DJ for Zobrist, redux
And Samardzija-Addison vs Bedard-Jones


Prospects for veterans, those trades are understandable to 30 GM's, if not to $/WAR paradigmists.  When you trade good prospects you are acknowledging that they might very well become club-controlled stars; you're not trying to treat fellow GM's like a used-car salesman would.

When an Adam Jones, much less a Wil Myers or Addison Russell, turns out to hit #3 for the other team, in real life a GM is (ostensibly) GLAD that the other team is satisfied with its trade return.  GM's are classy people, generally speaking, who deal in Win-Win scenarios.  They want a rep for delivering the goods when they trade.

Real baseball does not deal in "let's rip off the other side" paradigms.  

You get your ace for 1.5 years - Jeff Samardzija - and you assure the other GM "you're getting quite a player there in Addison Russell."  Oakland fans are not going to spend 10 years wringing their hands that Russell plays well for the Cubs, which he will.  They want their TOR starter, because this year's pennant is worth something, too.


Zobrist at his age is a complementary piece, not a feature piece, so the argument morphs.  Back on topic:

In an unrelated point, Gordon, for some reason, didn't put this gem on the front page...


You don't trade D.J. for Zobrist because D.J. is your #1 prospect.  (This rightly presumes Zobrist is far less desirable than Samardzija or Bedard - Dr. D)

... now that Paxton and Walker are presumed to be big-league rotation parts, let's say.  Maybe he's #2 behind Jackson, but little AJ is currently 6 levels away from the bigs, and DJ is in AA, starred in the Futures Game, and should be ready by Spring 2016 if we wanna take it slow.

You don't spend your best trade chip and top-50 minor league prospect on a pretty decent player. It devalues the rest of your system. ;-)

Our system/young player list breaks down like this:

- Two top-50-style pitching prospects (Walker and Paxton) who have basically graduated

- Two top-50-style hitting prospects (Jackson and Deej) who are very much in the system

- a MOR starter (Elias) in the middle of a ML rookie learning curve, and another in AA (Sanchez)

- a couple of top-100-style middle infielders (Franklin and Taylor) sitting in AAA, plus a .300-hitting baby in AA (Marte)

- a few low-minors arms with tons of upside (Diaz, Gohara and Missaki, among others)

- SEVERAL raw outfielders with plus hitting talent (Morgan, Wilson, O'Neill, Guerrero, Kivlehan, Henry)

- two suspended hitters with large upside (Choi and Blash) but decreased trade value

- talented pitchers with injury issues (Hultzen, Landazuri, etc) and bullpenners galore.


If we say Nick Franklin would slot in around our #6-ish prospect based on that list, and DJ would be #3.... you don't trade two of your top 6 prospects for a couple years of .750 OPS... do you?

I mean on this team it would be great - but that can't be market value.

We don't trade DJ and Franklin for him, I can't imagine.  Problem is, they might trade Kivlehan and Franklin and have Tampa Bay come out ahead on that deal.  We have a lot of decent prospects and no real world beaters (taking Paxton and Walker out of the equation).  I don't want to roll several of my very good prospects into one pretty good player.

I want Zobrist... but I want to have the arsenal to throw at a top-shelf talent, too. Overpaying in prospect-currency for Zobrist doesn't help us do that. We should be able to add him with lesser players.

- See more at:


That's the kind of analysis I was looking for from yer.  (No disrespect to Spec, or to JFro, whom MC/SSI denizens also follow with bated breath.)

Right, DJ and Franklin sounds like too *much* of an overpay for Zobrist, now that he's well into his 30's and is year-to-year.  You could get a Choo and Cabrera for Broussard and Perez situation ... well, not quite, 'cause Zobrist isn't going to pull a Broussard.  But still.



As we speak, as July 31 comes up, people STILL focus on Jones for Bedard -- while giving a complete pass to the twin deals with the Cleveland Indians, which was obviously much more questionable.  Those deals did not bring back players who were leading the league at their positions.  Choo+Cabrera for Broussard+Perez was a deal of sparkling prospects for HALF-YEAR RENTALS, yet those trades don't bring a tenth of the controversy that the Bedard deal did.

Erik Bedard, in 2007, was a better pitcher then, than Jeff Samardzija is now (Erikkk had just led the AL, #1, in xFIP).  And there was no league transition to worry about.  And Addison Russell is a top-5 prospect; Adam Jones was merely the best Mariner prospect.  ... Admittedly, the M's threw in quantity.

No, in real life if you want veteran quality, you give up prospect quality, and you don't chip your teeth when the prospects blossom.  that's the central point here; Seattle is unduly influenced by the "gotta underpay all 25 players" propaganda.  This line was instilled by the dominant Seattle blogger of 2001-10, and it has never faded.  Locally.

In Zobrist's case, "veteran quality" is a relative term.  If the Rays want to treat him as though he were a Samardzija or Bedard ... pass-a-deena.


I'm also smiling at the way "More Objective Than Thou" bloggers would react to Gordon's authoritative listing of, essentially, 7 top-100 "type" prospects in our system.

But never mind them :- ) ...  we're all smiling at the talent pipeline that the Mariners have right now.  It's going to take a whale of a lot more bad luck to KEEP the M's from contention forever....


OK, if DJ for Zobrist doesn't work ... that still leaves many options in terms of a nice trade package for Zobrist.  Remember we gave up three "no names" for Cliff Lee, relatively speaking.  Every org has dozens of attractive prospects.


DJ for Zobrist, even steven, you do THAT Gordon?  You're saying not, even if you get 1.5 key years of an impact setup man right when you need him?

How good are you guys saying D.J. is, exactly?  Like 50-50 shot at Alex Gordon-hood?  I don't know a thing about him.  I've lost interest in RH Mariner prospects ....

Personally I don't think of D.J. as a real "org #1" type glamor player, and WOULD deal him for Zobrist, but I'm deliberately poking a stick in Gordon's snout here.  Got to get his article.






Billy Butler *in AAA* is, in my slimy but agile mind, not comparable to James Paxton.  It's the difference between an "org #1" and a legit MLB top-40 spect.
One asterisk, in fairness:  if he hits like Butler, and plays a plus 1B, we're probably talking 4 WAR.

M-Pops's picture

IIRC, Z almost had Zobrist acquired back in '09. It was only an injury in spring training that kept Zobrist in Tampa.
Wouldn't be at all suprised if Z reached for his guy this time.

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