to trade or not to trade

TO TRADE OR NOT TO TRADE, that is the question. Today’s Seattle Times (July 19, 2003) has a piece titled “Mariners Tough Spot: To Trade Or Not?” by the paper’s regular baseball reporter, Larry Stone (page C1): the Seattle Mariners, may NOT make any trades in the foreseeable future. This despite the fact that they seem to be on their way to another season of 90 losses.

The M’s are a hapless (do I want to use “incompetent” or something similar here instead of “hapless”?) organization, especially at the top—and I am referring to ownership and the general manager. It seems they are always rebuilding, yet always picking up veteran players with no value in the future when the younger players blossom (hopefully).

If the Mariners want to have yet another youth movement, go for it 100% and see what happens three years from now.

“It’s quite conceivable—indeed, even probable—that the Mariners really don’t want to delve into wholesale trading, with all the possible ramifications,” sayeth Mr. Stone. While his piece deals realistically with both sides of several arguments, I have only one side to argue: trade those vets that have REAL value but make really HARD trades.

Each player of value to a contending team should be traded for a replacement player—an established major league player who can step right in and assume the traded player’s position—and at least one promising (young) rookie or a top AAA or AA prospect.

Forget the draft! Get players who either can play in the bigs NOW or, at least, can play in the minors and look like they can play in the show later on!

As much as we all want to see Raul Ibanez break Ted Williams’ record for home runs by a 42-year old player (and Teddy Ballgame was my first sports hero as a kid), he is much more valuable as trade-bait to a contending team that needs a batter with power to hit behind their clean-up batter.

Tempted as I am to write endlessly about baseball in general and the Mariners (or my beloved Phillies), I will end here by saying this: if the Mariners want to have yet another youth movement, go for it 100% and see what happens three years from now. Even if the M’s stand pat and have a helluva second half—Stone says they will have to play .567 ball for the next 41 games to end the season as a .500 team!—my argument will still stand.

To trade or not to trade . . .

Go go, Mariners!!!


3 Replies to “to trade or not to trade”

    1. I dunno about insane, but I would accept “stoopit.” In the world of sports (including the jocks, the writers, the radio talkshow hosts, and the fans), it is difficult to get across the idea that, when a team loses consistently year after year, regardless of the players on the team, then it ain’t the players’ fault, it’s the ownership!

      The current owners of the Mariners AS A GROUP may be the wealthiest in baseball. They are willing to spend good money on players, they just don’t hire the right GMs to hire the right ballplayers for the money they spend.

      Of course, with the fans and the pundits, all you hear about is how this guy isn’t playing up to the expectations that his contract engenders. Oh well, lah-dee-dah, and hoo-hah!

    2. TIMBER Apologies for the delay in responding here: I just realized that I have several “pending” comments! What is “insane” (maybe “inane” is more apt) to me is that year after year, some teams stay losers and although there are different players year after year, THEY get blamed. Obviously, when a team places in the bottom half consistently, there is, at the very least, a problem with the perception of baseball reality in the front office. Thanks for the input! NEAL

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