Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mariners Nab Cliff Lee, Giants Sign Tony Pena, Jr. Ex-MLB Shortstop

Like I said in the previous post, Brian Sabean is doing everything I wanted him to do this off-season so far. He re-signed Freddie Sanchez to a decent price. He didn't cave in and sign Bengie Molina and Juan Uribe. He let go of Ryan Garko (whom he should have never traded for in the first place, because he was the second coming of Ricky Ledee).

I should be happy.

But I'm not.

This Cliff Lee to Seattle trade is ticking me off

For starters, anything Seattle does is personal for me. I actually still have a soft spot for the Mariners because I lived in the state of Washington for almost half of my life (I lived in Spokane for six years as a kid, and went to Gonzaga University for four years). I watched Mariners game in the Kingdome. Hell, one of the best moments of my life was seeing Tino Martinez hit a game-winning home run of Dennis Eckersley in 1995, the Mariners' "Refuse to Lose" season.

I like the Mariners. Do I like them like the Giants? Hell no. But I still consider them a fun team to root for from time to time, and think of them like that friend of your girlfriend or wife you think is hot and very fun to be with, but you wouldn't take her over your girlfriend or wife out of loyalty (though if your girlfriend dumps you or wife divorces you, she's the first woman you hone in on).

That being said, despite my inclination toward the Mariners, I'm envious and not in a good way.

Because they got a Cy Young winner, a legitimate playoff-proven starter, and...they got it at a steal. The Mariners lost only three prospects: Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez (the rumored third player to be named later).

My reaction? Who the hell are those guys? I mean, maybe Tyson Gillies is okay, but he's only played at Single-A ball, so the jury is still out on him.

You think for a guy like Cliff Lee, the Mariners would lose somebody decent, or at least big in terms of whom the Mariners currently have on the active Major League roster. A Brandon Morrow for example. I mean, they lost Adam Jones, an All-Star Major League outfielder, for a Glorified No. 3 starter in Eric Bedard in 2008! They should lose something for Lee, right?

Fortunately for long-suffering M's fans, that doesn't seem to be the case, and the experts are harping right with them.

Rob Neyer from ESPN likes what they're doing. The U.S.S Mariner, a Seattle Mariners Blog, likes it even more.

My friend Luke Ricci even gloated about it on Facebook saying....


(That means he's happy, if you didn't get the hint from the Bold and Caps and exclamation marks).

And though I don't want to admit it (because I am a bitter Giants fan that doesn't want any other team to succeed), I like the trade. Even one year of Lee is worth the trade in my mind, especially considering the prospects they lost don't have high ceilings like Jones.

Just goes to show you what changing a GM will do for a team. (wink...wink...).

As for the Giants? Well, they signed Tony "shortstop turned starting pitcher because he couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat" Pena, Jr. I've seen Tony Pena Jr. He stinks. He can't hit. Matt Cain can hit better than him, and Matt Cain swings at times like a high school pitcher that is forced to hit because all of the bench players on his team suck and no one can DH.

Is Pena a bad signing? No. It's a fun signing because he's going to generate money at the gate for the Minor League clubs. He's kind of going to be that freak show people will say "Hey, it's that shortstop that couldn't hit, so he switched to pitcher. Let's see how good a pitcher he can be! He has to be a better pitcher than a shortstop he batted .098 and had a .132 OBP last year for the Kansas City 'Destined to Be Last Every Year' Royals!"

Gosh. Seattle gets Cliff Lee. San Francisco gets Tony Pena Jr. Granted it could have been worse for the Giants. At least it wasn't the other "crappy, over hyped shortstop turned pitcher" Matt Bush.


  1. ooooOOOOOHHHHH KEVIN!! Its too bad the podcast is retired I would LOVE to do a Cliff Lee episode. Thanks for the shoutout here (for anyone else reading this I am the Luke Ricci mentioned above, obviously a Mariners fan), anyways man I completely agree with you. The M's suffered there for a good amount of time with a crappy GM (Bavasi) so I know where you are coming from. Its frustrating and its amazing how things change when you get someone who is great (enter Jack Z) Bad GMs spend money poorly. They give big contracts to guys that don't deserve them, then use the fact that they gave the big contracts out as an excuse for why they are "trying to help the team improve" (See: Zito, Barry and Sexson, Richie) OR they trade away prized prospects for 1 or 2 years of guys that are nowhere near worth the potential of the prospects (see: Bedard, Erik). All you can do as a fan is sit by and hope that ownership removes them or that they get enough smart people underneath them to turn things around.

  2. on to the M's:

    First of all I haven't gotten the chance to talk to you about the Figgins signing. I absolutely loved it, not only do the M's acquire one of the best "table setters" in baseball, but a great defender and we steal him from our biggest division rival the Angels. Figgins has the flexibility to play 3 different positions if they need him to (I hope they keep him at 3B though) and his best skill is what they lacked most last year, the ability to get on base.

    and finally, C. Lee:
    I am SO happy about this, obviously, but for a lot of reasons other than the fact that the M's just acquired a Cy Young award winner.

    1. He is a Cy Young Award Winner.
    2. He DOMINATED the playoffs last year, and I'm hoping the M's find themselves there this year.
    3. Felix and Lee give the M's the best 1-2 in baseball. (Sorry, Lincecum-Cain close second)
    4. Allowing Toronto and Philly to make the Halladay deal means that the Angels (who were among the favorites to acquire him) can not.
    5. It shows Felix Hernandez that we are committed to winning now, and that as long as the current management is here they will be making moves to be a constant contender. This will play a big factor as we attempt to resign him.
    6. If the aforementioned negotiations do not go as planned this offseason we can turn our focus to resigning Lee, and while Felix should be our #1 priority, if things do not work our Lee is not so bad as a backup plan.

    No matter who your team is acquiring, I think its safe to say that all of us can't wait for spring training...

  3. Luke, I just think this deal was great overall for M's fans. I don't know how you can look at this thing and think the M's won't get a good deal. Lee is a proven commodity, and a proven ace in HITTER's PARKS! Just imagine what he is capable of in a pitcher's park like Safeco. Couple that in with another ace in Felix Hernandez (Lee always seems to pitch better when he has another good pitcher on staff) and Lee should have a Cy Young-caliber season in 2010 in my mind.

    You hit it on the nail with the difference in GMs. Bavasi was an idiot. Everyone knew Adam Jones was going to be good. And he gave him away from Bedard, who wasn't a proven commodity (being a good starting pitcher on the Orioles doesn't mean jack in my mind, look at Sidney Ponson), but was a big name so everybody gushed. I think the new GM for Seattle is just doing things the right way. For the most part, I was more impressed by how he got rid of the right guys (Bettancourt was a guy that needed to go, and he did that) than the guys he picked up (though Griffey did add spark, if not statistically). Now, he has shown he can get rid of guys, and acquire them as well (which I doubted he could do after he gave up four prospects for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell).

    I wish Sabean would wise up in this mold. I think he's starting to lean toward it, but for some reason, he'll FUBAR everything and we'll be left with Johnny Damon in left field on opening day.