Thursday, December 27, 2007

M's Still in on Bedard, Santana

No Mariner transactions were made during my brief week-long hiatus, but a few rumors still managed to surface before Christmas.

The Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune have both reported that Seattle is still in on the Johan Santana talks. I haven't written much more than a blurb about Santana in three weeks (except for this MVN post), but figured the Mariners would still be trying to get him as long as the door was still open. The Globe wonders if Seattle could offer enough money, and the Carlos Silva signing certainly complicates that, but the Mariners have a ton of cash coming off the books in the next 2 seasons and I think they could make the deal.

More good news for Seattle is that Minnesota appears to be lowering the price slightly, as the New York Times reports that the Twins may be considering a Yankee offer of Phil Hughes, Melkey Cabrera and Jeff Marquez. This probably means Seattle could get a deal done based around Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow plus one or two quality youths such as Jeff Clement, Wladimir Balentien, Mike Morse, Jose Lopez, Ryan Feierabend, Yung Chi Chen or any other player in the minor leagues. At this point I believe that there is no price too high for Johan Santana. He will not be traded unless he can sign a 5-7 year contract extension, and Seattle could put together a championship caliber team in that time frame, even after selling the farm.

It has been widely reported that Johan Santana and Carlos Silva were best friends in Minnesota. While I wouldn't use this as the main argument for why Santana will end up in Seattle, the Silva signing would certainly look a lot better if he could convince his buddy to migrate West.

As far as Erik Bedard goes, the Chicago Tribune went on to mention that Seattle's current offer includes Adam Jones, Jeff Clement and Yung Chi Chen. It's hard to know what to believe, but this makes sense. Adam Jones is the centerpiece, obviously, while Clement and Chen would fill holes on the current Baltimore roster. Jeff Clement would take over at DH as incumbent Jay Gibbons has been awful, not to mention the appearance of his name in the Mitchell Report. Chen would become the team's new second baseman pending a Brian Roberts trade.

I was pleased that Wladimir Balentien and George Sherrill were not mentioned, but I would be very disappointed if we had to part with Jeff Clement for anything less than Johan Santana. I would much rather send Brandon Morrow to Baltimore as Clement could be a very important part of Seattle's current and future offense, not to mention our finances. I detail the benefits Seattle would gain by platooning Clement and Jose Vidro in this post I did for Caffeinated Confines.

Erik Bedard's contract expires after the 2009 season, but Brandon Morrow is still expendable for three reasons:
  1. By the 2010 season Seattle should have a whole new crop of minor league starting pitchers ready to contribute in the major leagues. Top pitching prospects such as Phillipe Aumont, Chris Tillman, Ryan Rohrbaugh, Tony Butler, and Juan Ramirez could in Seattle by then.
  2. There will be some high quality arms available via free agency in the next couple of offseasons, possibly including aces like Johan Santana (if not traded), Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia (if not extended), not to mention tons of other good 2-3 slot guys that will be free agents.
  3. Erik Bedard can be dealt next offseason or at the '09 trade deadline to help restock our minor league system if Seattle isn't winning.

I think Seattle is a serious contender for Bedard, and he would be a nice addition whoever we send over. I am also very encouraged that Seattle is still in contention for Johan. [jo-san er-bed br-mor je-cle]

View other Bleeding Blue and Teal posts related to: Johan Santana - Erik Bedard - Jeff Clement - Brandon Morrow

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