Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bedard to Mariners Rumors

The L.A. Angels of Anaheim have already made one blockbuster trade this winter, sending Orlando Cabrera to the White Sox for Jon Garland. With rumors swirling that the Anaheim Angels might be close to landing slugger Paul Konerko, it appears the Seattle Mariners are attempting to keep up with the Joneses by dealing theirs. Numerous sources, including Fox's Ken Rosenthal, have indicated that Seattle is ready to deal center fielder Adam Jones and various other prospects (the prospects change with the source of the rumor) to the Baltimore Orioles for Eric Bedard. Since I try to stick primarily to the fantasy stuff, lets take a look at what this means for both teams.

SEATTLE MARINERS

For the upcoming season, (I don't mean 2-3 years from now, when prospects might finally pan out) I really like this deal for Seattle. Seattle gets a clear number one/ace, to park in front of their young up and coming ace, Felix Hernandez. Bedard is currently stuck in Baltimore, playing in one of the great hitter's ballparks in all of baseball, in front of a disenfranchised fan base, in a clubhouse littered with steroid accusations and an owner who is like George Steinbrenner, only without the talent. Basically the Baltimore Orioles have become the Oakland Raiders without the heart. Oh, and add to that the fact Bedard plays in the A.L East, and pitches most of his games against some of the league's best offenses in New York, Boston, and Tampa Bay. Even the Blue Jays, who have the East's worst offense (outside of Baltimore), has a formidable lineup.

Here are the things that would benefit Bedard if he was traded to Seattle:

1) Bedard goes to a much better pitcher's ballpark, with a much better defense.
2) Bedard would be pitching to much less formidable and deep lineups in the A.L. West.
3) He Joins a team that showed a bunch of moxie, till they fell apart in the middle to end of August.
4) Baltimore's bullpen was awful last season, while the Seattle bullpen was really one of their strengths.
5) He will be matching up against pitchers who aren't the caliber he would be facing in the A.L. East. (A.L East: Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Wang, Pettitte, Kazmir, Halladay, Burnett (when he feels like it) Shields---A.L West: Lackey, Weaver, Blanton Millwood?, Gaudin?)
7) On a bad, bad Baltimore team last season, Bedard managed to win 13 games. Pencil him in for about 16-18 wins next season, with his name again, prominently featured as a Cy Young candidate.

Now, there are probably a lot of people saying, "Well with all those things, shouldn't Eric Bedard be a shoe in for the Cy Young and the reincarnation of Sandy Koufax?!?!" Please don't forget, while Bedard is a special talent, he has a propensity to break down late in the season. In 2005 and 2006 he is a combined 3-5 in September. I didn't include September of the 2007 season because he was hurt and didn't pitch. Rotisserie owners probably wouldn't care too much about those numbers, but for people in a head-to-head league, this is smack in the middle of the playoff run. Bottom line is fantasy or reality, Bedard has never thrown more than 200 innings and still has the potential to miss about 2-4 weeks during any given season.

OTHER SEATTLE STUFF

That young ace, Felix Hernandez, who was brought up to the big leagues, toting the nickname, "King Felix" (NO PRESSURE!) would move back a spot in the rotation and be the 2 starter. This could help him out for a variety of reasons. First, he won't be throwing against the other team's best pitcher, so that should help his win total at the end of the season. Second, Hernandez will have less pressure on him to perform and be prefect every time out. It has been said, the more perfect a pitcher tries to be, the worse he does, especially at such a young age, with such high ("King") expectations. Felix won 14 games last season for Seattle, expect another 2-4 wins for him this year. At the end of the season that improvement could be chalked up to the reasons I gave or just a natural maturity he undergoes.... either way I'll look smart, and so will you if you draft him.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Baltimore will get a litany of prospects from the Mariners, the most prominent will be center fielder Adam Jones. This gives Baltimore a total of 2 players you should look forward to drafting next season. 1) Nick markakis (who has his own article coming when we get closer to the draft) and 2) Brian Roberts (who is a fantasy trade rumor article all to himself) For everyone angrily saying, "What about Melvin Mora?!?!" "I will retort, "If you look forward to drafting Melvin Mora, you don't deserve to win."

As for Adam Jones, I have never been a big fan drafting rookies, too much hype and unrealistic expectations. I love players who have the potential to go 20/20 and Jones seems like he has that make up, but I have 2 major reservations. The first is as I stated, he is a rookie, with little major league experience. I like to see a player have a good half a season of success
before I would consider drafting him.

My second reservation can be summed up in two words, "Jeremy Reed". That's right Mariners fans how could we forget Jeremy Reed, the last highly touted center field prospect to come out of the Mariners system, and fail. Miserably. This isn't to say that Jones will fail because of Reed, its just that I am bit skeptical when a team has a highly touted prospect who fails and then a few years later a guy with a remarkably similar make up comes around. It comes down to the same people giving the same over-hyped evaluation of what they can do.

If you want to take a late round flier on Jones, there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone values players differently. And while I can speculate on his 2008 output, there is a chance in the end I am wrong and he becomes a fine, fine ball player down the line.

This trade hasn't been finalized yet, so stay with the Fantasy Sports Experience for breaking news and further fantasy analysis.

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