On Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners sent down catcher Jeff Clement and called up outfielder Jeremy Reed.
Manager John McLaren has said that Jose Vidro would move back to DH and Raul Ibanez would remain in left field.
Jeremy Reed has been absoultely mashing down in AAA and has shown he is ready for a call up. At the same time, Clement has struggled handling major league pitching since his promotion about a couple weeks ago.
On paper, this move looks like a no brainer, and appears that Bill Bavasi and the front office did their job. However, this is simply not the case.
Jeff Clement proved, as a September call up last year, that he belongs in the majors. At the same time, Jose Vidro and Miguel Cairo have shown that they do not.
So, instead of cutting ties with aging players with no upside and easing young players in so that they feel comfortable, the Mariners have done the opposite.
If there is any bright spot in sending Clement down to the minors, it is that they will postpone his free agency by a year.
The smart decision here would be to let Clement remain in Seattle and spot start here and there at catcher, first, and DH. Then, move Reed to left field, and Ibanez to DH primarily.
Having another catcher available to the pitchers would be huge. There have been more and more grumblings over the staff's satisfaction (or lack there of) with the job that Kenji Johjima has done.
This move would allow the team to get their most talented group on the lineup card, offensively and defensively. This would be the smart move, the savvy move.
However, as Bavasi and the Mariners' braintrust has proven time and time again, the smart move is not the move they will take.