam Mickolio was added to the Orioles’ 25-man roster earlier this week. The 24-year-old right-hander stands 6-9 and towers over opponents. His first Major League appearance was a little rough as he allowed three hits and one runs in one inning, but he did strike out two batters. Between Double-A and Triple-A this season, Mickolio allowed 50 hits in 56.1 innings with 29 walks and 60 strikeouts. He allowed just two home runs.
Tony Butler, a 6-7, 20-year-old hurler, has been the quietest player obtained in the fateful deal. He started out the season OK in A-ball by allowing 59 hits and 11 walks in 55 innings. After his June 19 start (He allowed five runs in three innings), though, Butler went on the disabled list with arm problems and has not been seen since.
So there you have it. The Orioles received a solid closer, starting outfielder, middle reliever, top pitching prospect and a young, dark horse prospect for a pitcher that has already worn out his welcome in his new home.
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