BY Seth Kolloen 07:37AM 04/19/2011

Exit 164: The “trade the good players” mania begins

The ramifications of swapping Ichiro and Felix Hernandez

“The best time to trade Felix will be this summer.” — Buster Olney, ESPN
“Trading (Ichiro) now is the best way to toss more eggs in the spawning stream,” — Mike Seely, Seattle Weekly

You’re sitting in your corner office, deciding which yacht to take to Monte Carlo this summer, when an executive from the unprofitable Seattle division of your company steps in to deliver his turnaround plan.

“We have 25 employees, who are mostly terrible,” he says. “But we have these two guys, Ichiro and Felix, who are some of the best in the industry.”

“Okay, I’m listening,” you say, though you’re really booking a lodge for a family Christmas trip to Telluride.

“So my plan is, I’m going to get rid of Ichiro and Felix.”

“I’m sorry,” you say, as your fantasies of pure-powder skiing are interrupted by harsh reality. “Your plan is to fire the only two exceptional employees you have?”

“No, not fire, we’ll trade them for other employees!”

“Other employees who’ll be just as good?”

“We don’t know for sure. But they might be, someday.”

“Why would you trade exceptional employees for employees who someday might be exceptional?”

“For one thing, the new employees will be cheaper.”

“Cheap or not, they still have to produce,” you say, your frustration rising. “What are you going to do if they aren’t as good as Ichiro and Felix?”

“We can take the money we’re saving and buy other exceptional employees?”

“Like who? What are the names of these other exceptional employees?”

“We’d have to wait and see who was available. And then of course we’d have to bid for them against our competitors in New York and Boston and Los Angeles.”

“You mean our competitors who have double our budget?”

“Yeah, and we’d probably have to pay more for them, since those players don’t have the loyalty to Seattle that Ichiro and Felix do.”

“So, to recap, your plan is to fire your two best-producing employees, and hire new employees of unknown ability. And your contingency plan is to pay even more than you’re paying now to replace the production Ichiro and Felix give you?”


“You’re fired.”

In other news…

The Mariners lost 8-3 to Detroit. Josh Lueke and Chris Ray combined to allow six runs in the seventh inning, with Ray achieving the remarkable feat of coming into a game with an ERA of 15.43 and raising it. Here’s Todd’s story. Mariners 5-12, 4th place, 6.5 GB. Next game tonight vs. Tigers.

Lueke’s fastball was only reaching 93, not the 94-97 of yore. Ray was throwing in the mid-90s, but kept missing with his fastball, and couldn’t get his slider anywhere near the plate.

Intended M’s starting CF Franklin Gutierrez will go to the Mayo Clinic to have his stomach problems checked out.

In better injury news, David Aardsma will begin a rehab assignment in Tacoma today.

Next year’s NFL regular season schedule comes out today at 4 p.m. NFL Network and ESPN will have live shows for the announcement.

Seahawks GM John Schneider said he’d like to trade down in the draft, that the QB competition will be open, and lots more in a news conference yesterday. Doug was there.

Cougars star Klay Thompson will enter the NBA draft. He won’t hire an agent, but seems likely to stay in.

ESPN is showing an in-depth look at Jake Locker’s preparation for the NFL draft tonight at 5 p.m. (along with that of Cam Newton and Tyrod Taylor). The program is “Three for the Show.”

The WIAA voted to tweak the new state hoops tourney format they debuted last year. In this March’s tournament, the regionals were a modified double-elimination format. This year, they’ll be single-elimination.

Seven days closer to a championship…

Monday, April 18
Mariners vs. Detroit @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Tuesday, April 19
Mariners vs. Detroit @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Wednesday, April 20
Mariners vs. Detroit @ Safeco, 12:40 p.m (ROOT)

Thursday, April 21
Mariners vs. Oakland @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Friday, April 22
Sounders @ Colorado Rapids, 6:30 p.m. (FSC)
Mariners vs. Oakland @ Safeco, 7:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Saturday, April 23
Mariners vs. Oakland @ Safeco, 6:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Sunday, April 24
Mariners vs. Oakland @ Safeco, 1:10 p.m. (ROOT)

Monday, April 25


  • Herc Foster

    Well, here we go again. A certain reporter’s opinion notwithstanding, every time the Mariners get good players they trade them. Randy Johnson,
    Ken Griffey Jr., Lee and a host of other players that have ALL wound up in the playoffs after leaving the Mariners. We will never have a good team by trading star players for “upcoming youngsters”. If you people trade Ichiro and Felix, I think that would be the last straw. How can we fans remain loyal to a team that has over the years proved itself as the
    training camp for MLB?

  • jafabian

    You know, if Beltre played as well as a Mariner as he did for the Red Sox and now the Rangers who knows what that could have meant to the team?  Guess we’ll never know.

    Ryan has put together a solid roster and makes adjustments when necessary, something a good leader will do to succeed.  (Um, Howard?  Are you paying attention?)  I like the talent that Jack Z. has assembled but IMO he’s more of a director of player personnel than he is a GM right now.  He can scout talent but I’m not sure about him putting together a roster or managing contracts.  I’d like to think the club would look at the Rangers as a model to follow, but then, I thought that in the past with the A’s and Angels as well.