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.