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Mariners’ trade for John Jaso may make Miguel Olivo available

Nov 28, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

Miguel Olivo Getty Images

Ongoing speculation that Seattle could look to trade catcher Miguel Olivo is likely even stronger after the Mariners acquired John Jaso from the Rays last night.

Jaso facing most right-handers and Olivo facing most left-handers is a natural platoon from which the Mariners could get very nice production, but Adam Moore is also waiting in the wings as the potential right-handed-hitting portion of that equation.

Olivo has 20-homer power, but he’s also MLB’s most undisciplined hitter, posting a putrid .279 career on-base percentage. That includes this year’s 140/20 K/BB ratio and .254 OBP, which prior to 2011 was the lowest by a qualified hitter since 1989. And he’s led the league in passed balls four times in six years.

He’s also 33 years old and under contract for $3.5 million in 2012 with a $3 million option or $750,000 buyout for 2013, so if the Mariners can get any kind of decent return for Olivo they should be plenty willing to listen.

  1. spudchukar - Nov 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    What and lose their team MVP?

  2. mmason0071 - Nov 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Adam Moore has shown almost no ability to either catch or hit at the major league level, and is coming off a full year lost to knee surgery. Not a good bet for a reliable backup. But the M’s have consistently dumped their previous year HR/RBI leader, so trading Olivo for low level minor leaguers is a move that fits in their plan to never score any runs.

    • hittfamily - Nov 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      hilarious. Mariners fans have a pessimistic outlook for their team, and rightfully so.

  3. Old Gator - Nov 28, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Is “run prevention” the same thing you treat with Lomatil?

  4. dafixisin - Nov 28, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Don’t think Trader Jack made the move for Jaso as a precursor to an Olivo trade. Adding Jaso gives this team a much healthier platoon behind the dish. And like Olivo, Jaso sounds very happy to be playing for Seattle.

    Seen enough of Adam Moore to believe he may be a AAAA player, with subpar receiving skills. So many passed balls.

    Moving the PR disaster that was Josh Lueke for a serviceable catcher with a high OBP is the latest coup for Jack Z. This team has plenty of bullpen options (Shawn Kelly, Stephen Pryor, Forrest Snow, etc.), if you exclude a left handed option out of the pen. Eric O’Flaherty, anyone?

    • marinersnate - Nov 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

      “….the latest coup for Jack Z. ”

      Yes. What a ‘coup’. Sheer genious! Apparently Zduriencik has an iron-clad, lifetime contract with the team as their GM and a “brilliant” 20 year rebuilding plan!

      I mean let’s look at last winters acquisitions:

      Miguel Olivo
      Jack Cust
      Adam Kennedy
      Brendan Ryan

      What a haul! (I won’t even mention Chone Figgins or the Morrow for League trade the fool made.)

      And this year he has already acquired-John Jaso? What a “coup” indeed.

      • Reflex - Nov 28, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        Um, Morrow has been worse in Toronto(4.62 ERA) than he was in Seattle(3.92 ERA). Plus he’s an ‘inverted W’ pitcher which has a high corrolation to serious injuries. By comparison League has had a 3.14 ERA and last year tallied 37 Saves as the M’s closer.

        Of the others, the players involved were cheap fill ins as the team was buying time for Ackley, Smoak and eventually Nick Franklin to come up. They cost little and nobody was given up for them. Olivo has been a capable backstop for a team that has to have someone behind the dish, and I like Jaso going forward.

        Of everything you list, the only real mistake I see is Figgins, and that was indeed a serious mistake. But I also see a ton of great deals that will be paying off for years, especially the Cliff Lee deal that got the team Smoak, and the great talent acquired for Bedard where they robbed the Red Sox and Dodgers blind.

        Jack’s biggest mistake was thinking the team might be competitive in 2010. Aside from that its a whole lot of very good long term moves from the guy who helped make the Brewers a regular contender. I’ll take a team built for sustained success, even if it involves a few truly awful seasons up front, over the Astros model of playing for the flash in the pan occasional winning season with no real long term plan to be competitive.

