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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Time for the M's to Talk Trade... I'm Scared 

There's no point sugar-coating this. The Mariners picked a bad year to suck. Few teams are looking to add a pricey veteran for the second half, and that means that they get to set their own terms. It's not likely the Mariners will be able to pluck any choice prospects from a desperate contender who just isn't paying good enough attention to the farm system.

Add to this unfavorable situation the stewardship of an abnormally inept general manager, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Frankly, it's anybody's guess what he'll actually end up doing. Eesh. But that doesn't mean that we can't sit around thinking about what a rational human being might do, given the chance!

Here are my suggestions. Some of them may seem blasphemous (or worse), but sometimes you've got to throw out throw out the idols, as it were. And there's nothing blasphemous about that.

1) Send Moyer to the Yankees.

Oh horrible! But unavoidable. We know the Yanks are desperate for a left-handed starter, and we can be pretty sure that Randy will ultimately refuse to go to New York. We also know that Moyer is telling people that he would waive his no-trade "in a heartbeat" for a deal to the Yankees. Also, he's really, really old and can't honestly be seen as part of the M's future. It stinks, but all the pieces fit.

So what can the Yakees give us for Jamie? Not a whole lot. There's a guy named Andy Phillips, a third-baseman / utility guy who's killing the ball in triple-A this year. He's a bit old to be considered a prospect (I think he missed most of last year with an injury, too), but I'd rather see the M's take a chance on a Mark Belhorn-like prospect than one of the Yankees under-performing youngters, like Dioner Navarro or Eric Duncan.

2) Try to tempt the Dodgers into taking Boone, packaged with one or two other good but overpriced bats.

Teams with one glaring weakness will do crazy things trying to fix it. What a coup it would be if the M's could spin Boone's hefty salary and heftier swing for a prime pitching prospect (like Edwin Jackson) or a solid reliever (they've got plenty of those)! With Boone alone, that's unlikely. But let's say the M's offered the Dodgers Boone + Randy Winn + Scott Spezio package. They might just say, "Three guys who can actually make contact with Major League pitching? Halleluja!"

Now, that would hurt some people's feelings, no doubt about it. But honestly, those three guys just aren't worth what they're being paid right now. Not to the Mariners. Freddy, on the other hand, is.

3) Give the Cubs Guardado, dammit.

We could really use him, and we'll give you something nice. Francis Beltran, possibly. Or Todd Wellmeyer.

I'll add more later.

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