I was sitting at my computer at my desk at school on a deadline night, hoping it could magically be 10:00. As I was reading my umpteenth article on MyNorthwest.com about the travails of the Seahawks and how they might finish the season, with their ninth game ten days away due to the bye week, a red headline flashed across the screen. “Breaking-Mariners send Brad Miller, Logan Morrison to Tampa Bay in six player trade.”
Well interesting. In fact Miller and Morrison were dealt along with relief pitcher Danny Farquhar to Tampa Bay for pitchers Nathan Karns and C.J. Riefenhauser and minor league outfielder Herschel “Boog” Powell. Karns threw 147 innings in 26 starts, with a 3.67 ERA, and an ERA+ of 107. Record of 7-5, so you can get your trad stats fix. He’s four years older than Tai Walker, and his numbers aren’t as impressive. Lefty Riefenhauser was used primarily as a reliever. Seventeen pretty unproductive big league appearances, though his last seven appearances were scoreless. Powell was the Rays’ #13 organizational prospect, plays CF and has not made a big league appearance. He pencils in as someone who walks more than strikes out and plays good defense.
What does it all mean? The M’s get a starting pitcher who is still learning at the major league level, a bullpen piece, and an outfielder who may help them. Importantly, all of them are cost controlled, and mostly they parted with Miller. Morrison was going to cost $4 millionish in arbitration and maybe even non-tendered, Farquhar simply didn’t have it at all in 2015. So the M’s give up Miller and some not terribly valuable pieces for some not terribly experienced, but potentially valuable pieces. It’s likely this deal can only be judged against other moves that DiPoto makes.
The M’s do move some salary. In addition to Morrison’s considerable salary, Miller and Farquhar were both slated for their first year of arbitration. So the deal likely clears $6-7million from the books providing some flexibility in the M’s salary picture, and M’s get three players that may or may not be helpful, cost controlled for a long time, making very little cash.
What may be encouraging is that DiPoto fired the opening shot in the Hot Stove Leagues. Hopefully he does the same to fill in some of the other big holes–starting pitching, bullpen, outfield and whatever he may be thinking at