Jack Zduriencik trades for the future
It is not an easy thing to take two starters from a rotation that was one of the most successful in baseball for a time, and trade them. Doug Fister and now Erik Bedard, gone. Taking their place, Blake Beavan and TBA.
The Mariners had the pitching and that was not enough. This team needed offense for now and for the future and Jack Zduriencik was not about to let the trade deadline get by with out adding to the organization. But it wasn’t easy.
“The toughest part of this whole thing was the way we have played the last couple of weeks obviously we know where we are at,” Zduriencik told the media shortly after announcing the Erik Bedard trade.
It could get tougher. Pulling two starters from a rotation that was the bright spot of an otherwise dim season could make for a tough two months. Zduriencik felt that Bedard could have helped take pressure off a rotation that is going to have to be handled carefully for the remainder of the season.
“Big picture, we get two offensive guys that our scouts like a lot. You make the sacrifice now to give up Erik Bedard for two new players that will be with us for a long time and that’s the balance. Could we suffer from here to the end of the year? I hope our fans understand that there are sacrifices to be made. It’s possible that our pitching staff is not as good with two guys we just moved but to get six players in return it’s about today but it’s also about where we’re headed.”
It’s about accumulating talent and that is what Zduriencik has done in the last two days. Today he picks up Double-A outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang from the Red Sox and Triple-A OF Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers. They will be heading to the minors, but along with Casper Wells, both add depth to a position the Mariners were somewhat short on throughout the organization.
“The players that are coming in are going to be challenging, we have got a couple of guys on our club right now, it’s going to help us have a better roster to have some depth,” Zduriencik said.
Chiang is repeating Double-A this year and putting up impressive numbers, hitting .338/.399/.667/1.046 with 36 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs and 71 RBIs in just 87 games. He has the appearance of a player who is putting it all together. Mariners scouts have been on him for the last couple of months.
Robinson, who came into the deal today, is an interesting prospect. He came up through the Compton Baseball Academy and was known by first base coach Mike Brumley, who spent some time in the Dodgers organization.
He is a recently converted switch-hitter, who one person familiar with him calls a late bloomer. The conversion was rocky to start, but the last two and a half years have gone much better.
He has put up good power numbers this year with 26 home runs, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio leaves something to be desired at 122/45. He does play center field, a position of concern with the recent lack of offense from Franklin Gutierrez.
It is not yet known when we will see either player at the big league level, but they are in the mix of young players that Zduriencik and the Mariners hope will move this organization forward.