Originally written January 18, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
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Team Jaso It was reported that the Seattle Mariners have added another first baseman/DH by acquiring Mike Morse from the Washington Nationals for catcher John Jaso. There was also something else about it being a three-way trade, but no one seems to care about that. Who cares about the Athletics? After all, they only won the division last year. It’s not like we sent our best everyday catching option to them or anything. Inner division trades sometimes hurt the most. Here are three things that I admire about the trade: More Power What I love about this trade is that Mike Morse actually knows how to hit. In limited at bats, he outperformed most of the Mariners’ offensive staff. Seattle hit just about every social media platform telling us that Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs in only 108 games. As a former Mariner, it seems like Morse is even happy about coming to Seattle, which is not the norm these days. Of course, last year John Jaso was happy to come to the Mariners. See what that got him? Consistency The Mariners have added yet another first baseman. (Photo: AP) Morse is someone who could stick with the M’s for a bit, unlike Kendrys Morales, who was just here for a one-year gig. The Mariners need some consistency, which they won’t have at all in 2013 with the lineup they’ve assembled, unless of course they can convince the league that they need 2 DH’s. It could happen; Major League Baseball totally validates the DH position. Just ask Edgar Martinez, who was denied entry into the Hall of Fame again this year. Taking a Chance A move like this shows that the front office is willing to take some risks. They don’t all make sense to me right now, but I’m sure spring training will be interesting. I can’t even really speculate what the lineup will be this season, other than to say it will be a lot different than it is right now. After playing things so close to the vest for years, it looks like the M’s are finally willing to make some moves. It is refreshing. So What’s Not to Like? First and foremost, the Mariners don’t have a catcher. They have Jesus Montero, who is a good backup, but really should be a DH and maybe make a move to first base. Ultimately, the kid needs to concentrate on hitting. Jaso was a good clutch hitter and had reasonable defense. He was also a clubhouse leader. Now he is gone. With the Mariners letting Miguel Olivo lapse into free agency, and hot prospect Mike Zunio not yet ready to make the leap into the majors, the M’s are going to have to find someone to be an everyday catcher. That will most likely happen by trade, which to be honest, has not worked well for the M’s this offseason. I really have hope for Justin Smoak, but it seems that the light is dimming for him. I think that the mental stress of being moved to the majors too quickly—along with feeling betrayed by his drafting club in the Cliff Lee trade and losing his Dad—messed with his game. I think this will be his year, but I’m not sure he will even have a chance to play. Maybe the M’s are training him to be a catcher. That would work, right? Also… What the heck man? We already have enough first basemen. Seriously. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEATTLE MARINERS CLUBHOUSE AT NWSB!
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