Oh, hope sprang eternal in early April when I detailed how Seattle's Hot Stove was bubbling over with a couple of nice big-time acquisitions and a handful of low risk, medium-upside moves.
Well, the M's are now 35-56. It's probably safe to say in hindsight some of the transactions didn't pan out. Let's take a somewhat painful look back:
C Kenji Johjima filed for free agency (A)
Still no complaints about this. The M's roulette of backstops (Rob Johnson, Adam Moore, Josh Bard and... some other guy) has been horrible but this separation was the best recourse for player and team.
Signed free agent 3B Chone Figgins (B+)
Ugghhh... I still have hope Figgins will live up to the 4/$36M contract (with a 5th year option, no!). But Figgins looks absolutely lost at the plate and the numbers bare it out: .230/.325/.269. Hey at least he's walking! Plus the 24 stolen bases are nice, but when Chone isn't weakly flying out he's usually grounding into double plays (already 11 this year). Hopefully he's just pressing after signing a big contract and will revert back to form next season.
Traded RHP J.C. Ramirez, RHP Phillippe Aumont and CF Tyson Gillies for LHP Cliff Lee (A+)
Those trio of decent prospects and a half season of awesome Cliff Lee for blue chipper Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan and a pair of low-end AA players. Jack Z, you did it again.
Signed free agent LF Ryan Langerhans (B-)
A fine fourth outfielder who's battled injuries and... uhh, a manager who won't play him.
Traded RHP Carlos Silva for RF Milton Bradley (B-)
It pains me to see evil Silva succeed in the NL. Bradley meanwhile has been a disappointment (.206/.289/.358) save for a few big hits in late innings. While Carlos and Milton both needed fresh starts there's no question the Cubs definitely won this deal.
Traded RHP Brandon Morrow for RHP Brandon League and OF Johermyn Chavez (C)
Morrow has been a decent starter for the Blue Jays. 107 IP, 49 BB, 119 K. Nice to see he's still kinda crazy on the mound. League has been up and down for the M's. He relies too much on his fastball while his nasty splitter sits on the shelf. Chavez has banged out 20 homers in the Cal League so far. Granted, it's the Cal League but there's potential.
Signed free agent C Josh Bard (C-)
He's been solid as a backup catcher. Hell he hit a dinger against the Angels last night.
Traded 3B Bill Hall for 1B Casey Kotchman (C+)
Nope. While Kotchman has had a nice batch of recent games it appears his days as a Mariner are numbered. Picking up Russell Branyan and Smoak spells bye-bye to Casey.
Signed free agent LF Eric Byrnes (B)
Just read how Eric fucked up and fled the scene on a bicycle. Seriously.
Signed free agent LHP Erik Bedard (B-)
Erik recently felt discomfort in his shoulder while tossing. He's yet to pitch this year. Bedard is made of glass candy.