Originally posted 1/7/08
I hate to interrupt the franchise gradings but there's some potential bad news coming from Seattle Marinerland (is there ever any good news from this team??).
It's common knowledge Seattle's main goal during the offseason is to significantly upgrade the starting rotation. Its first priority, Hiroki Kuroda, signed with the LA Dodgers. The Mariners then panicked and quickly secured free agent Carlos Silva with a lucrative contract.
Seattle has been interested in several lower-tier options for additional help but GM Bill Bavasi wants to acquire a true frontline stater. During this offseason that means Johan Santana or Erik Bedard. Santana isn't a viable option because he has a full no-trade clause and does not want to play in the Emerald City.
Which leaves Bedard. The M's have pursued Baltimore's ace for awhile. Talks have been on again and off again, mostly due to the Orioles' exorbitant asking price. Perhaps until now. With spring training less than two months Seattle has reportedly sweetened the pot. Prospect Insider says a potential deal may include Adam Jones and Carlos Triunfel.
If Jones were eligible to be a rookie entering 2008 (he's nine career at-bats over the limit) he would be considered a top-five prospect. He's a five-tool outfielder who could develop into a Torii Hunter kind of talent. Triunfel, meanwhile, is a 17-year-old SS who some scouts project to be similar to Miguel Cabrera down the line. Yes, he's that (potentially) good.
Bavasi has rightfully hesitated to include Jones in any deal over the past year. Now it looks like he might cave in -- and include another stud prospect to boot! While Bedard would vastly improve the Mariners' starting pitching the trade would leave an enormous crater in the outfield, an area where Seattle desperately needs help since RF Jose Guillen signed with Kansas City and LF Raul Ibanez is really a DH.
I'm really hoping Bavasi has enough composure to walk away and keep his farmhands. Stay strong Bill.
UPDATE 1/27/08: Failure.