Austin Jackson Trade Thread
The Logo catches a break


Dr. D wasn't even clear about what an "International Bonus Slot" was, much less that it is a fungible commodity that can be swapped for baseball players ... Baseball America says,


The main number that matters for a team is its total signing bonus pool, which it is free to spend however it wants, with penalties in place for going over. Major League Baseball arrives at the bonus pools by giving each team a $700,000 base along with four “slot values,” which are tiered from No. 1 ($3,300,900) through No. 120 ($137,600).


So the Cubs give the Mariners a draft pick, as it were.  We're not told whether it's a #1 pick or a #4 pick. From what we can gather, the #1 slot is worth like $2-3M and then the #2, #3, and #4 picks are all worth like $400k apiece.  That would make sense to us casual ammy-draft fans, since the first 20-30 international players each year are "name" players and then it looks like a dumpster dive from there.

If that means that the M's got back a #2 or #3 or #4 slot, they gave Jackson to the Cubs for (next to) nothing, which means they can't QO him and recover a compensation (first-round extended) pick in the real ammy draft.

If THAT means that the M's did not want to risk a "dangerous" QO on Austin Jackson, whose agent is Scott Boras and who will not be interested in a 1-year contract, then --- > the M's just moved the dial way, wayyyy over to Brad Miller and Ketel Marte.


Very understandable that the M's want a long look at Miller defensively.  (Dr. D's look at Miller in CF, so far, has Miller as quite disoriented out there.)  But is 30 games' looky-loo at Miller worth a #40 pick in the amateur draft?  That's a disconnect for me.  One of you brighter guys can 'splain it, we hope.

As of right now, the Mariner center fielder IS Brad Miller.  And that means their shortstop IS Ketel Marte.  (If you invert that, fine, no biggie.)


The other night, the M's pulled Miller out of CF for a pinch-hitter and then Ketel Marte came out with an owie.  This meant that Kyle Seager played short for a couple of innings, and John Hicks (!!) played 3B for the first time since he was 17 years old.

This, in turn, was a swipe against the idea that ML managers have to be super-precious about using their backup catchers to DH, and the like.  It's a baseball game, and you give a baseball player a glove, and he can go cover 3B over there like he covers 1B over here.  ... Billy Beane will play Jack Cust in center field if that's what circumstances lead to.  We don't have to be SO precious about defense if we don't want to.

That said, it's kind of fun to watch Brad Miller fight the elements in center.  He's one of my faves, and still holds down the "Great White Whale" prospect of a 4-5 WAR player making peanuts.  He's about as natural in CF as he would be playing striker in the Premier League, but he's got a long stride and he's a baseball player.  It will be great watching him from the 3rd deck the rest of the year.


Dr D



i have to believe that the 'Safeco effect' will help Miller quite a bit. As has been discussed here a number of times, fly balls hit to the center of the field tend to hang a bit. That'll give him a little extra time to compensate. 

They've still got Marte and Taylor for SS and I expect Taylor will be one of the first Sept call ups. 


I hadn't thought of it quite that way, but it's a fascinating point.  It would steer you towards players of exactly Miller's type -- physically gifted but with a learning curve in front of them.

Cheery thought.


I just posted this morning that we would QO him:  I didn't think he would take it....but wondered if he would like to hang around Edgar some.  Player to be named later and $211,000 International slot is the haul we get.

I will point out that Brad Miller is 70% of a CF.  his .560-ish career OPS vs. lefties means you're not likely to leave him out their against the southpaws of the MLB world (realizing he could improve, of course).

Well, the obvious call up was going to be Ramon Flores.  Uh....not now.  Jones has 54 Tacoma CF starts, Landry 24 and Kivlehan 12.  Over the last month, Kivlehan has been a .846 hitter in Tacoma. He's at .769 on the year with 22 homers.  Jones is a career .733 guy in AAA (with no pop) although he's been hot the last week.  Landry is at .739 in AAA and has had 4 AB's in the past month.  

As I said last week, we may see Patrick Kivlehan getting some CF time in Seattle pretty soon.

I'll be glad to see it. 


You've been on this point consistently Moe.  If 2015-16 continues to bear you out, the #4 OF would have to be a right hand batter who can play CF...

James is dubious about the basic concept that there is such a thing as a hitter with a wide platoon split (in 'true' ability) ... dunno whether I agree with him but he's seen a lotta baseball, so we can at least hope he's right ...


I am mystified by how much distain there is for Brad Miller. I realize that Brad has made more errors from the 7th inning on than almost the entire team, and that several of those have cost the Mariners victories directly... BUT Brad has only one more error than GOLD GLOVER Seager this year, and Miller has had more total plays than Seager in fewer games. Moreover, Brad's 14 errors are better than all but 12 players who have played SS this year. One last point, Fangraphs advanced defensive metrics puts Brad as the 10th BEST SS this year...

