The skipper of the good ship Mariner Eric Wedge has made a big decision, one that like many Mariner moves leaves one scratching their heads. But did he make the move without Trader Jack whispering in his ear?
Brendan Ryan batting .152 is the starting shortstop and Jack Wilson will play second base, a position he has not played before. It looks like Dustin Ackley will head to Tacoma. This is what the Mariners hinted at before training camp.
Jack is hitting .448 and while he is outstanding at shortstop, Ryan is younger and though the Mariners claim Ryan is considered to be a top defensive shortstop, I have never heard that claim before.
Ackley is hitting .280, but if he were hitting .680 the Mariners would still ship him out. The question is why?
You will hear the brass say he needs more work at second and blah, blah, blah. I don’t buy it.
If they send Ackley to Tacoma the Mariners gain another year before he becomes a free agent. Other teams have done this with a rookie prospect. Teams then bring up the prospect in June and the player must wait an additional year. The player still has six years before being a free agent, but that could be 2018, not 2017.
Just a business trick, not a personnel move. Also the Mariners traded for Ryan, and teams don’t want to look bad after a trade, don’t want to indicate they made a mistake, so the traded player plays until he plays himself out of the lineup.
Ryan may indeed hit well once the season starts. If so the Mariners can breathe a sigh of release. I hope Ryan does well, but I will not hold my breath like Trader Jack.
So in the modern age of baseball it is not who has a good spring, not who can help the team, but who the front office wants because of business decisions. And it is Mariner business decisions and poor player moves that have landed them where they are, a mediocre last place team. Welcome to the show!