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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

December 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Brandon Morrow deal: catcher Brian Jeroloman reportedly discussed by Mariners as possible return in deal

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Brandon Morrow should be in the air right now, headed from Phoenix to Tampa for his physical. He had a 9:55 a.m. local time for the flight, so that physical will likely be pretty late in the day. The Jays do all of their physicals down in Florida through longtime medical guy Dr. Steve Mirabello.
The latest rumor making the rounds, started by the crew at Fox Sports, is that catcher Brian Jeroloman is the prospect heading back Seattle’s way. Jeroloman is a sixth round pick from 2006 but made it up to Class AAA last season.
If this is indeed the guy the M’s get, I could see this being the precursor to another deal. The Mariners already have catchers Rob Johnson and Adam Moore in the fold and Eliezer Alfonzo coming in to camp on a minor league deal.
Jeroloman is supposed to be a good defensive receiver, but his bat is nothing out of the ordinary. Not sure why you’d want him in Seattle unless you were planning to trade one of your other catchers.
Photo Credit: TJ Mullinax/Yakima Herald


This isn’t as potentially exciting as the other rumor that had been going around about minor league pitcher Zach Stewart being the prospect.
Stewart was Toronto’s prime return in last summer’s Scott Rolen trade with the Reds and was going to get a shot at starting for the Blue Jays in spring training. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was recently quoted saying that Stewart projected as a No. 3 starter according to his team’s internal projections.
But it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t Anthopoulos who made that deal with the Reds to land Stewart. That was J.P. Ricciardi. Anthopoulos won’t have the same attachment to the pitcher that he would have had he pulled the trigger on that one.
The addition of Stewart would make a lot of sense and represent pretty good value for the Mariners.
I do think there has been a tendency to undervalue Brandon League (I’ve been as guilty of that as anyone). As I mentioned in the post from last night, though, League has some excellent peripheral numbers to go with a mid-90s sinker. There is a tendency to pooh-pooh League’s status as a reliever, but you have to remember this: Morrow has yet to prove he’s anything more than a reliever at the big league level.
So, those of you expecting an all-star bat in return are probably overshooting. I compared League to a more-seasoned Sean White last night,but it’s safe to say that if some of the projections for League going forward are accurate, he could vault ahead of White in the bullpen and enable the M’s to contemplate dealing one of their Big 3 — David Aardsma, Mark Lowe or Shawn Kelley. I’d caution you, though, about reading too much into those projections. League has been touted highly before as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 bullpen guy and not delivered. You do have to make it happen on the mound.
If it’s Stewart and League, though, you get a major league seasoned back-of-the-bullpen reliever and a potential major league starter for a guy who’s a proven reliever but a not-so-proven starter with an upside that diminishes year by year.
And if you get a catcher in Jeroloman, look for more deals to come.

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