Sports Thursday Morning Sports Report (Still Kinda on Vacation Winter Meetings Edition)
posted by December 7 at 10:09 AMon
News from the Winter Meetings…
Gil Meche has signed a five year deal with Kansas City. Freddy Garcia has been traded to the Phillies. Ted Lilly went to the Cubs. Jason Schmidt signed with the Dodgers. And the Cardinals want to chat with Barry Bonds.
Meanwhile, the Mariners have made a move of their own, trading talented-but-fragile RHP Rafael Soriano to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Horacio Ramirez. It’s a deal Dave at U.S.S. Mariner sums up this way:
Forget everything else you’re going to hear for a minute. Forget the starter vs reliever designations, years of service, groundball rates, all of it. The M’s traded a pitcher who will be 27 in two weeks for a pitcher who turned 27 two weeks ago in a straight up, one for one deal. It’s a challenge trade, essentially. The M’s chose left-handedness and a designation as a starting pitcher over talent and performance. They swapped a good pitcher for a mediocre one, and none of the issues about rotation vs bullpen can wipe that away.
And Jeff at Lookout Landing says:
The things Horacio Ramirez does well are greatly overshadowed by the things he doesn’t. His control isn’t super, he never misses bats, and his groundball rate isn’t mindblowingly extreme. He’s nowhere close to Chien-Ming Wang’s ball-in-play profile, so we can’t expect him to have close to Chien-Ming Wang’s level of success. He’s just a random guy with boring stuff who’d be out of the league if he had to spend a year or two in front of a lousy infield defense. In Seattle he’s probably good for an ERA in the 4.50-5.00 range, with a little extra upside given the park and the shortstop. But these aren’t advantages of Ramirez’s - they apply to everyone, so who cares? Anyone can get lucky. That doesn’t make them prudent acquisitions
Also: Talks between the Mariners and Red Sox for Manny Ramirez—a Ramirez who’s, you know, actually good—appear to have stalled.
Right now, it looks like it’s going to be a long season.
UPDATE: Seth has a different take on the deal over at Seattlest:
They can’t make Soriano a starter—with his history of arm trouble, you could destroy the guy’s career—so they’ve got to turn him into a starter via trade. And with the market for starting pitching what it is (1/2 the clubs in baseball have called Gil Meche’s agent for chrissakes—that’s like 1/2 the clubs in the world calling Doug E. Fresh’s agent) you’re gonna overpay to get a starter.
And that’s what the M’s have done—overpaid for a starter. In a vacuum, it’s a horrible, awful, stupid, moronic, senseless trade. But in the real world of the 2007 Mariners, it may be the best they can do.