Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is the latest to chime in, and he suggests that the Mariners should “step up and trade for the Tampa ace.” Really, Mr. Rosenthal? Must they?
Here is something to keep in mind. Mr. Rosenthal spends a lot of time with the big spenders, namely the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Those teams make a mockery of baseball economics, and for those franchises money is typically no object.
Granted, the Mariners did some spending of their own in the offseason, but in all honesty they gave too many years and too much money to Robinson Cano in order to lure him west. But, I digress.
Rosenthal acknowledges that the Mariners need another bat, and he further acknowledges that the available sticks are minor upgrades at best. Therefore, his solution is for the Mariners to get another pitcher.
Totally logical, right?
What he is really wanting is for the Mariners to be aggressive. This is not about David Price or the need for more starting pitching. Right now, the Mariners have some pretty solid options in the rotation. If they were going to roll the dice, it would make more sense for them to offer a big package for an established hitter.
The bottom line is that Rosenthal seems to be hinting at a belief that the Mariners need to make a splash at the trade deadline if they would like to stop eating at the kid’s table. Get Price, and you show the league that you mean business. Stay cautious, and it means more historical mediocrity.
The question, as usual, is how much of the farm you want to give up in order to get the ace of Rays. Rosenthal wrote that one executive had suggested Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin and 2013 first-round pick D.J. Peterson.
Admittedly, none of these three players have proven that they are stars. Franklin has struggled to hit, Peterson is still in the minors, and Walker has already dealt with injuries. However, as Rosenthal notes, Seattle fans are going to nervous about another Erik Bedard situation. Price is certainly not Bedard, but this is one of those deals that could eventually end up on those embarassing “worst trades” lists.
Wary fans do not want the Mariners to trade a future ace and a couple of potential All-Stars for a disgrunted, one-year rental that eventually gets put back on the trading block in 2015 and nets a couple of lower-tier prospects. A scary proposition.
In Ken Rosenthal’s world, this is a trade that the Mariners make. We will have to wait and see if this is a world that Jack Zduriencik wants to visit.