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So Long Cliff…Nice work Jack

Let’s hand it to Jack Zduriencik.

He gets close to a deal with the Yankees today for Cliff Lee, toys with them while they are visiting our fine city, and then lands them on their butt by pulling the carpet out from under them. Trader Jack’s trade of Lee to the Rangers on the surface is brilliant. Here’s why…

1 – He trades them to Texas, who we have zero chance of catching this year. Texas has zero chance of re-signing Lee because of their financial woes. Lee will not haunt our division unless he signs with Anaheim.

2 – We get two former first-round picks. Justin Smoak is regarded around the league as a “can’t miss” at 1B. Yes, I know some can’t misses turn into misses, but at this point he looks like a great fit. Blake Beaven is pitching very well on the farm for Texas and could be a decent starter for the M’s. Throw in 3 other players and if even one of them pan out, it’s a bonus.

3 – The Yankees don’t get him.

4 – He might beat the Yankees in the playoffs.

5 – Back to the M’s – we have very good pitching still left and expecting more help from Erik Bedard.

6 – It’s better than 2 draft picks had we kept him. Yes, I advocated keeping him when we were talking about a bunch of minor leaguers. Smoak can play now and Beaven next year. Our boy Dustin Ackley should be up at the end of the year and playing in 2011. I like what Saunders has done. There is hope.

I would expect Russ Branyan to be the full-time DH now and hopefully next year. The Milton Bradley and Casey Kotchman experiment is over.

I for one am anxious to see Smoak play. I hope Don Wakamatsu gives him plenty of AB’s regardless of what he does. We need Him, Saunders, Josh Wilson, and hopefully Adam Moore when he gets back to be ready for 2011. Spring training only 7 months away!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “So Long Cliff…Nice work Jack

  1. Justin Smoak is definitely the lynchpin of how this deal is judged a few years from now.

    The Negative:

    1. Never trade away good pitching.
    2. Never trade key players within the Division, or Conference if at all avoidable.
    3. The M’s biggest need was Catcher; something not addressed here.
    4. The M’s now have 3 First-basemen; if you have 3, you don’t have 1.
    4. The M’s traded away a #1 Starter for a .209 hitter.
    5. 4 of Smoaks 8 home-runs have been at the Ballpark in Arlington, the #5 hitters park according to ESPN.

    The Positive:

    1. Lee was going to be a Free Agent at the end of the year and the M’s are a last place team, so essentially, it’s a something for nothing deal.
    2. Smoak has hit 2 of his 8 home-runs at Oakland, the #3 pitchers park according to ESPN. For reference, Safeco is the #4 pitchers park.
    3. The M’s will have Smoak for the next 6 years before he’s eligible for free Agency. That’s a long time to let him develop into a player worthy of being the 11th overall selection in the 2008 draft.
    4. RHP Blake Beavan, LHP Josh Lueke and 2B Matt Lawson. More minor league talent. The bigger the talent pool to fish in, the more likely you are to catch the big one.

  2. On another note…The Mariners still owe Milton Bradley 12 million next season. Kotchman is eligible for salary arbitration.

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