Say this for Jerry DiPoto. He certainly knows how to keep you on your toes. After a big trade with Tampa, another with San Diego, a third with Texas and a key free-agent signing Monday, all in the month of November, the man stays busy. Don’t close your eyes, you might miss something important.
So when I was looking at MLB Trade Rumors for like the 50th time yesterday, and at 6:55 PST it was announced the M’s and Marlins were considering a trade of a pitcher-maybe James Paxton-for outfielder Marcell Ozuna, sleepy me woke right up. Ozuna had a great 2014 year, was injured, had 1-36 stretch and was sent to get fixed in the minor leagues which he called “jail” and landed in owner Jeffrey Loria’s doghouse.
Subsequent updates made the status of these rumors, followed closely by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, shall we say quite muddy. At one point it sounded like a deal could involve multiple players and the Mariners wouldn’t include Taijuan Walker in a deal. The lack of updates today doesn’t mean a potential deal is off, but it sounds like there is lots of talking to do–including the Marlins listening to offers from other teams. It does sound like Ozuna is likely trade bait for some young cost-controlled pitching.
Upon hearing all this I went back and forth between MLBTR and the Seattle Mariners Facebook page, a fan page just to gauge fan interest. The range of reaction was amazing. Some clearly wanted to wait and see who the Mariners were offering, while others immediately upped the ante to include Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton in the deal-always for Roenis Elias, Jesus Montero and members of the coaching staff.
I’m not suggesting this trade isn’t happening, or couldn’t happen, that it could involve Ozuna or more than Ozuna. But it is just another conversation about players that every team will have throughout the Hot Stove League and in to Spring Training. It’s what teams have always done. It’s just that so many more people are listening and writing about it that we jump out of our skin whenever we hear something about the Home Towne Team. Remember, rumors are just lies by another name.
But there is some real news to share:
Danny Hultzen cleared waivers and will rejoin the Rainiers in Tacoma, according to Greg Johns.
Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs has a pretty interesting breakdown of what James Paxton can do to improve the effectiveness of his fastball.
USS Mariner’s take on Chris Iannetta’s signing and why it’s such a good deal for the Mariners.
Finally, Nathan Bishop‘s article at Lookout Landing on the considerations the M’s are likely taking about whether to acquire a right fielder and what to do with Nelson Cruz is interesting and thoughtful–and a lot like my own. And they’re probably driving a lot of this activity around Marcell Ozuna, dammit!