Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mariners trade Bedard in three team deal to Red Sox

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners officially ended the Erik Bedard era in Seattle by trading him to the Boston Red Sox in a three team deal that brought back two outfield prospects. The Mariners have traded away two starting pitchers and a bullpen arm the last two days for three outfielders, a third baseman and a bullpen/starting pitcher. The Mariners under Jack Zduriencik are once again rebuilding trying to get younger. The Mariners offense this season has been horrible so the Mariners are hoping some of these prospects can pan out. With the Mariners traded Bedard this ends a frustrating three and a half year marriage that started off with so much promise. For those who remember previous GM Bill Bavasi traded away Adam Jones, George Sherrill and Chris Tillman for Bedard. Bedard was brought in to be the ace of the staff as the hope was he'd anchor the rotation in the playoffs. Instead the Mariners got only 46 starts from Bedard. Bedard in his years with the Mariners never pitched a single inning in August or September. In fact he hasn't pitched in September since 2006 and has never pitched in a playoff race.

What the Red Sox are acquiring is a pretty good starting pitcher when he is healthy. In his career with the Mariners Bedard made 46 starts with a 15-14 record throwing 255.1 innings with a 3.31 ERA. He posted a 1.22 WHIP with 249 strikeouts to 101 walks. This season Bedard who hadn't pitched in 2010 started the year off rough and has pitched great since then. He recently was on the DL and came back to make his final start for the Mariners lasting just 1.1 innings allowing five earned runs. For the season Bedard went 4-7 in 16 starts with a 3.45 ERA in 91.1 innings pitched. He posted 1.17 WHIP with 87 strikeouts to 30 walks. Bedard when he is on can be an ace as he showed in May posting a 1.39 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched. He had a 0.95 WHIP with 32 strikeouts to 9 walks. In June he posted a 2.25 ERA in 32 innings pitched. He had a 0.84 WHIP with 33 strikeouts to 6 walks. The Red Sox are acquiring a pretty good pitcher when healthy. The Red Sox also gained 2008 first round draft pick reliever Josh Fields from the Mariners. Fields this year in the minors in 29 games has pitched 39 innings posting a 3.92 ERA. He has a 1.53 WHIP with 39 strikeouts to 32 walks with three saves. In his brief career he has appeared in 81 games pitching 101 innings posting an ERA of 4.54. He has a WHIP of 1.51 with 103 strikeouts to 72 walks. The Red Sox didn't make this deal because of Fields it was for the chance to land a potential key playoff starter in Bedard.

The Mariners acquired Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers organization and Chih-Hsien Chiang of the Red Sox. Both are in the minor leagues and both guys are putting up good seasons. First I'll start with the 23 year old Robinson who is in triple A. For his career he is hitting .283/.358/.436 in 2,441 career AB's. He has hit 64 home runs(HR every 38.1 AB's) with 697 strikeouts(28.5%) to 267 walks(10.9%) which isn't great. He also has 149 stolen bases in his career. For this season he is breaking out hitting .293/.375/.563 in 368 AB's. He has hit 26 home runs(HR every 14.1 AB's) with 122 strikeouts(33.1%) while walking 45 times(12.2%) with 8 stolen bases. Robinson like Casper Wells will be competing for a spot on next years roster. If Robinson doesn't crack the roster he'll provide depth for Tacoma.

The other player the Mariners got was Chih-Hsien Chiang who is also an outfielder. Chiang is a 23 year old in double A who has a career line of .284/.333/.460 in 1,887 career minor league at bats. He has hit 51 home runs(HR every 37 AB's) with 326 strikeouts(17.2%) to 126 walks(6.6%).This year in double A Portland(Maine) Chiang is hitting .338/.399/.647 in 317 AB's. He has hit 18 home runs(HR every 17.6 AB's) with 61 strikeouts(19.2%) to 25 walks(7.8%). When you look at Chiang's numbers you see improvement in his career and a guy who is a slugger. His strikeouts are about right while I'd like to see his walks increase. Chiang hopefully in a year or two can make the Mariners roster. For now he'll add organizational depth in the outfield as the Mariners are hurting in the outfield position. Zduriencik is hoping that one of these three outfielders he acquired in the past 48 hours can someday produce for the Mariners.

In conclusion, the Mariners we all knew were going to be sellers this trade deadline. The Mariners were pretty thin at the outfield position which is why Zduriencik traded for three outfielders hoping to help that weakness. The Mariners traded from a position of strength to help out a position of weakness. I know fans are tired of prospects as am I because rebuilding simply sucks. The Mariners are hoping with these deals they can have some major league depth down the road. While the Red Sox are preparing for the playoffs with a pitcher who proved this season he can be an ace. With Bedard he is such a wild card because he can give you a great outing or he can break down once again. The Mariners made some moves for more prospects so now as fans we have no choice but to wait and see. From all the reports I've read Zduriencik did well once again. Nobody has questioned Zduriencik eye for young talent. Now if Zduriencik can just apply that same strength to free agency we have ourselves a great general manager.

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