      • marinersnate - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:10 AM

        “Aside from that its a whole lot of very good long term moves from the guy who helped make the Brewers a regular contender.”

        Laughable. A regular contender? Your kidding right?

        Zduriencik spent 10 years with the Brewers’ (1999-2008). From 1999 to 2005 he was Director of Scouting. From 2006 through 2008 he was also an Assistant GM.

        During “GMZ’s” tenure with the Brewers they went 735-883. Yep, that’s over ten years! Ten. Winning pct. .454. Average finish in NL Central? 4th. They did finish second in the NL Central exactly twice.

        They did make the playoffs exactly once (2008). As the NL wildcard. This was after they had traded half their farm for a rental of CC Sabathia down the stretch and pitched him on three days rest. It was also a priority to fire their manager with 12 games left in the regular season.

        Predictably, they lost in the first round of 2008 playoffs.

        So this is how he helped the Brewers’ become “a regular contender”?

        But let’s look at his record since becoming the M’s GM. In his three years at the helm, the M’s have a record of 213-273. Yup. Winning pct.? .438. (Even worse than all those years with the “regular contending” Brewers’.) But wait! It is Bavasi’s fault. Why this is only Zduriencik’s fourth! season. Heck, he hasn’t had time to stop losing 90 games yet.

        The M’s have lost an average of 98! games the last two seasons. But we are just a couple of minor leaguer’s away from contending. Just keep telling yourself that.

        It is really good to know that “GMZ” was one of the “architect’s” of those “regularly contending” Brewers’ teams.

        PS: How about Mike Morse for Ryan Langerhans. Straight up. Rizzo is still laughing himself silly at night.

      • Reflex - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:42 AM

        First off, Jack was never in charge of the Brewers, but he did play a huge role in drafting virtually every star that has made them a contender today. There are far more people involved in a franchises success than an assistant GM and scouting directory, and for the first half of his tenure he had inept ownership and management to deal with. Secondly, they have gone to the playoffs in two of the past four years, with teams composed of mostly the stars that Jack scouted and drafted. I’m pretty sure M’s fans would love to have gone to the playoffs in two of the previous four years. Third, until 2008, the Brewers had not been to the playoffs since 1982 and had 7 winning seasons in the previous 25. I think Milwaukee fans are pretty happy with Jack’s accomplishments there, and I’m pretty sure M’s fans would rather the team on the field for them than the one that Bavasi left the M’s with.

        As for the M’s, he inherited a team that had gutted its farm system for years under Bavasi(and Gillick, honestly), continually believing that it was only one or two pieces away from being a contender and consistently putting mediocrity on the field as a result with poorly advised signings that were not designed for the field they played in(Sexson and other right handed power in Safeco). He gave away elite prospects like Adam Jones for injury plagued guys like Bedard, and at the trading deadline couldn’t determine when he should be a buyer or seller. Jack has turned this around, correctly recognizing that sustained succcess requires a packed farm system rather than a bunch of quick fix free agent signings(losing first round picks in the process). Here is the roster he has assembled so far:

        C: Jaso/Olivo
        1B: Justin Smoak
        2B: Dustin Ackley
        SS: ?? (Nick Franklin possible by mid-season)
        3B: ??
        RF: Ichiro
        CF: Franklin Gutierrez
        LF: Trayvon Robinson

        I see only a couple holes there. The rest are either above average vets or rising stars. Yes it will be a couple years yet before potential is reached(especially for Smoak, Franklin and Robinson). Yes they still have a couple holes. Yes they need a couple of decent pitchers still. But the M’s have cash, they are one of the wealthier teams in the game and sustained payrolls well north of 100M a few years back. Once the core is in place, I have little doubt they will add the extra pieces needed around it. But there is little point adding those pieces to pick up a few wins right now when the rest of the core that will make them competitive over the long term is not ready yet.

        And yes, it takes more than three years to rebuild a system as gutted as the M’s were. For years Bavasi was the worst ranked GM in the entire MLB as per several diferent rankings. You don’t recover from that overnight, or by making a Jason Werth type free agent splash.

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