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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mariners Acquire Ex-Dodger Prospect Franklin Gutierrez As Putz Goes To Metz In 12-Player, 3-Team Deal

The Fabulous Forum and Ken Rosenthal report that Seattle has traded for Cleveland reserve center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, sending closer J.J. Putz to the Mets in a wacky, three-team, 12-player extravaganza. The whole deal looks like this: I like this deal from the Mariners' perspective; they needed to get younger, and moving Putz now amounts to a maximizing of value from a player who seems to be declining at a rather precipitous rate. Gutierrez makes up — sort of, but not really — for the unloading of Adam Jones last offseason, a point U.S.S. Mariner makes when analyzing the trade:
1. The +2 win player the M’s are getting back is much younger than the +2 win player they’re giving up, and they have him under team control for a lot longer. For where this team is, Gutierrez is more valuable than Putz.

2. One of Valbuena or Lopez had to go, because there was no way for them to coexist at full value. In that sense, the M’s swapped a prospect at a position of depth for a prospect at a position where they have a gaping hole. I like Valbuena better than Carp, but Carp has a much clearer road to a job in Seattle.

3. By acquiring Gutierrez and Chavez, the M’s just have given themselves the ability to run out one of the best outfield defenses in baseball on days where they send a contact pitcher to the hill. A Chavez/Gutierrez/Ichiro outfield will make Silva and Washburn look significantly better than they really are, and by investing in the defense, the M’s have made it possible that they could salvage some value from a pair of bad contracts.

I'm not so sure I like this deal from the Mets end of it; they needed a bullpen revamp, true, but Putz was a pretty clear case of buying high, though given the alternatives, this may have been the best of a weak lot available in the trade market.

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