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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.

November 19, 2009 at 2:13 PM

That three-way Mariner trade rumor and other stuff

As Chris from Bothell noted on the Lincecum thread, Bob Nightengale of USA Today sent out a tweet that has Mariner fans all atwitter. Here’s how it read in its entirety: “Keep and eye on developing three-way trade talk with Tigers and Mariners and mystery team involving M’s Brandon Morrow and Dets Jackson

I’ll assume he meant “Keep an eye”. It’s not easy for some of us to text from a phone. Mine look like jibberish sometimes. And “Dets Jackson,” I presume, is Edwin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers.

Anyway, I wouldn’t get too excited right now. Jack Zduriencik likes Edwin Jackson, and I’m sure he is exploring the trade market for him. Jack showed last winter that he can pull off a three-way deal. Brandon Morrow is an obvious trade chip for the Mariners, as I told Shannon Drayer and Rick Rizzs of 710 ESPN — repeat, that’s 710 ESPN — last night on their Hot Stove League show. The others, as I see it, are Jose Lopez and Mark Lowe. So I give this rumor some validity. Bob’s a well-connected reporter who has been doing this for 20-plus years. But I think trade talk like this is still very much in the exploratory stage. If Geoff or I hear anything more, we’ll let you know. No, I don’t know who the mystery team is, but I’ve ruled out the Nippon Ham Fighters.

If the Mariners are willing to trade Morrow — and while it’s a risk, because of Morrow’s potential, he’s also someone that will be coveted by other teams, because of his potential — then I don’t think you use that bullet right away. You need to survey the field and see what kind of packages you can build around a former No. 1 pick that’s just 25, throws in the high 90s, nearly no-hit the Yankees in 2008 and in his last start of 2009 threw one-hit shutout ball for eight innings against Oakland, with nine strikeouts. That’s an ongoing process that probably doesn’t reach fruition, if at all, until the winter meetings. At least that’s how I see and hear it.

  • In other news, former Mariner Aaron Heilman was traded again, this time from the Cubs to the Diamondbacks. (I’ve got to look into this Twitter thing. Apparently, it’s not a passing fad.). You remember Heilman’s Mariner career, don’t you? I’d say, objectively, that his career in Seattle was every bit as good as Pokey Reese’s. Heilman was acquired in the Franklin Gutierrez blockbuster on Dec. 10 (speaking of three-way trades) and then traded on Jan. 28 to the Cubs for Garrett Olson and Ronny Cedeno. His only official appearance for the Mariners was at Fanfest a few days before he was dealt. Seemed like a good guy.

  • Also, Jeff Zrebiac of the Baltimore Sun, who is one of the best beat writers around, lists Erik Bedard as a free agent likely to be targeted by the Orioles. Wouldn’t that be the final dagger, for the Orioles to get Adam Jones, an All-Star year from George Sherrill and then a trade package for him, Chris Tillman, et al — and then potentially reap the benefits of a healthy Bedard. Ouch.

  • Jason Bay is going to hit the open market.

  • Dave Cameron says to tuck away the name Ryan Doumit. Consider it tucked.

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