BUT the Mariners, and almost all fans would rather have a guy with 26 games at the MLB level, 100 at bats, be GIVEN the starting SS position. REALLY???

Are we that stupid AGAIN!!! Did it work when Franklin was handed the starting position? How about giving it to Miller last year? How about Taylor this year? How many times do we have to make the same mistake??? Why not have a competition? What are we afraid of? Make Marte proven it again next year? The Mariners obviously do not care that Marte has a weaker arm, less range - especially going left, has a lot less power when batting, and who has NEVER performed at such a high OBP / walk rate in his life. 

No instead the guy who WOULD have had a ton of trade value IF Kingston keeps his mouth shut, is now the guy who has to battle Jones and youngster Flores - who are ALL LEFT handed, ALL have trouble hitting left handed pitching, and there is NOT a right handed complement any where close for any of them in CF. 

I know I am on my own island... so go ahead and roast me again...and I do remember this is SSI, so even the roasting will be thorough and make more sense than my rant.


LOL. Nobody is going to roast you here, dude.

I honestly don't think that either Miller or Marte look particularly natural at SS. Taylor is the most natural looking at SS of the three and if he can hit a bit, he's my guy. I will readily admit my bias, as my awakening to the wonders of baseball came when Omar was manning the position, so that's the template that I measure a SS against. It's likely that a lot of M's fans are like that. The steroid era hit-first SS like ARod are largely a thing of the past. 

The 'wait until the player is in the bigs to make a position change' crap drives me insane. I would have moved Miller to the OF as soon as he signed. It's not like questions about his defense at SS are anything new. Hopefully this practice will end with the new regime. 


Griz, on the point of who looks like a SS... I completely agree with you. IF IF IF Taylor can get rid of his hitch and start hitting the ball again, I would love to have him as the M's starting SS.

With that said though, the Mariners now do not have a proven SS by most people's terms (not my terms mind you), and it is ridiculous to even think that IF IF IF Marte finishes off this year at .290/.350/.400 that he should be named the M's starting SS. Marte has played 27 games now. Assuming no more injuries, Marte will play SS for a total of 60 games or so. How many games did Ackley get before the M's annoited him 2B? How many games did Smoak have at the MLB level before he was given 1B? You all know I could go on and on and on... There is NOTHING that makes Marte different than ALL those guys that follow YET.

The same goes for Miller in CF. NO WAY the M's can hand him CF after 40 games in the OF. The is just sheer stupidity. I don't care what he looks like or what he hits. An organization can not make decisions on players in this short of time.

The next GM, whomever he or she is, will laugh and then cry at the mess this group just did yesterday. With Span out with a torn back muscle now out for 6 months, the ONLY CF who is better than Jackson as a free agent is Fowler - and that is even worth a discussion. There was NO REASON NOT to keep Jackson and either get a first round pick or have Jackson play for the M's for at least one year. Now the M's will probably end up with Rajai Davis platooning with Miller or Flores.

At SS, IF IF Marte performs the rest of this year, I wonder if the NEW GM will be forced to gamble with Marte at SS. IF IF Marte collapses, then things go from bad to really ugly quick. Will the NEW GM gamble on a Miller / Taylor platoon? Will he even be allowed to choose that option?  Or do the M's end up with the ever powerful Joaquin Arias at SS?

I mean even a platoon of Miller / Ruggiano in CF was worth considering if the M's are serious about putting Miller in the OF 40% of the time... but this interim GM would rather save $300 K than do that.

This off season is starting off really ugly so far... I really hope it gets better soon. 


Completely agree with everything you just said, TR.

Re: Austin Jackson I am a little taken aback that an interim GM was allowed to make this move for the pittance of benefits accrued 30 season-days before a new GM is to be hired. Why wouldn't you let THAT guy decide about QO'ing him? It's not like we got the moon back in a one-time opportunity. I suppose it's possible that Jackson told the M's he definitely wasn't coming back, but even then there's the draft pick consideration. Why present the new guy with an unnecessary fait accompli?

I am not at all sold on the idea of Miller at SS, nor Taylor, nor Marte. Let 'em fight it out again next spring.

The idea that Miller is some valuable defender or valuable bat that should be put into CF or SS to get him in the lineup is a bit bewildering to me. Granted a 100 OPS+ hitter with a plus glove at SS or CF is nothing to be sneezed at, but I don't consider Miller a demonstrated plus glove at either position despite his metrical SS rankings. As I recall the question of where Miller would play defensively was raised immediately after he was drafted, and nothing has really changed in that regard IMO. His bat is not so good he demands to be deployed. His glove is not so good he demands to be deployed. The Mariners would not be seriously hampered if he were to disappear from the earth. This is not "hating" Miller. It's just asking the question, what does he bring to the table that demands deployment?

In my book he is another in a long line of Jack Zduriencik draft picks that tantalized with potential but failed to deliver in any sort of big way. So he fell less short than some of the others, he still has failed to realize his potential at the plate. He may yet do so, he may not. But that has become a familiar refrain with Jack Zduriencik draft picks.


And, in fairness amigo, the '14 M's went through most of a season with a competition at SS.

Not sure that Marte is being given the SS job - agree with you there.  Kingston's opinion is reported to be that Miller has shaken out as a center fielder and if that's the way it goes, we can presume that Chris Taylor is rubbernecking the action.  Marte is probably a 1-for-27 away from watching Taylor take the job back ...

No roasting needed or in order, amigo :- ) you'll have to head to other sites for that shtick...


Miller is my preferred SS going down the line.  He pencils better there...and he's been no Dr. Strangeglove on defense.  Doc, I remember reading that from James years ago.  In general it is likley true.  But some guys struggle against lefties, etc.  There are exceptions, certainly, to James' "rule."  I hope Miller shows he isn't always going to be one of those guys.  He hasn't so far.  Things could change mind you....I'm not anti-Marte, but a decent glove SS with some thump from the left side is a pretty nice thing.

And I will add this:  Goodness knows that I've ridden Austin Jackson pretty hard the past sseason +.  But Edgar has helped. I was (amazingly) to the point that I would have QO'ed him, even he if moved on.  I'm hoping that the PTBNL in the deal hs been predetermined and we will get something decent in return.  $200K in the International pool isn't much. 

The weird thing about Miller in CF (and I'm a Miller fan) is that I imagine he won't look any better soon than Ackley did out there (I thought he was decent) and Lloyd (evidently) couldn't stand the thought of Ackley in CF.  Weirdness, weirdness.


Not that any of you want to hear it, but I am in full agreement with DaddyO and others who have said let the three guys fight it out for SS... and let them continue to do that until the others give up or force you to do something different. If Mariner management believes that 27 games is enough to force there decision making process... I better become a Cubs fan again.

Furthermore, it needs to be acknowledged that Miller is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I question how much actual baseball sense he has... but he is a passionate athlete who likes to compete... and he has MLB baseball skills... and I do not EVER remember any time he has complained about anything. Disappointment yes, but no malice.

My gut tells me that the likely outcome for the three man competition turns into Miller as the left handed offensive SS, Taylor as the right handed speed and defense SS, and Marte as a catch all the rest and lead off man / no power guy. If this is the case, then my opinion is Miller should be playing 40 to 50% at SS, 20% in the OF, and the rest on the bench. Taylor would play 40 to 50% at SS, 15% or so fill in for Seager / Cano on days off, and the rest of the time coming in as a defensive replacement at SS.  Finally, Marte is either in Tacoma or playing OF 60% of the time leading off if successful doing so, with 10+% of the time at SS.

While I agree there is a chemistry between Cano and Marte, I fail to see how that helps the 2016 Mariners currently.

Again, I would definitely have the competition first.


to me, Marte is the clear choice at short.  To me, he looks the part, and the other two guys (particularly Miller) don't.  Just my opinion.

As long as he keeps his walks/K's in current balance, he's the leadoff man.  Do we really have an option?

Hope Brad can handle center, but I think it will take at least half a season to begin to answer that question.  And as has been pointed out, Fowler is the only FA option.  Do we want to bite?

(Rain, my two best buddies are Cubs fans.  This is a VERY nervous month for them.)


Low .700 OPS, nothing to write home about in either power or OBP, athough some intrigue in the latter. Ketel needs an extended tryout at short because he's 21 and we need to project how ready he is to take over there and at least give us what Brad does at short in 2016.  We can't afford to have much less there. We need to discern whether he will fall on his face like Taylor did after a promising 1/3 of a season. 

Having two young MLB shortstops to offer in trade will be nice in the off season. So, another month, another 100 ABs, will be quite useful.

Taylor is a handy fallback. I think we know he can handle short, but his bat may be limited. Ketel is suggesting  right now he could lead off. He's currently third on the team in OBP behind Cruz and Guti (wow if Guti could play daily!).

i think we are having the competition now, Tacoma. Miller got a long, extended chance to nail down the job. His inability to hold his own against left handers opened the door to Chris Taylor, who failed to do anything this season. Now it's Ketel's turn to show what he can do. Meanwhile, keep Brad in the lineup against lefties to see if he can improve his numbers there, as well as whether he can play CF. 

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