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Badvasi Strikes Again
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 12/13/2006 11:29:00 PM
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I've seen some bad trades in my day, but I'm having a hard time thinking of one as inexplicable as the Mariners trading Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto for Jose Vidro. There are trades that look good, but for whatever reason turn out bad. And there are trades that don't look so good, but because of the circumstances involved one can justify, or, at minimum, explain. This one is on a whole other level.

If someone can think of a reason for the Mariners to make this trade, I beg you to shine the light my way.

Jose Vidro is clearly on the downside of his career, he's 32, he is a defensive liability, he has a huge contract and he hasn't played a full season since 2003 because of injuries. Yes, Snelling is injury prone, but his upside is tremendous. He's young, he's cheap. If the Mariners, understandably, want to upgrade at DH, why not just make Snelling the designated hitter?

The Mariners are on the hook for $12 million for a guy who is a worse and older than the much cheaper guy they traded him for. What GM school did Bill Bavasi go to that told him that would be a good deal? If this trade was made in a fantasy league, it might very well be vetoed.

The league average OPS for DH last year was .810. Vidro's OPS the last three years combined was .776. Last season it was .744. And the Mariners are paying $12 million for that. And they're losing Snelling's upside. And we haven't even considered Fruto yet.

If there is an out-and-out worse trade somewhere, I'd like to see it.


Formula for building a competitive team. Trade your best bullpen arm for a soft-tossing lefty with no track record. Check. Sign a mediocre starter for lots of money. Check. Trade a prospect for a DH-powerless-aging vetera. Check.

The plan is complete!
Posted by schoenke at 12/14/2006 12:55:00 AM
Perhaps Bavasi had some analysis that showed that aging veterans on a four-year OPS decline, often reverse said decline at the age of 32 after switching leagues?

Posted by vtadave at 12/14/2006 8:36:00 AM
Phase 1: Trade for Vidro
Phase 2:
Phase 3: Profit!
Posted by Erickson at 12/14/2006 9:10:00 AM
Actually, the OPS decline is tied directly to diminishing discipline issues which has nothing to to do with aging. Fact be told, that trend is usually prevalent in reverse for aging professional hitters, a product of declining reaction time. The age slide is evident in defensive categories, but I'd use it more as a vehicle to measure the impact of a significant injury than blame it on age, and a four-year slide since age 28 is a little out there unless you have proof Vidro is actually 37. That being said, it certainly doesn't absolve the Mariners unless there's more to this story. An additional move or two and it might make some sense as it would tie to at least something I believe, while at present it's a head scratcher.
Posted by arwen at 12/14/2006 10:22:00 AM
I nominate another Bavasi trade which Schoenke alluded to – Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. Recent reports of Soriano’s velocity being down give me some pause, but I still think this is the biggest rip off during the offseason. Either way, Badvasi is the culprit.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 12/14/2006 1:56:00 PM
I witnessed many poor Bavasi moves while he was with the Angels. To put it nicely, he is not competent. A move such as is something to be expected. For example: What did the M's get for Freddy Garcia? Jeremy Reed. I rest my case.
Posted by edhqrv at 12/14/2006 3:36:00 PM
Those two trades mentioned are examples of what I referred to earlier -- trades I can explain. The Soriano-Ramirez trade is clearly a steal for the Braves, but at least I understand Bavasi's thinking. He needed a starter. The Freddy Garcia trade turned out bad for the M's, but it was not necessarily bad on paper. Garcia wasn't coming back to the M's and Seattle got Jeremy Reed, one of the top hitting prospects in the minors at the time, Miguel Olivo, the top catching prospect at the time, and Mike Morse, a 6-4 shortstop with big-league potential. I understand why both of those trades were made. That the Mariners got ripped off or that the trade didn't work out is not really so much the point.

I have NO IDEA why Bavasi pulled the trigger on the Vidro trade. I have NO IDEA what his goal is or what he thinks he is accomplishing. He can't possibly think he is improving the offense. Replacing Snelling with Vidro is not an upgrade in ANYONE'S book. Even if Snelling never improves and hits what he hit last year in limited at-bats, it's better than Vidro and $11 million cheaper.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 12/14/2006 6:35:00 PM
It IS sort of weird seeing the Nationals on the apparent "winning" end of a trade, after some of the stuff they did last summer.

Makes me think there's more to this than we know at this point.
Posted by czegers at 12/15/2006 8:31:00 AM
Has there ever been a time in sports where GMs have screwed up their teams more with illogical trade after illogical trade? It is unbelievable that these owners,(Mariners, Reds, Knicks, 76ers just to name a few) who have made hundreds of millions of dollars can just be so lost when it comes to hiring a president/GM. Obviously, just because they are amazing business men that doesn't mean that they know anything about sports, BUT, you would think that they would understand business principle enough to hire people that have been successful in teh past or have any type of experience running some sort of successful operation. It really is alaming because it is just getting worse and worse.
Posted by nayfel at 12/15/2006 10:24:00 AM
Nats came out big on at least one trade last summer (yes, Reds, I'm looking squarely at you).
Posted by Erickson at 12/15/2006 2:28:00 PM

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