Seattle Mariners logoSeattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Send Josh Lueke for Ray's John Jaso

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 01:  Catcher John Jaso #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a foul ball in the camera well against the St. Louis Cardinals during the game at Tropicana Field on July 1, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Davis ZhaoCorrespondent IINovember 27, 2011

In what was the first noteworthy move of the offseason, the Seattle Mariners made a trade to acquire something everyone knew they needed help at—the catcher position.

On Sunday evening, it was announced that the Mariners had traded relief pitcher Josh Lueke and a player to be named later to the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher John Jaso.

I'm going to launch right into this by saying that the Mariners made a solid move, immediately addressing a positional need with veteran catcher Miguel Olivo wearing down at the end of 2011. Jaso is a 28-year-old lefty-hitting catcher who started on Opening Day for the Rays.

In 89 games and 246 at-bats in 2011, Jaso hit for a .224 average with five home runs and 27 RBI, but was sidelined with an oblique strain for 33 games. In 2010, he helped the Rays to a postseason run, playing in 109 games, in which he hit five home runs, 44 RBI and a .263 average as a rookie.

Looking at those stats, Jaso is a pretty average catcher who won't hit for much power, but where the Mariners are getting an upgrade is with patience at the plate. I know I'm not the only one pulling my hair out watching Olivo swing wildly and go weeks without a walk.

In his career, Jaso has drawn 84 walks to 77 strikeouts, a ratio supported by a .340 career OBP (On-Base Percentage). In fact, he might be almost too patient, with the third-lowest swing rate over the last couple of years. But when he does swing, he makes contact with almost 90 percent of the pitches.

Basically, Jaso is coming here to compliment Olivo, and we'll likely see a platoon behind the plate, hopefully a synergistic relationship. Jaso would start exclusively against righties and provide the patience and contact rate, while Olivo's swing-for-the-fences mentality and veteran presence is still something much needed with the ballclub.

Now, to look at what we gave up: essentially a marginal relief pitching prospect with little value to the organization. Josh Lueke was more of a distraction with his criminal history than a help, posting a 6.06 ERA in 32.2 innings.

It also won't pain the M's to replace him, with Chance Ruffin in the minors and Tom Wilhelmsen able to contribute at the Major League level.

Let's hope that the positive transactions continue throughout the offseason. Jack Z has his priorities straight, trading for a need without giving up valuable pieces.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices