Deal Taijuan? Hmmmm....
A better strategy: assisted disembowelment


Dr. D and most of you were interested in discussing Taijuan, Franklin + ? for Justin Upton, but ... whoa.   Guys are now banging their heads against the wall that they even considered such a disembowelment.

Lesson learned!  Don't trade prospects for franchise players.  The prospects could turn out to be good.

How do you every know for sure whether it will be Jesus Montero or Nick Franklin who steps forward?  How do you know that Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley will flame out, and Kyle Seager will ascend on high as the 130 OPS+ pheonix of third base?  

You never do.  But Taijuan and Franklin have.  By a remarkable coink-y-dink, the two prospects who almost got mortar-shelled South-by-Southwest 165 degrees, they turned out to be the lotto tickets.   Proves nothing.


Scintillating trade discussion going on in Gordon's thread.  And, of course, Gordon is coolly riffling through each option as if he were speed-solving a Rubik's Cube.  But lemme grab my usual discreet 500-amp megaphone and quietly sidle in with my usual disinclination to take one side or the other:


My dream would be to get him using some of the pitching talent other than Walker.    (Bat571 and KingCorran)


Dr. D continues to insist that every ML org has 5x, 10x, 15x the trade oomph that most fans think it does.  Of COURSE if you offer Hultzen, Franklin, Seager, Wilhelmsen and Capps, then Giancarlo Stanton is yours.  We remind of James' statement, "Whoever the best pitching prospect in baseball is, you can't trade for him."  Any idea when it last was, that the BEST prospect in baseball was traded?!

Just f'r instance:

  • In 2012, the best BBA prospects were Bryce Harper, Mike Moore, and Mike Trout.  Did they get traded, two weeks before their ML debuts?  Julio Teheran, Jurickson Profar?
  • In 2011, the best BBA prospects were those guys* plus Hellickson and Chapman.  
  • In 2010, the aircraft carrier prospects were Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, and Giancarlo Stanton.  Buster Posey, Pedro Alvarez.
  • In 2009, the prospects who carried true HOF-type mystique -- physical talent to be the #1 player in MLB, and minors results to match -- were David Price, Matt Weiters, Colby Rasmus, etc ... was David Price anywhere close to being traded?


You could come up with a handful of caveats and quid pro quo's, and you could probably find some #1 prospect who'd been traded some time, some where.  But the lesson is clear.  It is one thing to talk about trading the 22nd best prospect in the game.  It's another thing to talk about trading the best.

Prospects hit a certain level in baseball, the Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper level, and then their org's make a very simple decision about them.  It says here that Taijuan Walker would have hit this level now.

This Taijuan thing has hit the point where you would veer off into an Adrian Gonzalez 6-for-1 direction before you'd give up your Doc Gooden.  Me, I'll talk about trades involving other guys.  Taijuan pitches for my ball club.


Dr D


*Jesus Montero is one of rare top-5 prospects traded recently.  He was traded 1-for-1 for a very similar prospect.





To tell you the truth, I think I would DFA Ryan before I would play much with the 40-Man. But I suppose that isn't prudent. Did we hit the Super 2 deadline, G? If so, 2 more starts in Tacoma is the max for Walker. Who are we facing tonight. If it is a righty, I'm leading Ackley off. MIller bats 9th (1st game). Then you have a Miller-Ackley-Franklin-Seager run, the 2nd time around. Ooooo, if we bat Zunino 8th then it is a 5 person, kiddie-corps run. If only MIke Carp were our 1B, then I would LOVE our new IF. Ah the well. Smoak it is.


So the "cutoff" for being safe changes every year based on how many people have already been called up.
Basically, it's the top 22% of people called up this year in terms of service time accrued will be eligible for Super Two status in a couple of years (assuming they keep accruing said service time, of course).
It used to be 17%, IIRC, and that would be June 3-to-10, on average.  You can't know until you get to the end of the season and rate all the accrued service time, but that was the handy guide.  Callups would start in earnest around June 8th-15th depending on how courageous the FO was.
Maybe there have been a lot of early callups that would push the date up into late June (I mean, Zunino and Franklin are already on the list, so maybe our own Super 2 guys are gonna keep Miller from being one) or maybe we just don't care.
Either way, Miller will be here and the Black Hole Of Offensive Suffering at SS will now cease.  That should be cause for some celebration...


But we are in a weirdly unique position to do so if we chose to.  You mentioned how rare it is for an aircraft carrier to get traded... but Stanton is an aircraft carrier himself, and a proven major league one at that.
A-Gone netted the #30ish prospect (who was a pitcher, Kelly) a young doubles thumper (Rizzo, who I guess would be Choi in our system) and a bunch of other guys.  Stanton has more years of club control than A-Gone did.  I, too, would expect to trade somebody else and add a little something extra on the back end, but would we?  I mean, if it's Hultzen + Franklin + stuff, or Walker + Morban + stuff, don't you keep Franklin?  Wouldn't you want to keep Miller and Zunino?
If you want to trade ONE guy plus some interesting pieces for a megawatt crusher, then Walker's your one guy because we have several other arms to take his spot.  Like I said, just cross your fingers and pray he's not Doc/Pedro when it comes to amazingness.  His teammates all seem to think he will be.
Personally I think Jack is playing it to work either way in the short term.  If we promote all these guys, fall in love with them, pique fan interest and keep em, fine.  If we decide to trade some of em, well they'll have some ML experience and production to show for it. I think this was the plan with Maurer, btw - promote him, let him pull a Pineda for a little bit, then trade him while keeping the other pitchers we liked more.  Maurer just faceplanted a little more than they expected (or I expected considering his stuff and control).  Such is life.  Maurer will get more shots.
The idea is not to find one path that leads to victory, but to make sure that all paths do.  The path of keeping everybody could be successful, and so could a trade.  Just don't trade greatness for average return.  When Jack couldn't get value for his young guys he kept them.  That was smart.
And it looks like it'll pay off shortly, whatever we choose to do with em.
I'm having trouble not looking forward to Doc Walker in our rotation, though...


When a reactor is at the point that the chain reaction is self-sustaining, it's called criticality and getting there is "going critical". With the start at Tacoma, Walker has gone critical - I don't think anything but injury stops him from stepping on up. Even for Stanton - no, I no longer think so. But I hope Texas feels the same way about Profar, and a package can still be built to satisfy my "fixation". If Loria wasn't such a putz, it wouldn't even come up. Not for that kind of talent - already 100 HRs and he's only 20 DAYS older than Hultzen or Montero. But since Jeffrey is.......

GLS's picture that there's always some sort of market. When a player of significance becomes available, and everyone knows he's available, the teams that are bidding for him will try to simultaneously put the best package together while also paying the lowest price possible. This organization could still put the best package together without giving up their very best piece. A package built around Danny Hultzen could do the trick. Once it gets to the point that the player is out there and available, the Mariners could still put the best deal together, without giving up Taijuan.

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