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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

July 27, 2009 at 7:50 AM

The “Bedard Standard” is messing up blockbusters

halladay.jpg

If Roy Halladay or Adrian Gonzalez don’t get traded, blame the Mariners.

More specifically, blame Bill Bavasi.

Heck, we blame him for everything else, right?

In cruising the internet these last few days, I was struck by two stories. One was this Buster Olney piece on ESPN.com in which he says that the Red Sox are among teams interested in Padres’ slugger Adrian Gonzalez. But the deal might not get done, Olney said, because, among other things, of the huge package the Padres are asking for. A Bedard package.

Here’s what Olney wrote:

But Gonzalez, a Gold Glove-caliber fielder as well as a strong offensive player, could draw huge offers. The Padres presumably would want four or five elite young pitching and position players from Boston or any other team in any deal.

“San Diego would expect you to back up the truck if you want him,” said one talent evaluator. “They would be looking for the kind of haul that the Mariners gave up for [Erik] Bedard.”

Then there’s this recent story from Yahoo’s Tim Brown on the Roy Halladay negotiations. Here’s what Brown wrote about Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi:

He’s taking calls. He’s dispatching scouts to minor league outposts from the Sally League to the PCL. According to baseball sources, he’s thinking in terms of the Erik Bedard trade and then some. Two winters ago, the enigmatic lefty went from Baltimore to Seattle for five players – four promising pitchers and an outfielder (Adam Jones, who just made the All-Star team at 23). Or, perhaps, something similar to what Rangers GM Jon Daniels was able to turn Mark Teixeira into two deadlines ago: Three stud pitchers, a starting shortstop (Elvis Andrus and a starting catcher (Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Those are trades that didn’t just add players, but changed the course of franchises. (Most believe the Bedard trade eventually cost Bill Bavasi his GM job). That’s where Ricciardi is going with this.

So because the Mariners made a terrible trade, GMs holding a star player now expect everyone else to make a terrible trade. Considering how prospects are coveted more than ever in this economy (and because everyone else saw how the Bedard deal blew up in the Mariners’ face), pulling off this sort of blockbuster is much more difficult. Yet desperation and pennant lust make teams do strange things, so I wouldn’t rule anything out.

The Roy Halladay circus moves to Seattle today, by the way, with the Blue Jays in town. Tuesday is the deadline Ricciardi set for trading Halladay, which means if he’s on the Safeco Field mound for his scheduled start on Wednesday, the deadline has passed without any action. However, I don’t think that would really, truly close the book on a trade. If the Phillies call Ricciardi on Friday morning and say, “You win. We’ll give you J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown and everyone else you want,” I don’t think Ricciardi will turn it down because it’s beyond his artificial deadline.

Because that would be a Bedard haul, and you don’t ever turn those down.

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