Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bedard to Mariners?

MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Orioles and Mariners have pulled the trigger on the Erik Bedard-for-Adam Jones-and-change deal, much to the chagrin of the folks aboard the good ship USS Mariner.

Well, hmm... on the one hand, it's nice to see Bedard, a kid from my very own neck of the woods, have a chance to play on a team that figures to be in the mix come August and September. He's a lefthanded curveball artist and strikeout expert, and he makes the M's top 1-2 a scary proposition. Bedard then Felix? Crazy.

On the other hand, he's made no secret of his desire to test the free agency market after two seasons of service, meaning Seattle probably won't see him in 2010. That, in addition to the dear price paid, suggests the Mariners think a run is possible in the next two years. I mean, that must be what they're thinking, because otherwise, why would they sell the future for a starting pitcher? And by "the future," I mean Adam Jones.

Jones, by all accounts, is something special. His offensive numbers are nice, he's fast, plays strong corner outfield defence, and maybe best of all, came cheap, and was under contract with Seattle until 2013. He's the kind of player you allow to develop at his own pace, who you wait for, and who you ultimately build a team around. Imagine an outfield of a young star like Jones, a still-incredible Ichiro, and anybody you please to fill the left field spot. DE-FENSE.

Bedard makes the Mariners' rotation instantly better, there's no question about that. Is it as good as the Angels' starters? Erm, we'll see, I guess. The point is that, while I love to think a team I follow is showing signs of being aggressive in pursuit of wins, I hate to see them sacrifice the future to do so. But I guess that's the rub, right? I also hate to see somebody with Jones' potential banished to a place like Baltimore where, let's face it, there figure to be several more years of losing before anything changes. Given that the Rays are building a nice mix of youth and experience, the Orioles might be the East's designated bottom dwellers for most of the next decade. But hey, at least they have a nice park, right? Probably a very pleasant place to play outfield. Enjoy, Adam.

UPDATE: Now, of course, O's owner Peter Angelos is stalling the deal. So maybe Jones remains in Seattle? Who knows. Stay tuned.

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