MLB Trade Rumors: Cliff Lee for Justin Smoak Trade Failure for Seattle Mariners

Kevin NesgodaCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 29:  Cliff Lee #36 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Well it has happened and it happened within the division, and most Mariner fans are sad to see Cliff Lee go—I would be lying if I said I wasn’t one of them.  

Lee was traded to the Texas Rangers today for Justin Smoak, a few Double-A arms, and a second baseman.

A lot of people are very excited about adding Smoak to the Mariners.

We needed a big, strong, powerful bat—a guy to take over at first base. Surely this does mean that Casey Kotchman is on his way out of town and Smoak will be getting the majority of starts at first from here on out.

I really don’t see that though and I think it would be stupid to have Smoak playing at first immediately.

Smoak has struggled so far this season in a hitter’s ballpark and now is coming to Safeco where good hitters go to die. Why should we expect anymore from Justin Smoak?

All I hear is about his potential, how good he could be, and so on, and so on, and so on.

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How many times have the Mariners traded a good to great player and got a guy with a ton of potential or a guy that was projected to be good to great? How many times over and over and over again have the fans been disappointed?

Let’s list some names and just think about them for a moment.

Heathcliff Slocumb.

Butch Huskey.

Kevin Mitchell.

Russ Davis.

I could keep going on and on, but I’ll spare you. We all know the terrible trades of the past. Do I think this one will be better? I have no idea.

We’ll of course have to wait and see, but those in Seattle won’t have to wait very long; Smoak will be in uniform and at Safeco tomorrow.

I can’t say whether he’ll play or not, but maybe a little time in Tacoma would be better—let him gain his confidence back and let him get the bat going again.Tacoma is currently a winner (first place in the Pacific Coast League) and the Mariners, well, they are doing their best to get another top five draft pick.

I would have rather held out a little bit longer for a better package. I think we could have gotten a Dominic Brown from Philadelphia or a better package from the Reds.

The Reds were willing to give up basically their whole farm system to get Lee. The Reds have a lot of good prospects.  The Yankees have some good prospects and the Rays have some of the best prospects.

I hope this is not another "Smoak and mirror" trade with the Mariners and somehow, some way, I hope the Mariners bring back Cliff Lee in the offseason.

Then maybe I’ll feel better about this trade. Until then, I think this is going to be another huge failure.

I’m sorry, I’m from Seattle and you always have to expect the worst, but secretly pray for the best.

At least we’re not as bad as Cleveland.

Yet.