Mariners say, Nah, We'll Keep Our Enigma

Elliott SmithCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 17:  Brandon Morrow #35 of the Seattle Mariners pitches during the game against the Chicago White Sox on September 17, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

According to SI baseball writer Jon Heyman, the Mariners reportedly quashed a deal that would have sent Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley to the Tigers for right-handed starter Edwin Jackson.

Now, I’ve made my feelings about Morrow known before—I thought it was a questionable choice to draft Morrow over Lincecum then, and, obviously, how it’s played out has done nothing to dissuade my opinion—so I think this is a curious move by Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who I think has done an otherwise fantastic job in the role.

I just don’t think Morrow is ever going to have success with the Mariners. The expectations coming in were probably too high, and the waffling between starter and reliever, and Seattle and Tacoma has turned Morrow into a cipher—a tantalizing possibility, yes, but in reality, a pitcher that has been a disappointment.

On the other hand, Jackson has actually done something at the major league level, although it took him playing for his third team to make it stick. The hard-throwing righty went 13-9 last year with a 3.62 ERA, and would have been a nice fit in the Mariners rotation, especially since the verdict is out on what Morrow’s role is going to be next year.

The Times’ Geoff Baker argues that giving up Morrow and Kelley for Jackson would have been too much, but then he makes the point that Seattle has a wealth of live bullpen arms. So why not take a chance on a guy like Jackson if you’ve got the people to step in?

I remain heartened by the fact that at least the Mariners are considering dealing Morrow—he hasn’t been labeled untouchable like Ryan Anderson. Zduriencik has shown that he has no problem swapping some of Seattle’s sacred cows, i.e., Jeff Clement, so a Morrow trade may still be in the works.

Personally, I would have made this deal. But I guess that’s why I’m not a GM.