Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rumors: Sexson for Padilla

Although I already said I'd expect Richie Sexson to begin the 2008 season as the Mariners' starting first baseman, I keep hearing the same rumor pop up and I think I should address it.

1B Richie Sexson to the Texas Rangers for SP Vincente Padilla. This trade would be more about the contracts than the players, as both Sexson and Padilla are horribly overpriced. Padilla is due to make about $23 million over the next two seasons, plus a $12 million option for 2010. Sexson is due to make $14 million over the final year of his contract. Sexson, as we all know, hasn't lived up to the 4 year/$50 million contract he signed in 2005. He had fairly productive seasons in 2005 and 2006, then fell on his face and never recovered during the 2007 season. Padilla was one of the lucky ones to be a free agent starting pitcher at the end of the 2006 season and signed a 3 year/$33.75 contract with the Rangers. Padilla had two very good seasons with the Phillies in 2002 and 2003, but has been nothing more than average since then.

The main advantage of this trade is that the Mariners can move Sexson without having to eat any of his contract, and pick up a middle of the rotation starter in the process. Padilla would benefit Seattle anywhere between the 2 and 4 spots in the rotation, but is obviously overpriced. Moving Sexson would also benefit the future of players like Raul Ibanez, Jose Vidro, Wladimir Balentien, Ben Broussard and possibly Jeff Clement. As much as Padilla costs, however, 2007 free agents with equal or less talent, such as Carlos Silva, will cost about the same.

The big drawback is that the M's would be overpaying for Padilla for at least two more seasons. If Seattle keeps Richie through this season and let's him walk at the end of the year, we suddenly have more money than we know what to do with plus a compensatory draft pick for losing him. Even if we trade Richie for someone with a much smaller contract we'd have to contribute a large portion of that final year, but after this season it would be over. It's not the same situation the Texas Rangers found themselves in when they traded ARod, getting stuck paying millions and millions of dollars to the Yankees every year.

Overall I'd say this isn't a trade worth doing, especially this early in the offseason. If the Mariners find themselves unable to win any bidding wars in free agency, then this would be an option worth reconsidering. RI-SEX VI-PAD

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