MLB Trade Rumors: Seattle Mariners: Josh Lueke Traded for John Jaso

Troy Martin@@TroyMartinObvContributor IIINovember 27, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 15:  Catcher John Jaso #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays fouls off a pitch against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on June 15, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Jack Zduriencik has done it again. The Mariners GM has completed a trade which solves two problems.

The M's have sent Josh Lueke and a PTBNL (or cash considerations) to the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher John Jaso.

This move has dual benefits for the team, as well as the front office. Obviously Jaso gives Seattle an excellent platoon partner for Miguel Olivo at catcher, a position which has been a glaring need with the status of Adam Moore still a question mark.

Jaso had an excellent rookie campaign for the Rays but regressed somewhat last year to post a .224/.298/.354. While that may not look too exciting, it can partially be explained by a 39-point drop in batting average on balls in play (BABIP).

Jaso is only 28, and will be under team control until 2015. From a payroll standpoint, even if the Mariners send extra cash to the Rays, adding a serviceable catcher has essentially cost them nothing.

Dave Cameron from the USS Mariner blog writes that Jaso compares favorably to the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz, who has become a crucial member of that lineup.

The other benefit to the Mariners' brass is that the book can finally be closed on the Josh Lueke experience. Regardless of what side of the debate you sat on, the Lueke acquisition polarized the Seattle fan base and was an unwanted distraction during a difficult season. A fresh start for Lueke and the M's is probably in everyone's best interests.