The Seattle Mariners have struggled since the early parts of the century and Larry Stone of the Seattle Times recently took a look at the moves that have hindered the franchise. Here is a look at some of the big moves that hurt the most.
1) Bypassing Troy Tulowitzki with the No. 3 overall pick in 2005 to take USC catcher Jeff Clement. Just thinking of what Tulowitzki would have meant to the Mariners' offense is enough to make a Mariners fan weep.
This is a tough one, but the MLB Draft can be such a crapshoot. Sure, you trust your scouts to evaluate and project a player, but you simply do not know how they'll progress from the time they're teenagers to their mid-20's.
2) Signing Carlos Silva to a four-year, $48-million contract prior to the 2008 season. Hey, but the good news is they got Milton Bradley out of the deal.
We have the rest after the page jump...
3) Bypassing Tim Lincecum to draft Brandon Morrow with the fifth pick of the 2006 draft. Yeah, Morrow netted Brandon League -- but Lincecum is Lincecum.
See my write-up for No. 1.
4) Trading Asdrubal Cabrera to the Indians for Eduardo Perez in June of 2006. I thought this was a good move at the time. I was wrong, big-time.
5) Trading Shin-Soo Choo to the Indians for Ben Broussard in July of 2006. See above.
The deals in No. 4 and No. 5 are tough, especially now with the team's lack of a productive shortstop and left fielder. Bad deals happen from time to time, but two in a matter of 30 days or so is tough to recover from.
6) Trading Guillen to the Tigers in 2004. The fact that this stinker deal only ranks sixth worst should tell you something.
Guillen was excellent in Detroit for three years, but injuries and age caught up to him after a while. Still, this trade was a big blow for the Mariners.
7) Trading Rafael Soriano to the Braves for Horacio Ramirez after the 2007 season. Soriano has been a bullpen stud ever since. Ramirez was bad in 2007 and has faded to obscurity.
8) Trading Adam Jones, et al, to the Orioles for Erik Bedard prior to the 2008 season. This one hasn't been quite the disaster it appeared headed to be, mainly because Chris Tillman has, so far, been a bust. But Bedard was not nearly the pitcher the Mariners hoped, and Adam Jones has been good and may be poised for greatness.
Adam Jones isn't that great as some give him credit for, but he'd be a valuable piece to have. If Tillman and/or Jones emerge then this deal could become awful for the M's.
9) Trading Matt Thornton to the White Sox for Joe Borchard prior to the 2006 season. The idea was to deal one high draft bust for another, hoping a change of scenery might do them good. It worked -- for Thornton.
10) Signing Spiezio to a three-year, $9 million contract. He was a unique combination of miserable performer and clubhouse mope.
While the last decade has been rough, this is a new era for Seattle Mariners baseball. The future looks bright and fans can only hope the Front Office avoids the mistakes they made to put them in this situation.