For some time Mariner fans have complained about Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, and Jesus Montero. But there might be a reason why General Manger Jack Zduriencik keeps them in the lineup, when they are not sent to the minors, of course. He might be haunted by the legacy of previous GM Bill Bavasi.
Does this man have a satanic look? He still haunts the Mariners today.
Bavasi single handedly ruined the Mariners with terrible trades. How terrible? He traded away five young players, all of whom ended up on all-star teams, and in return got zippity-do-dah.
The biggest trade was Adam Jones to Baltimore, where he has become the Orioles franchise player. Jones, George Sherill, lefty reliever, and Chris Tillman, starting pitcher were shipped off for Erik Bedard, who liked to pitch six innings, then take the rest of the night off.
In 2006, Bavasi made two separate deals with Cleveland, sending them Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard in July after trading Asdrubal Cabrera in June for Eduardo Perez. Broussard never cracked the Mariner lineup and has disappeared off the baseball radar. Perez, an average utility player, retired after playing 43 games with Seattle, getting hits as often as Brendan Ryan. (Truthfully, Ryan hit better).
Matt Thornton, the White Sox number one lefty out of the bullpen for years, was traded from Seattle to Chicago for Joe Borchard, who followed Broussard into baseball oblivion. And relief specialist Rafael Soriano left Seattle for Horacio Ramirez, a starting pitcher as exciting as Carlos Silva or James Baldwin.
Recapping those stalwart Bavasi trades shows he traded away five all-stars for Erik Bedard. He is the only one who made even a negligible contribution. In three years and 46 starts for Seattle he was 15-14. Bedard was not well liked by fans or players (so it was rumored).
Those were not the only mistakes by Bavasi, but due to time constraints we must move along. He did draft Brandon Morrow instead of two time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum though. Just saying.
The point is that the legacy of Bill Bavasi, is a dark funereal shroud that stares at Jack Zduriencik every day. Jack does not want to give up players who may star for other teams, a rich Mariner tradition, so he hangs onto them, hoping, willing, and praying that Ackley, Montero, and Smoak succeed. Trader Jack is either patient or stubborn, maybe both, but Jack will stay with them, going down with the Good Ship Mariner if he must. He won’t blink in the face of Bavasi and trade them away.
Kyle Seager is doing well, he looks legit. Nick Franklin could be as well, time will tell. But in the end the Mariners can’t win. They trade young talent and come up short; they keep young talent and they come up short. It makes you wonder if the Good Ship Mariner is a cursed derelict drifting in the waters of the Twilight Zone.