Will the Seattle Mariners Try to Deal Justin Smoak or Jesus Montero?
Leave it to people like me to not bask in the idea that the Seattle Mariners finally went out and got someone who could hit.
I'm sorry that I can't relish in the moment, even for just a little bit, that maybe this was the day that the Mariners finally started to get better.
What did I see in this trade that really got me going? It is the same thing that most analysts and bloggers saw yesterday as well.
We all saw this as the start; followed by the question "What's next?"
Trading Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales can't be the only move general manager Jack Zduriencik makes here because more needs to be done.
By sending Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels, the Mariners have created a hole in their rotation; that is unless you think Blake Beaven and Hector Noesi will be starting the season in the rotation.
By acquiring Morales, GM Z created a log jam between the first base and catcher position. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; but pending John Jaso, Jesus Montero, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak all stay healthy this season, manager Eric Wedge won't be able to fit all of them into the lineup.
Sure, Wedge could platoon a lot. With the strengths and weaknesses of each of these players, rotating them in and out could be what works best.
I just don't buy it.
What Should the Seattle Mariners Do?
At this point I don't think the M's are done with their lineup shuffle, and I'm not the only one who thinks that either:
Total speculation: Justin Smoak would be an interesting option for the Baltimore Orioles. Some folks there like his swing.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 19, 2012
Buster Olney does say it is total speculation, but his idea of trading Justin Smoak has to be something that has crossed through GM Z's mind in the since the Morales trade became official.
In fact, even before the trade, Ken Rosenthal had suggested bigger things for Seattle.
Now I don't know if I think the Mariner brass will go as far as trading for Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton; but it's not that far out of the question to think that they could try.
In fact, I think Olney and Rosenthal are both seeing the way management is seeing right now.
My only dispute with Olney is I think he's got the wrong guy. I don't think Smoak is the trade bait the M's are going to be dangling right now.
I think it's Jesus Montero.
Do you think Justin Smoak is going to bring back any type of valuable compensation? Probably not.
And super prospect Mike Zunino has been tearing apart the minor leagues. Even though Zunino probably won't break camp with the team, he is obviously the future for Seattle behind the plate.
But if management were to package together Montero, one of the Big Three, and Mike Carp (who is also now without a job on this team), do you think there isn't some team out there who wouldn't listen in?
Any package that starts with Montero and one of the M's numerous young pitching prospects is definitely enough to get a talented young bat with years of control, it will just take management making a bold move to get it done.
Don't set anything in stone quite yet. But something is brewing at Safeco, and for once it isn't a Starbucks.
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